|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||November 7, 1983|
HOUGHTON, Michigan. -- Finnish rally ace Hannu Mikkola and co-driver Fabrizia Pons of Italy ran away from the field at the 35th running of the Budweiser Press On Regardless PRO Rally in the upper peninsula of Michigan last weekend. Mikkola was a last minute replacement for American Champion John Buffum who had planned to run his Audi Quattro in the event. Buffum came down with an illness contracted in Africa where coincidently, he had been running a chase car for Mikkola at the Bandama Rally in the Ivory Coast.
Second, some 27 minutes back, were Jon Woodner and Ginny Reese in their Peugeot 504 Coupe which had to be nursed through the last half of the rally with make-shift repairs to the front suspension. Only 15 seconds behind Woodner in the 720 mile, two- day event was the Mazda RX-7 of Rod Millen and R. Dale Kraushaar. Their third place finish was the story of the rally as they rolled the car on the sixth of the rally's 23 stages while in the lead. Rod's brother, Steve, who was driving the Mitsubishi Starion in its first National PRO Rally stopped and helped Rod get the car back on its wheels so it could continue, bent but not broken. Unfortunately for Steve, he managed only one more stage before putting the Mitsubishi into the woods and out of the rally for good. Rod kept on, though, rising up through the ranks to his eventual third place finish.
Production class was its usual donnybrook with Gene Henderson dominating things in the early going until a big rock took a bite out of the ANC Eagle's transfer case puttinq it out of the rally. Steve Nowicki then came on in his Plymouth Arrow and fought off a late surge from Erik Zenz in a Saab 99 to win by one minute. Third in the class went to Guy Light in his Oldsmobile Omega, six minutes off the pace.
In addition to Steve Millen, several other frontrunners found the Bud P.O.R. too tough including Taisto Heinonen of Canada in a Mercury Lynx which retired after three stages with no clutch; Clive Smith whose Chevy Chevette V-6 went out on stage 18 with no brakes and broken suspension. Mark Hardymon who put his Mazda RX-7 off the road for good on stage 2. Gary Eaton who smashed the steering box on his Peugeot 505 and Walter Boyce who retired with a broken fuel line on his Ford Escort.
In spite of several roll-overs and arguments with trees, the race was free of serious incidents and injury -- a tribute to the fine work of the organizers, safety groups, control workers and marshals.
The PRO Rally tour now moves to the West Coast for the Tour de Forest PRO Rally in Oregon in late November followed by Michigan's Sno*Drift and the Carson City International in Nevada the first two weekends in December.
EVENT: Budweiser Press On Regardless EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Detroit Reqion, SCCA LOCATION: Houghton, Michigan LENGTH: 720 miles, 23 stages, 214 stage miles DATE: November 4-6, 1983 WEATHER: Clear, cool ENTRANTS: 65 FINISHERS: 25 TERRAIN: Forest FIN. CHAMP. MFG. CHAMP. MFG. POS. DRIVER/CO-DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR SCORE POINTS POINTS POINTS POINTS 1. Hannu Mikkola, Finland Audi Quattro 237.15 20 20 Fabrizia Pons, Torino, Italy 20 2 Jon Woodner, Washington, D.C. Peugeot 504 264.59 15 15 Ginny Reese, Chelsea, Mich. 15 3. Rod Millen, Costa Mesa, Calif. Mazda RX-7 264.85 12 12 R. Dale Kraushaar, Tigard, Oreg. 12 4. Bruno Krelbich, Ridgewood, N.Y. Audi Quattro 268.75 10 Clark Bond, Bay City, Mich. 10 5.(1P) Steve Nowicki, New Berlin, Wis. Plymouth Arrow 269.66 8 8 20 20 Brian Berg, Brown Deer, Wis. 8 20 6.(2P) Erik Zenz, WesL Allis, Wis. Saab 99 270.83 6 6 15 15 David Stone, Acme, Mich. 6 15 7.(3P) Guy Light, Midland, Mich. Olds Omega 276.42 4 12 12 Terry Conklin, Midland, Mich. 4 12 8.(4P) Calvin Landau, Coraopolis, Pa. Dodge Charger 280.98 3 10 10 Karen Landau, Coraopolis, Pa. 3 10 9.(SP) John Crawford, Okmulgee, Okla. Dodge Shelby 286.23 2 8 Craig Marr, Oroville, Calif. 2 8 10.(6P) Don Jankowski, Farmington, Mich. Dodge Shelby 289.59 1 6 Ken Nowak, Sterling Hgts., Mich. 1 6 PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS 1. Steve Nowicki, New Berlin, Wis. Plymouth Arrow 269.66 20 20 Rrian Berg, Brown Deer, Wis. 20 2. Erik Zenz, West Allis, Wis. Saab 99 270.83 15 15 David Stone, Acme, Mich. 15 3. Guy Light, Midland, Mich. Olds Omega 276.42 12 12 Terry Conklin, Midland, Mich 12 UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER NINE EVENTS DRIVER (Current Car) PRODUCTION DRIVER (Current Car) 1. John Buffum, Audi 120 1. Steve Nowicki, Plymouth 100 2. Rod Millen, Mazda 95 2. Gene Henderson, AMC 75 3. Jon Woodner, Peugeot 83 3. Guy Light, Oldsmubile 65 CO-DRIVER PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER 1. Doug ShephPrd 100 1. Brian Berg 68 2. Ginny Reese 83 2. Terry Conklin 65 3. R. Dale Kraushaar 77 3. Jim Kloosterman 63 MANUFACTURER PRODUCTION MANUFACTURER 1. Audi 135 1. Plymouth 88 2. Mazda 107 2. AMC 76 3. Peugeot 63 3. Dodge 66 SEED WINNERS FIA/SEED 1 - Mikkola/Pons SEED4 -no finishers SEED 2 - Kreibich/Bond SEED5 -Schaffner/Blumenfeld SEED 3 - Zenz/Stone SEED6 -Forbes-Robinson/Chatterton