Car: A1 Volkswagen Scirocco Group 2
Co Driver: John Hake
Crew: Mike Callahan (Father), David Hunsaker, Dan Hunsaker, Cindy Kessler and a cast of thousands
I got exposed to rallying in 1985 by accident. While on a camping trip in the state forest near my home town, John Buffum, with his all consuming Audi Quattro, showed up to test before the Coachman Stages National PRO Rally. I was just a high school kid at the time and John and his crew treated us to some cool Audi Sport stickers, a sit in the car and a hell of show as he stormed up and down the road.
This was a defining moment in my life. After that I had the privilege to spectate the '86 Olympus World Championship Rally and to terrorize the local community with my antics with an automobile.
After graduating high school, serving in the U.S. Army, finishing college and establishing my career at Waterjet Technology, I have been able to start competing in PRO Rally.
Me and my two best friends, Dave Hunsaker and Mark Craig, started the construction of our car in the fall of 1995. By November 1996 we were able to enter in our first event, the Pacific Forest National Rally in Shelton, WA. It took twice as long and three times the money as we expected to build and the strain on our friendship can almost still be detected today. (Not something I recommend.) For the first event Mark was selected to co-drive and our car made a big splash at the Parc-Expose. The rest of the event was a disaster. We DNF’ed both Divisional rallies being held concurrently, first night due to a brake caliper coming off and the second day due to electrical problems.
The next event we tried was DooWops 3&4 in 1997. We finished both Divisional events and placed mid-pack due to a intermittent crank sensor. For the Wild West we installed a new transmission and DNF’ed again due to a broken tie rod.
In July of 1997 my co-driver, Mark Craig, had to leave to persue his career in Hawaii so a fellow engineer, John Hake, was selected to co-drive.
Our first event together was the ORV Park Rallysprint. Not the best place to hone a new co-driver's skills but a good time until we sheered the differential in half. At the next event, the Norwester, we DNF’ed due to an "off" and suspension failure.
In 1998, over the winter, much development and testing was done to the car and the results showed with an 8th and 9th O\A in DooWops 1&2.
We entered our first National PRO Rally in March, DooWops 3&4. A steady drive netted us a fine 6th O\A finish and 3rd in Group 2.
Our plans for the rest of the season are to compete in the Wild West National Rally in April and Rim of the World in May.
Shawn can be reached at: ShawnC@waterjet-tech.com