FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2002
Contact: Phil Smith
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania -- Forecasts of clear skies and moderate temperatures, along with a history of excellent stage roads, had the vintage rally car teams of Red Mist Rallysport and Team Paradox / RallyRhybuddRacing eagerly anticipating an informal dual at the SCCA's Susquehannock Trail ProRally. However, mechanical troubles ended both teams' hopes early in the weekend, to the disappointment of many spectators as well as both teams.
The Datsun 510 of Red Mist RallySport had suffered engine failure during testing just a few days prior to the rally. With only hours to spare, a replacement motor was installed, however according to owner/driver Dan Cook, "Unfortunately we were still working on getting the replacement engine's ignition and carburetion sorted out when we arrived in Wellsboro. On Saturday morning, I still couldn't get the motor to run well enough to satisfy me, so rather than risk damaging anything, we decided to sit this one out."
Thus deprived of their prime competitor, Team Paradox's MGB GT was easily the oldest car starting the rally. The Team's troubles began when the head gasket failed about a mile before the end of the first special stage. With drastically reduced engine power, the Team limped the car through the rest of the stage, but stalled out in the famed water crossing at the stage's end. Quick work by the RallyRhybuddRacing Service Crew had them back on the road with only 11 minutes delay, but the replacement gasket again failed during SS2, ending the Team's rally. "Sure we're disappointed," said codriver Dallas Smith. "The car felt great, we were having a good run, and even with the problems we turned in a decent time on Stage 1. We were all really looking forward to a good rally. And I think its safe to say that both teams regret letting our fans down on this one."
Both cars are established competitors in the SCCA's ClubRally Historic Class. This class supplements the cars' basic classification, Group 2 for both cars. Formal Historic Class competition is limited to the divisional ClubRally series, but Historic Class competitors traditionally enjoy their own informal Historic Class competition at national ProRally events. Both teams are currently planning a rematch at the upcoming Maine Forest ProRally at the end of July, near Rumford, Maine. More information about the RallyRhybuddRacing program and Team Paradox can be found on the Web at www.rhybudd.com. Red Mist RallySport's website is at www.redmistrallysport.com.
Susquehannock Trail ProRally was the fifth round in the SCCA's ProRally series. Held in the forested hills just west of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, the rally has been run annually since 1977. Smooth, fast, and challenging forest roads make it one of the most popular stage rallies for both competitors and rally fans. This year's overall winner was the team of David Higgens and Daniel Barrett in their Subaru Impreza. Group 2 honors were taken by Lachlin O'Sullivan and Matt Chester in their front-drive Mitsubishi Lancer.
SCCA Performance Rally is the premier stage rally series in the United States. In this form of rallying, competitors race against the clock over closed forest roads. The routes are unknown to the competitors until shortly before the start of the rally, and no practice is allowed. The ProRally series is a nine event series of rallies across the country; the ClubRally series' are the regional rallies, and tend to be somewhat smaller events. Further information about SCCA Performance Rally can be found at the SCCA website, www.SCCA.org. Further information about the Susquehannock Trails ProRally is found at www.stpr.org.