|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||November 9, 1981|
HOUGHTON, Michigan. -- New Zealander Rod Millen has claimed his second Budweiser Press On Regardless PRO Rally in a row in his Mazda RX-7. The personable Kiwi who now lives in Costa Mesa, Calif., and his co-driver Bob Kraushaar of Tigard, Ore., moved into the lead half way through the first night of competition and held on for the rest of the event. "Things really went well the second night," Millen said, "All we did was put gas in the car and drive. it was a lot of fun."
Second went to a driver from Norway competing in his first U.S. PRO Rally event, Erik Aaby. Aaby drove his European Ford Escort to a solid finish which was all the more amazing considering that the car was rather underpowered for such an event. The Norweigen effort of three cars had been put together with the cooperation of Dart Performance in Michigan just a few weeks before the rally. Dart member Tom Bell co-drove.
Third went to former Canadian Rally Champion Jean-Paul Perusse and his partner, Louis Belanger in the factory-backed Peugeot 504 Coupe V-6. Perusse fought a nip and tuck battle all weekend with eventual fourth place finishers Jon Woodner and Clark Bond in their Datsun 510. The deciding factor turned out to be a puncture on the Woodner Datsun late in the second evening of the 600 mile rally. It wouldn't have been as much of a problem as it turned out to be except that the jack broke and a routine tire change cost them five minutes and probably third place.
Jack problems also struck the New Zealand Mazda RX-7 of John Woolf and Grant Whittaker. They led the event in the early going and were building a good lead when they went off the road for 15 minutes. Then while they were climbing back through the standings the second night, they were struck with two punctures on the same stage and their jack broke costing them another seven minutes. Still the combination of the mighty Mazda and Woolf's skill brought them in 5th overall.
First in the Production Class in what had to be his most satisfying win ever was Jon Davis of Houghton, Mich., the town that hosted the rally. Davis and co-driver Harry Ward put their Saab 99 two minutes ahead of the Michigan team of Guy Light of Midland and Jim Brandt. "I can't tell you how neat this week was," said Davis. "Not just that it was POR, but that it was in my home town. POR is still the greatest one of the bunch. No question about it."
Third in Production rounding out a pair of thirds for Peugeot were Gary and Carolyn Eaton in their Peugeot 505 with another Michigan husband/wife team, Jim and Jennifer Warren in a Jeep CJ-7.
Two former POR winners were not around at the finish. John Buffum was running fifth in his Audi 5+5 when the car went off the road the first night into some tree stumps destroying the cars front suspension. Canadian Champion Taisto Heinonen went out after nine stages when his Toyota Corolla blew its 16-valve engine.
In all, only 33 of the original 71 teams were around for the finish of this 33rd Press On Regardless. The next event on the SCCA PRO Rally Schedu1e is the Sno*drift December 5-6 followed by the $25,000 Reno Rally the followinq weekend.
SCCA CONTACT: Tim Cline (203) 453-1742, T. Michael Moreland (303) 770-1044
EVENT: Budweiser Press On Regardless EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Detroit Region. SCCA DATE: November 6-8, 1981 LENGTH: 600 miles, 28 stages, 2 cancelled LOCATION: Houghton, Michigan WEATHER: Cool and clear ENTRANTS: 71 FINISHERS: 33 TERRAIN: Rolling hills, forests FIN. CHAMP. MFG. POS. DRIVER/CO-DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR SCORE POINTS POINTS 1. Rod Millen, Costa Mesa, CA Mazda RX-7 221.88 20 20 R. Dale Kraushaar, Tigard, OR 20 2. Erik Aaby, Asker, Norway Ford Escort 230.26 15 15 Tom Bell, Williamsburg, MI 15 3. Jean-Paul Perusse, Montreal,Que. Peugeot 504 242.50 12 12 Louis Belanger, Longueuil,Que. Coupe 12 4. Jon Woodner, Washington, D.C. Datsun 510 245.01 10 10 Clark Bond, Bay City, MI 10 5. John Woolf, Santa Ana, CA Mazda RX-7 247.51 8 Grant Whittaker, Santa Ana, CA 8 6. Scott Harvey, Rochester, MI Dodge Aspen 248.20 6 6 Randy Graves, Matawn, NJ 6 7.(1P) Jon Davis, Houghton, MI Saab 99 253.80 4 Harry Ward, Toledo, OH 4 8. Steve Nowicki, New Berlin, WI Datsun 510 254.78 3 Jim Garton, Waukesha, WI 3 9. Jan Poverud, Roslyngun, Norway Ford Escort 255.46 2 Bruce Fisher, Lansing, MI 2 10.(2P) Guy Light, Bay City, MI AMC Eagle 255.90 1 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, MI SX/4 1 PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS 1. Jon Davis, Houghton, MI Saab 99 253.80 20 20 Harry Ward, Toledo, OH 20 2. Guy Light, Bay City, MI AMC Eagle 255.90 15 15 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, MI SX/4 15 3. Gary Eaton, Ann Arbor, MI Peugeot 505 263.49 12 12 Carolyn Eaton, Ann Arbor, MI 12 UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ELEVEN EVENTS DRIVER (Current Car) PRODUCTION DRIVER (Current Car) 1. Rod Millen, Mazda 140 1. Jon Davis, Saab 140 2. John Woolf, Mazda 93 2. Gary Eaton, Peugeot 99 3. John Buffum, Audi 86 3. Guy Light, AMC 97 4. Jon Woodner, Datsun 71 5. Jean-Paul Perusse, Peugeot 62 CO-DRIVER PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER 1. R. Dale Kraushaar 140 1. Harry Ward 140 2. Doug Shepherd 101 2. Carolyn Eaton 99 3. Grant Whittaker 93 3. Jim Brandt 97 4. Clark Bond 56 5. Joe Andreini 48 MANUFACTURER PRDUCTION MANUFACTURER 1. Mazda 207 1. Saab 192 2. Peugeot 109 2. Peugeot 111 3. Datsun 71 3. AMC 97 4, Audi 59 5. Dodge 54