|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||December 7, 1981|
GRAYLING, Michigan -- Canadians Jean-Paul Perusse of Montreal and his co-driver Louis Belanger of Longueuil, Quebec drove their Peugeot 504 Coupe to a razor-thin 4/100 of a minute win at an ice-covered Sno*Drift Rally in the 13th round of the SCCA PRO Rally Championship. Second in the 255 mile event were fellow Canadians Randy Black and Fred Baker, in their Datsun 510. Black, the 1981 Canadian National Rally Champion, won 10 of the rally's 17 stages, but Perusse had the quickest overall time after 10 hours of rallying. Third went to the Toyota Celica of another Canadian team, Bjorn Anderson and Randy Weiser.
Completing the Canadian sweep were Niall Leslie and Doug Martin who finished fourth overall and won the Production Class in their Datsun 200SX. Top American finishers were Jon Woodner and his partner Clark Bond who finished fifth overall in their Datsun 510. Second in Production Class were Gene Henderson and Jim Kloosterman in their 4wd AMC Eagle. They were robbed of a nearly certain win in the class when the route was blocked on the 12th stage by John Woolf's Mazda RX-7. Woolf had been running with the leaders and was in second place when the car slid on the ice and went straight into a bank tearing off the right front strut and setting the car straight across the road. Henderson was blocked and had to help clear the car from the road before he could continue. They lost two minutes, two places and a win in the class.
There wasn't much snow for Sno*Drift, but there was enough to turn the roads of Northern Michigan into glaze ice in many places. Nearly everyone was off the road at one time or another including the winner who tore down several trees and rearranged the body work of one side of the French Peugeot on the 15th stage. "We were going down a straight at about a hundred miles an hour. The car just jumped out of the ruts and, boop, we were in a ditch." A tree branch went through the grill and clear through the radiator sticking with such force that it sealed the hole it made. They ran the rest of the event with the wooden plug in place.
In spite of the hazardous conditions, 39 of the original 49 starters managed to get through to the finish.
One of America's top co-drivers switched seats for the rally and had quite a respectable showing for himself. Doug Shepherd and his partner Tom Grimshaw drove their Dodge Colt to eighth overall in spite of being off the road several times. They nearly had a very embarrassing moment when both men fell asleep waiting to start one of the early morning stages. They were rescued by Clark Bond and Jon Woodner who pounded on their car and yelled at them to get going. They got into the control with only 3/100 of a minute to spare.
Many of the teams have no time for rest at all after the all night rally. They have to tow their cars clear across the country to Reno in time for next weekend's running of the Reno International PRO Rally. Reno is the final event in the Championship and already boasts 100 entries from all over the world who have been lured by the promise of a fitting finale to the season and a purse of $25,000.
SCCA CONTACT: Tim Cline (203) 453-1742, T. Michael Moreland (303) 770-1044
EVENT: Sno*Drift EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Detroit Region, SCCA DATE: December 5-6, 1981 LENGTH: 265 miles, 17 stages LOCATION: Grayling, Michigan WEATHER: Cold, light snow ENTRANTS: 49; FINISHERS: 39 TERRAIN: Ice covered forest roads FIN. CHAMP. MFG. POS. DRIVER/CO-DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR SCORE POINTS POINTS 1. Jean-Paul Perusse, Montreal, Que. Peugeot 504 118.16 20 20 Louis Belanger, Longueuil, Que. Coupe 20 2. Randy Black, Mississauga, Ont. Datsun 510 118.20 15 15 Fred Baker, West Kill, Ont. 15 3. Bjorn Anderson, London, Ont. Toyota Celica 121.40 12 12 Randy Weiser, Wallaceburg, Ont. 12 4(1P) Niall Leslie, Mississauga, Ont. Datsun 200SX 123.20 10 Doug Martin, Toronto, Ont. 10 5. Jon Woodner, Washington, D.C. Datsun 510 123.95 8 Clark Bond, Bay City, MI 8 6.(2P) Gene Henderson, Pickney, MI AMC Eagle 124.52 6 6 Jim Kloosterman, Ypsilanti, MI SX/4 6 7(3P) Guy Light, Midland, MI AMC Eagle 125.41 4 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, MI SX/4 4 8. Doug Shepherd, Livonia, MI Dodge Colt 125.43 3 Tom Grimshaw, Aubrey, TX 3 9(4P) Gary Eaton, Ann Arbor, MI Peugeot 505 128.27 2 Carolyn Eaton, Ann Arbor, MI 2 10. Steve Nowicki, New Berlin, WI Datsun 510 129.29 1 Jim Garton, Waukesha, WI 1 PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS 1. Niall Leslie, Mississauga, Ont. Datsun 2OOSX 123.20 20 20 Doug Martin, Toronto, Ont. 20 2. Gene Henderson, Pickney, MI AMC Eagle 124.52 15 15 Jim Kloosterman, Yspilanti, MI SX/4 15 3. Guy Light, Midland, MI AMC Eagle 125.41 12 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, MI 12 UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER TWELVE EVENTS DRIVER (Current Car) PRODUCTION DRIVER (Current Car) 1. Rod Millen, Mazda 140 1. Jon Davis, Saab 140 2. John Woolf, Mazda 93 2. Guy Light, AMC 109 3. John Buffum, Audi 86 3. Gary Eaton, Peugeot 99 4. Jean-Paul Perusse, Peugeot 82 5. Jon Woodner, Datsun 73 CO-DRIVER PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER 1. R. Dale Kraushaar 140 1. Harry Ward 140 2. Doug Shepnerd 101 2. Jim Brandt 109 3. Grant Whittaker 93 3. Carolyn Eaton 99 4. Clark Bond 64 5. Joe Andreini 48 MANUFACTURER PRDUCTION MANUFACTURER 1. Mazda 207 1. Saab 192 2. Peugeot 129 2. Peugeot 121 3. Datsun 86 3. AMC 112 4. Audi 59 5. Dodge 57