Medocino Forest PRO Rally 1980

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 29, 1980


LUCERNE, California-- New Zealand rally champion Rod Millen survived mechanical ills early on to take the SCCA PRO Rally Mendocino Forest, in his Mazda RX-7. Survived is exactly the right word. Millen and co-driver Roger Blain of Seattle were the only team in the top 10 starters to finish the grueling 350-mile, 13-hour event. Virtually every top rally team in the country was on hand to challenge the serpentine mountain roads 150 miles north of San Francisco, but in the end, the roads won.

Second went to Jon Davis of Houghton, Michigan and Harry Ward of Toledo, Ohio in their Production Class Saab 99. No production class car has ever done that well on a National PRO Rally in the history of the sport! Davis' finish was only the beginning as the third, fourth and fifth place finishers were also production cars: Ray Hocker/Damon Trimble (Dodge Colt), Fred Stafford/Ken Adams (Saab) and Jim Olinger/Dana Sharitz (Datsun 710). All finished within two minutes of one another to round out the top five. The tremendous showing by Production Class cars was amazing. Unlike Open Class cars which are permitted unlimited modifications, Production cars are just that. No engine, transmission, or suspension modifications are allowed and they must run standard wheels and tires. Even the interior trim must be left in place. Said Davis, "It became obvious early on that this would be a survival rally. Production cars just do better on that kind of an event."

Series leader John Buffum jumped out into an early lead in his works Triumph TR-8 and had about a minute lead on second place Millen when, "I saw the corner coming all of a sudden and thought, `Oh No! . We hit a tree with the rear quarter and spun off the road nose down between two trees."

A lot of other top dogs joined Buffum to become spectators including: John Woolf (Mazda RX-3), Marek Barenski (Renault 5) and Bob Chandler (Datsun 240Z) who all went out with mechanical ills; and Jon Woodner (Triumph TR-8), Dick Turner (Scout) and Nick VanNugteren (Mazda RX-7) who all went off the road at speed putting them out for the night.

The Bad Luck award of the rally went to Roger Goss and Bob Brandes in their Mazda RX-2. Goss is from New Zealand (another one!) and Mendocino was his first U.S. rally. A navigational error late in the rally cost them more than 10 minutes and dropped them from a certain third to eighth overall. Still an excellent drive.

Mendocino Forest was the ninth round of the 13-event PRO Rally Series for the United States Rally Championship. The competitors hardly have time to catch their breath before the PRO circuit moves to Alpine, Texas, south of El Paso for the October 11-12 running of the Big Bend Bash.

SCCA CONTACT: Tim Cline (203) 453-1742, T. Michael Moreland (303) 770-1044


EVENT: Mendocino Forest						EVENT CONDUCTED BY: San Francisco Region, SCCA
LOCATION: Lucerne, California                                   LENGTH: 305 miles, 9 stages, 223 stage miles
DATE: September 27-28, 1980                    			WEATHER:  Warm, dry, dusty
ENTRANTS: 47,   FINISHERS: 21             			TERRAIN:  Low mountains, forest

FIN											CHAMP	MFG.
 1.	Rod Millen, Auckland, N.Z.		Mazda RX-7		5:41:82         100	100
        Roger Blain, Seattle, WA			   	 		        100

 2.(1P)	Jon Davis, Houghton, MI			Saab 99			6:10:42          80   	 80
 	Harry Ward, Toledo, OH								 80

 3.(2P) Ray Hocker, Ridgecrest, CA 		Dodge Colt	        6:23:20          60	 60
        Damon Trimble, Tuscon, AZ  							 60 

 4.(3P) Fred Stafford, Santa Monica, CA		Saab 99   		6:24:25          50
        Ken Adams, Bakersfield, CA                                 		         50

 5.(4P) Jim Olinger, Placerville, CA   		Datsun 710   		6:25:43          40   	 40
        Dana Sharitz, Davis, CA  							 40 

 6.   	Steve Parker, Redmond, WA       	Datsun 510   		6:29:65          30
        Steve Richards, Belleville, WA 							 30 

 7.   	Ken White, Fremont, CA          	Datsun 510   		6:30:63		 20
        Gene Kaczmarek, Fremont, CA     						 20

 8.     Roger Goss, Sacramento, CA      	Mazda RX-2     		6:31:87		 19
        Bob Brandes, San Francisco, CA                          			 19

 9.     Rod Hall, Reno, NV              	Dodge Truck    		5:37:90		 18
        Cam Warren, Reno, NV            		                       	 	 18

10.(5P) Kris Mellon, Kings Beach, CA    	Plymouth Arrow  	6:46:21          17
        Ray O'Brein, Kings Beach, CA   							 17


 1.	Jon Davis, Houghton, MI			Saab 99			6:10:42         100 	100
 	Harry Ward, Toledo, OH								100

 2.  	Ray Hocker, Ridgecrest, CA 		Dodge Colt	        6:23:20          80	 80
        Damon Trimble, Tuscon, AZ  							 80 

 3 	Fred Stafford, Santa Monica, CA		Saab 99   		6:24:25          60
        Ken Adams, Bakersfield, CA                                 		         60

                           STANDINGS AFTER NINE EVENTS

DRIVER                                         		PRODUCTION DRIVER
1. John Buffum          500                  		1. Jon Davis            480
2. Rod Millen           460                  		2. Jim Olinger          210
3. John Woolf           260                  		3. George Beckerman     180
4. Jon Woodner          250                  		4. Dan Wing             160
5. Dick Turner          190                      	   Danny Johnson        160

CO-DRIVER                                      		PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER
1. Doug Shepherd        500                  		1. Harry Ward           480
2. Grant Whittaker      280                  		2. Doris Beckerman      180
3. Tom Grimshaw         190                  		3. Greg Harris          160
   David Orrick         190                      	   Ron Richardson       160
5. Dave Weiman          180                      	   Karen Johnson        160
   Harry Ward           180

MANUFACTURER                                   		PRODUCTION MANUFACTURER
1. Mazda                640                  		1. Saab                 8OO
2. Triumph              610                  		2. Plymouth             470
3. Dodge                280                  		3. Dodge                370
4. Datsun               220                  		4. Mercury              110
5. IH Scout             190                      	   Toyota               110

Results 1980
RRN Index