Pre-season notes -
1995 SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally Championship

Some interesting items about Paul Choiniere's new Hyundai Elantra:

Buffum has taken technology from several Hyundai models and meshed it with the proven Audi experience to come up with a combination that may be hard to beat.

The car that raced at Maine, and will be at South Carolina this coming weekend, is a "mule" for a more finished product that will be ready later this spring.

Because Maine was so icy and this rally will be so sandy, we still might not have an idea exactly how fast the car will run.

Because of his busy schedule, Jeff Zwart will not be able to race his Porsche in 1995. By the way, if you missed it, there was a feature article on the front page of the Life section on Jeff (with color photo) last month in USA TODAY.

Carl Merrill will join the series - complete with a new tub on his powerful Ford Escort Cosworth - at the Doo Wop weekend March 18-19. Henry Joy's new right-hand-drive Mitsubishi Lancer should debut at the Sunriser event April 7-8 in Ohio, while Greg Lund's Ford Merkur Cosworth will make it first appearance in the friendly confines of the Wild West PRO Rally in Washington April 21-22.

Because of a legal dispute involving ownership of their Toyota All-trac rally car, Vinnie Frontinan and Frank Arruda will not be at South Carolina. Vinnie flew to Ireland to run an event this past weekend. We will be able to say more once we receive a lawyer's statement of the topic.

Rapidly-improving rallyist Jason Priestley, who was fourth overall at one of the recent California Rally Series events in his Toyota All-trac, hopes to make his national points debut at the Doo Wops as well, and plans to run "at least five nationals if the show doesn't get in the way."

Lesley Suddard will be making her second start in the ex-Doug Shepherd Dodge Charger - more horsepower than Lesley has experienced in her short rally career.

The Greg Trepetin Honda Prelude V-Tech will be making its debut in South Carolina. It will be interesting to see how it runs against the V-Tech of Jim Anderson, with a year of rally seasoning on his car. Throw last year's Production rookie sensation Tad Ohtake into the mix with his Ford Escort GT, and the Production class could be the battle of the weekend.

In Production GT, defending champion Selcuk Karamanoglu has not found a rally car for 1995 as of yet, so South Carolina looks like a battle between two veterans: the Mitsubishi Eclipse of Cal Landau and the Mazda 323GTX of Tom Ottey.

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