FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2002
Contact: Eric Burmeister
DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- Coming off a disappointing rally in Minnesota where the team suffered their first DNF due to a broken wheel, the MAZDASPEED Rally Team USA changed their luck in Washington this past weekend at the Wild West International Rally. The team of Eric Burmeister and Eric Adams took their Mazda Protege to the class win in the Group 2 classification for 2WD cars.
As the team has a lock on second place in the Group 2 Championship, they were enjoying the rally with a bit less pressure than in previous rounds. "We were really just getting more time on the car and learning what the roads are like out here for next year," remarked Burmeister. "Winning was a bonus!"
The rally was certainly not without drama for the MAZDASPEED Team. Run under the international FIA rules structure, the crew had very limited time for servicing the car at the service parks. The roads in this part of the country proved to be very challenging with both wide and narrow, as well as straight and twisty sections. The one constant in the rally, though, was that it was rough. "The roads are fun," said Adams, "but very abrasive. It is a real test of teams just to finish."
This proved true as the weekend wore on, as many of the competitors dropped out with mechanical problems arising from the roughness of the roads. MAZDASPEED, too, had its share of problems suffering a blown brake caliper and a broken rear strut that cost the team several minutes, but the Racecraft prepared Protege soldiered on. Upon making the repairs, it became evident that the other teams in contention actually had even greater difficulties.
The abrasiveness of the roads showed more tire wear than at any other rally this year. "The Silverstone Tires and PSI unit from Johnson Controls really came into their own on this rally," commented Burmeister. "Having instantaneous tire pressure knowledge at any time in the rally is invaluable and the Silverstones took all that we could throw at them."
The team brought the Protege home safely for its second win this season as the 2002 championship draws to a close. The final rally, The Lake Superior ProRally in Upper Michigan in October will see MAZDASPEED take 2nd in the Group 2 Driver's, Co-Drivers, and Manufacturer's Championships.
Watch for the MAZDASPEED Rally Protégé on the SCCA ProRally programs and on future airings of Hi-Rev Tuners, both on SPEED CHANNEL.
The SCCA ProRally series is a "stage" or "performance" rally series that stretches across the nation. Sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America and televised on SPEED CHANNEL ( formerly Speedvision), this form of motorsport is one of the fastest growing racing series in the United States. Competitors race flat out against the clock for hundreds of miles on a course of backroads closed to public usage. A co-driver or navigator tells the driver where every jump, dangerous turn or other obstacle is to the hundredth of a mile.
For information on the SCCA ProRally series, check: http://www.sccaprorally.org
Burmeister Rallysport can be reached at: (313)792-2397 or e-mail Eric Burmeister at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development can be reached at: http://www.mazdamotorsports.com
Information on PSI/Johnson Controls Automotive Group can be found on: http://www.jci.com/asg-electronics/products/infosys/psi_main.htm