RALLY: ProRally: Ojibwe Forests: Event news and notes

SCCA ProRally Championship Round ...

RALLY: ProRally: Ojibwe Forests: Event news and notes

SCCA ProRally Championship Round #8 - Ojibwe Forests

When & Where:
16-17 August 2002; Bemidji, MN; approximately 180 miles (275 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Event Schedule: (subject to change)

Friday, 16 August 2002
5:30 PM - 12:30 AM Leg 1: Ojibwe Forests ProRally & 10,000 Lakes ClubRally

Saturday, 17 August 2002
12:00 PM - 8:00 PM Leg 2: Ojibwe Forests ProRally & Paul Bunyan's Ride ClubRally

Selected entries (driver/co-driver):
· Current Overall Drivers Championship points leader David Higgins (103 points), 2002 Subaru WRX.

· Current Manufacturer Championship Leaders (92 Points), Subaru Rally Team USA: Mark Lovell with Steve Turvey (#1 car), winners of last month's Maine Forest Rally, and Ramana Lagemann and Mike Kidd (#2 car) all in 2002 Subaru WRX's.

· Hyundai Rally Team USA: Mark Higgins and Michael Gibson (#5), Paul Choiniere and Jeff Becker (#6), 2003 Hyundai Tiburons.

· Mitsubishi Rally Team USA: Rhys Millen and Garry Cowan (#3) and current Group 2 Manufacturer Points Leaders, Lauchlin O'Sullivan and Matt Chester (#90).

· 2001 Overall Driver's Championship runner up, Seamus Burke (#25) with Rory Kennedy, 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI.5.

· (Co-Driver) Doug Havir in the #88 Prodrive prepared 2002 Subaru WRX-STi.

· Making a big swap in cars is Championship regular Bill Malik, who is stepping out of his Group 2 Volvo 240, and trying out all-wheel-drive for the first time, in a TMS Motorsport prepared Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI.

· Notable local favorites: #44 Henry and Cindy Krolikowski, 2000 Group N Class Subaru WRX-STi; #50 Steve Gingras and Christian Edstrom, debuts his new 2002 Open Class Subaru WRX; Eric Burmeister and Eric Adams, 01 Mazda Protégé MP3; Mark Utecht and Jeff Secor; 2002 Group N Subaru WRX; and Doug Shepherd and Joe Andreini, 2002 Dodge Neon SRT 4.

Additional news interest:
· A win at Ojibwe for Mark Lovell could put him back in control of the Open Class Driver's Championship-that is if current class leader David Higgins doesn't finish. Either way this race is extremely crucial for both combatants, as there are only two additional rounds in 2002. Adding to the upset potential of this event, Ojibwe is historically a very good rally for Hyundai (sweeping all three podium positions in 2000), and Mitsubishi has spared no expense since Maine Forest getting the final gremlins out of Rhys Millen's Evo VII.

· Adding some additional international flavor to this years Ojibwe is the arrival of a Group A Subaru Impreza via New Zealand, with a new to US rallying driver and co-driver team of John Lloyd and Pauline Gullick, both from the UK. Lloyd had rally experience from around the world, including the fabled Safari rally in Kenya, and Gullick is a former British Rally Championship winning co-driver.

· The Group 2 Manufacturer's Championship can be decided for sure in Minnesota if Lauchlin O'Sullivan can score a 1st place finish in class and Eric Burmeister in his Mazda Protégé don't find themselves with a second place finish. Additionally, if O'Sullivan secures a top podium in Group 2 at this rally, then the Mazda would need at least a 3rd place finish to have a chance at this Driver's Championship.

· Whereas fierce heat was a factor last year, this year's health threat is the outbreak of the West Nile Virus throughout much of the east and mid-western states. Spectators and Press are advised to dress with long sleeves and pants, and use plenty of insect repellent.

Event Rank:
This rally is a full points SCCA ProRally Championship event. Drivers earn points towards the national championship, and supporting manufacturers (Hyundai, Subaru, Mazda and Mitsubishi) earn points towards overall and class Manufacturers' Championships.

The SCCA ProRally Championship is presented by Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Subaru, and is televised in North America on SpeedChannel. Time and date listing information available at www.speedtv.com

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