|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||October 12, 1981|
CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio-- After two years of "almost", New Zealander Rod Millen has captured the Sports Car Club of America's PRO Rally Championship. Millen and Co-driver R. Dale Kraushaar of Tigard, Oregon, won the SCCA Budweiser Sunriser 400 Rally going away, and in the process sewed up the driver's and co-driver's championships for themselves and the manufacturer's championship for Mazda. Their Mazda RX-7 led the 400 mile event from start to finish putting six minutes on the Datsun 510 of Jon Woodner of Washington, D.C., and Ginny Reese of Ann Arbor, Michigan--the defending Budweiser Sunriser Champions. The finish moved Woodner into fourth place in the overall standings; he has jumped from ninth place with good finishes in the last three events.
Third went to the Kiwi team of John Woolf and Grant Whittaker, both from Auckland, New Zealand, who overcame an early off road excursion and, later, brake problems with their Mazda RX-7 for another fine finish. Woolf is now second in the driver's championship. Fourth was the factory-backed French Peugeot 504 V-6 driven by the French-Canadian team of Joan-Paul Perusse and Louis Belanger of Montreal.
In the Production Class, the battle went to Guy Light of Midland, Michigan and his partner Jim Brandt of nearby Lake Odessa. They won the class in their American Motors Eagle SX/4 which survived a fight with a barbed wire fence ("We went through it and then had to go back through it to get back onto the road. At the control, we had to stop and unwind the wire from the car... .it scraped paint off everywhere.") The war, however, went to Jon Davis of Houghton, Michigan, and Harry Ward of Toledo, Ohio, who finished third in Production in their Saab 99 guaranteeing that, for the second year in a row, Davis, Ward, and Saab are the Production Class Champions. In fact, they are the only winners the class has ever had since it was only established as a championship catagory in 1980.
Second in Production in their best finish in that class ever were Bob Schaffner of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Gregg Mambourg of Lexington, Ohio, in a Datsun 510. They were one of the lucky ones--in all, only 32 of the record 69 car field were around at the finish. Two top contenders who did not finish were four time champion John Buffum who went out on the second stage with a broken half shaft on his Audi 5+5 and the factory-backed Production Peugeot 505 of Gary Eaton. They challenged Light's Eagle until an accident dropped them back late in the event.
Another big winner was BFGoodrich whose tires have shod the winners in 9 of the seasons 10 events so far. At the Budweiser Sunriser 400 BFG cars claimed the first three places and first in Production--not a bad nights work. Another Akron rubber company is starting to show some interest in the PRO Series and note was taken that the ninth place finishing car of Mark Hardymon and Tom Drake, a Plymouth Arrow, was wearing-brand new, company-supplied Firestones.
The 13-event PRO Rally Championship calendar now has three events left remaining on it. They are:
November6-8 Press On Regardless Houghton, Michigan Gary Hays (516) 947-4986 December5-5 Sno*Drift Grayling, Michigan Joe Andreini (313) 294-0271 December11-14 Reno international Reno, Nevada Cam Warren (702) 323-7446
SCCA CONTACT: Tim Cline (203) 453-1742, T. Michael Moreland (303) 770-1044
EVENT: Budweiser Sunriser 400 EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Ohio Valley Region, SCCA LOCATION: Circieville, Ohio LENGTH: 389 miles, 100 stage miles, 27 stages DATE: October 10-11, 1981 WEATHER: Warm, dry, dusty ENTRANTS: 69 FINISHERS: 32 TERRAIN: Forest roads, rolling hills FIN. CHAMP. MFG POS DRIVER/CO-DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR SCORE POINTS POINTS 1. Rod Millen, Costa Mesa, CA Mazda RX-7 115.28 20 20 R. Dale Kraushaar, Tigard, OR 20 2. Jon Woodner, Washington, D.C. Datsun 510 118.86 15 15 Ginny Reese, Ann Arbor, MI 15 3. John Woolf, Santa Ana, CA Mazda PX-7 120.59 12 Grant Whittaker, Santa Ana, CA 12 4. Jean-Paul Perusse,Montreal,Ont. Peugeot 504 120.80 10 10 Louis Belanger, Lonqueuil ,Ont. Coupe V-6 10 5. Wayne Baldwin, Waldick, NJ Volvo GLT 126.33 8 8 Debra Baldwin, Waldick, NJ 8 6. Bruno Kreibich, Ridgewood, NJ Porsche 911 128.31 6 6 Scott Hughes, Loveland, OH 6 7.(1P) Guy Light, Midland, MI AMC Eagle 129.95 4 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, MI SX/4 4 8.(2P) Robert Schaffner, Pittsburgh, PA Datsun 510 130.69 3 Gregg Mambourg, Lexington, OH 3 9.(3P) Jon Davis, Houghton, MI Saab 99 133.37 2 Harry Ward, Toledo, OH 2 10. Mark Hardymon, Powell, OH Plymouth Arrow 133.85 1 Tom Drake, Columbus, OH 1 PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS 1. Guy Light, Midland, MI AMC Eagle 129.95 20 20 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, MI SX/4 20 2. Robert Schaffner, Pittsburgn, PA Datsun 510 130.69 15 15 Gregg Mambourg, Lexington, OH 15 3. Jon Davis, Houghton, MI Saab 99 133.37 12 12 Harry Ward, Toledo, OH 12 UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER TEN EVENTS DRIVER (Current Car) PRODUCTION DRIVER (Current Car) 1. Rod Millen, Mazda 140 1. Jon Davis, Saab 135 2. John Woolf, Mazda 91 2. Gary Eaton, Peugeot 93 3. Juhn Buffum, Audi 86 3. Guy Light, AMC 82 4. Jon Woodner, Datsun 61 5. Jean-Paul Perusse, Peugeot 50 CO-DRIVER PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER 1. R. Dale Kraushaar 140 1. Harry Ward 135 2. Doug Shepherd 101 2. Carolyn Eaton 93 3. Grant Whittaker 91 3. Jim Brandt 82 4. Joe Andreini 48 5. Clark Bond 46 MANUFACTURER PRDUCTION MANUFACTURER 1. Mazda 187 1. Saab 172 2. Peugeot 97 2. Peugeot 99 3. Datsun 61 3. AMC 82 4. Audi 59 5. Dodge 48