Sno*Drift PRO Rally 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.
 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

 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


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

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
1. Mazda                         207				1. Saab                 	192
2. Peugeot                       129				2. Peugeot              	121
3. Datsun                         86				3. AMC                  	112
4. Audi                           59
5. Dodge                          57

Results 81
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