|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||October 4, 1982|
TUNWATER, Washington-- John Buffum will be the 1982 SCCA PRO Rally Champion. While that is not yet official (we will have to wait until the end of the season before the precise math is worked out); when U.S. and his Audi Quattro won their seventh consecutive Sports Car Club of America PRO Rally at the Tour de Forest in Washington this weekend, no one had a doubt that when the end of the season comes, Buffum and Quattro will be on top. Rod Millen and the mighty Mazda RX-7 were once again second but this time the challenge of Taisto Heinonen and his Toyota nearly prevailed. Taisto was in second right behind Buffum, on the last stage when an electrical failure cost him all his lights and he had to drive the stage in the dark--allowing Millen to slip by for the second place finish. Fourth went to Jean-Paul Luc in his Renault 5 Turbo giving the PRO series a really international look with the top four finishers coming from the United States, Finland (by way of Canada), New Zealand, and France.
In Production Class at the 250 mile event, Steve Nowicki got back to his winning ways with a fifth overall and a first in Production in his Plymouth Arrow. Nowicki has now won five times, and anyone who plans to beat him in the championship this season might best bring a gun. Second, in a Peugeot, was Gary Eaton who started the season with a series of disappointing problems, but has settled into a groove since Pikes Peak with a third and a second the last two times out. Sandy Liversidge was third in the class in his Saab 99 after leading for the first few stages. "We were going as fast as we could," he said. "Somehow, they just found a way to go faster." He did turn up the boost on the last stage enough to win it and move ahead of Gene Henderson who finished fourth in the class in his AMC Fade SX/4.
Jon Woodner was having a great go in the early stages of the rally running behind the Quattro and ahead of everyone else in his Peugeot 504 Coupe. He put the car off the road and down a bank and out of the rally. The car was unhurt, but it took a long time to get it out. Clive Smith also was challenging the front runners and standing fourth in his Chevette V-6 until a panhard rod let go on the next to the last of the rally's nine stages, putting him out.
The press had both grand success and spectacular failure. Sports Illustrated's Sam Moses co-drove the Buffum Quattro thus winning the first PRO Rally he ever saw. Mike Parris of Off Road and Denise McCluggage of AutoWeek had some trouble with their Datsun BFGoodrich 2OOsx when they wrong slotted on the first stage and ended up finishing ahead of almost everyone--nice trick Then on the very last stage with Parris at the wheel, the car left the road and had a big argument with a Washington tree which the tree won. Parris says he wants a rematch.
The 13-event 1982 SCCA PRO Rally Championship calendar now has four events left remaining on it. They are:
October 15-17 Tostitos Coronado Forest Alpine, Arizona Damon Trimble (602)299-1535 November 4-7 Press On Regardless Houghton, Michigan Gary Hays (616)947-4986 December 3-5 Sno*Drift Grayling, Michipan Joe Andreini (313)294-0271 December 10-12 Reno International Reno, Nevada Cam Warren (702)323-7446
EVENT: Tour de Forest EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Northwest Region, SCCA LOCATION: Olympia, Washington Rainier Auto Sports Club DATE: October 2-3, 1982 LENGTH: 249 miles, 9 stages, 131 stage miles ENTRANTS: 43 FINISHERS: 28 WEATHER: Cool and clear TERRAIN: Mountains, forest FIN. CHAMP. MFG. POS. DRIVER/CO-DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR SCORE POINTS POINTS 1. John Buffum, S. Burlington, Vt. Audi Quattro 158.01 20 20 Sam Moses, Key West, Fla. 20 2. Rod Millen, Costa Mesa, Cal if. Mazda RX-7 162:03 15 15 R.Dale Kraushaar, Tigard, Oreg. 15 3. Taisto Heinonen, Surrey, BC Toyota 167.99 12 12 Lynn Nixon, Calgary, Alberta Corolla 12 4. Jean-Paul Luc, Marseille, France Renault 5 170.12 10 10 Leon LeJeune, Verviers, Belgium Turbo 10 5.(1P) Steve Nowicki, New Berlin, Wis. Plymouth 177.84 8 8 Ty Holmquist, Bonita, Calif. Arrow 8 6.(2P) Gary Eaton, Ann Arbor, Mich. Peugeot 505 179.29 6 6 Carolyn Eaton, Ann Arbor, Mich. 6 7.(3P) Sandy Liversidge, Jericho, Vt. Saab 99 179.60 4 Linda Wilcox, Jericho, Vt. 4 8.(4P) Gene Henderson, Pinckney, Mich. AMC Eagle 180.04 3 Jim Kloosterman, Ypsilanti, Mich. SX/4 3 9.(5P) Jon Davis, Houghton, Mich. Ford Escort 182.97 2 Harry Ward, Toledo, Ohio 2 10. Chris Senske, Kennewick, Wash. Dodge Colt 184.24 1 Rich Baroles, Kennewick, Wash. 1 PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS 1. Steve Nowicki, New Berlin, Wis. Plymouth 177.84 20 20 Ty Holtuquist, Bonita, Calif. Arrow 20 2. Gary Eaton, Ann Arbor, Mich. Peugeot 505 179.29 15 15 Carolyn Eaton, Ann Arbor, Mich. 15 3. Sandy Liversidge, Jericho, Vt. Saab 99 179.60 12 12 Linda Wilcox, Jericho, Vt. 12 UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER NINE EVENTS DRIVER (Current Car) PRODUCTION DRIVER (Current Car) 1. John Buffum, Audi 120 1. Steve Nowicki, Plymouth 113 2. Rod Millen, Mazda 100 2. Sandy Liversidge, Saab 90 3. Jon Woodner, Peugeot 69 3. Gene Henderson, AMC 78 CO-DRIVER PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER 1. Doug Shepherd 120 1. Linda Wilcox 79 2. R. Dale Kraushaar 100 2. Jim Kloosterman 78 3. Grant Whittaker 52 3. Brian Berg 63 MANUFACTURER PRODUCTION MANUFACTURER 1. Audi 140 1. Plymouth 128 2. Mazda 115 2. Saab 102 3. Peugeot 82 3. AMC 88