|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
July 30, 2002
|Contact: Mike White|
DUBLIN, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- A broken transmission ended RallyHo Motorsports' quest for a strong finish at the Maine Forest Rally last weekend. After pulling themselves out of a ditch and overcoming the steep learning curve of a new style of route instructions, their rally came to an abrupt halt at the beginning of the eighth special stage.
More than 90 cars started the event, held on the logging roads of northwestern Maine. The Maine Forest Rally is part of the Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) national ProRally series. Driver and team owner Mike White of Dublin competes in his specially built Saab 99.
Rough road conditions may have contributed to the transmission failure, White said.
"The stage was badly rutted, so we had to really hammer the car to keep from getting stuck," White said. "We hit a bump that sent the front end airborne. When we landed, the transmission made some awful noises and we lost all the gears."
Co-driver Chris Morand, of Townsend, Mass., said the new "stage note" route instructions were a challenge to figure out at first but helped them go faster as the day progressed. As the co-driver, Morand gives White instructions and directions about the upcoming road by referencing the route book.
"In the beginning, I was having trouble figuring out when to call each instruction to Mike, but we eventually found our rhythm," Morand said. "It was heartbreaking to hear the transmission break like that - we were keeping pace with the other drivers."
White remains upbeat about the rest of the 2002 season for the team. "We'll have the car back together for some regional rally action this fall," he said. "What was great about the Maine rally is that it showed how well-built the car is. The improvements we made over the summer passed the tough test the Maine roads dished out. Once we fix the transmission and a few other smaller items, we should be a top contender in regional competition."
RallyHo Motorsports plans to enter at least two regional rally events this fall as well as an appearance at promotional events for the team's primary sponsor, Saabs.com of Amherst, NH.
SCCA ProRally is often described as "real cars, on real roads, real fast." Unlike most types of auto racing, rally cars must remain street legal while also being able to withstand the punishment of rough forest roads at racing speeds.
Driver and Team Owner Mike White: (603) 563-5076
For more information about the Maine Forest rally: www.maineforestrally.com
For more information about rallying: www.specialstage.com and www.bensrallypage.com
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