|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||December 5, 1982|
GRAYLING, Michigan -- The only thing missing at this year's edition of the Sports Car Club of America's Sno*Drift PRO Rally was snow. Temperatures in the 50's and 60's made this the mildest even in the 17 year history of the event, Once again, John Buffum and his phenomenal Audi Quattro ran away and hid from the 50 car field in this 225 mile PRO Rally event. Buffum and co-driver Tom Grimshaw won 16 of the rally's 18 stages and were never out of the lead. Second, as he has been six times this year, was the New Zealander Rod Millen in his Mazda RX-7. Millen was second on nearly every stage and won the two that Buffum didn't.
Third, in the best finish of his short driving career was Buffum's regular co-driver, Doug Shepherd, who consistently ran his Dodge Colt in the top three on most of the stages Motorweek Illustrated's Jim Roller handled co-driving chores for Shepherd and has now finished third in both of the PRO Rallies he has entered. Jon Woodner and Ginny Reese took fourth, a minute behind, in their Peugeot 504 Coupe assuring them of a third place finish in the overall standings this season.
As usual in 1982, the real PRO Rally battle continues to be in the Production Class with so many good cars and drivers that neither of the top points leaders in the standings even figured in the top running at Sno*Drift. Guy Light moved his Oldsmobile Omega into first place in the class on the first stage and never lost his advantage It wasn't as easy as all that, however, as Gene Henderson and his AMC Eagle used the car's 4wd to good advantage and chipped away at Light's lead after the rains started early Sunday morning. The rally ended, however, before Henderson could pull it off and Light finished 24 seconds in front. It was his first Production win of the season. Erik Zenz was third in the class in his Saab 99 -- his best finish since a second at the 100 Acre Wood last March.
Other top ten finishers included Larry Schmidt (fifth) in his Dodge Colt, Niall Leslie (sixth) in another Colt, and local driver Mike Purzycki in his Jeep CJ-8. It was Purzycki's second top ten finish in a month as he finished 8th at Press On Regardless in November.
Current leaders in the Production Standings Steve Nowicki and Sandy Liversidge did not fare too well. Nowicki went off early and hit a tree with his Plymouth Arrow doing serious damage to the car and raising questions as to whether he can have it ready in time for Reno, December 11-12. Sandy Liversidge said that he "just couldn't get going" and eventually ended up with a 4th in class and 11th overall.
Canadian Ace Randy Black fought it out with the leaders for most of the rally placing in the top three on most stages until his Datsun 200-SX blew a headgasket three stages from the end of the rally.
There is no rest for the PRO Rally circuit with only four days to get to Reno for the final event of the season. The Reno International PRO Rally which will feature drivers from all over the world and an entry that is fast approaching 100 cars and should provide a spectacular finale to the season.
SCCA CONTACT: Tim Cline (203) 453-1742, T. Michael Moreland (303) 770-1044
EVENT: Sno*Drift EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Detroit Region, SCCA LOCATION: Grayling, Michigan LENGTH: 225 miles, 18 stages OAWL: December 3-4, 1982 WEATHER: Rain and cool ENTRANTS: 50 FINISHERS: 31 TERRAIN: Forest, all unpaved FIN. CHAMP. MPG. POS. DRIVER/CO-DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR SCORE POINTS POINTS 1. John Bufffum, S. Burlington, Vt. Audi Quattro 100.63 20 20 Tom Grimshaw, Aubrey, Tx. 20 2. Rod Millen, Costa Mesa, Calif. Mazda RX-7 106.09 15 15 John Bellefleur, Downsview, Ontario 15 3. Doug Shepherd, Livonia, Mich. Dodge Colt 111.25 12 12 Jim Roller, Atlanta, Ga. 12 4. Jon Woodnor, Washington, D.C. Peugeot 504 112.30 10 10 Ginny Reese, Chelsea, Mich. Coupe 10 5. Larry Schmidt, Rochester, Mich. Dodge Colt 115.61 8 Tom Wreesinan, Troy, Mich. 8 6. Niall Leslie, Toronto, Ontario Dodge Colt 116.02 5 Pete Gladysz, Poyal Oak, Mich. 5 7.(lP) Guy Light, Midland, Mich. Oldsmobile 117.75 4 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, Mich. Omega 4 8.(2P) Gene Henderson, Piockney, Mich. AMC Eagle 118.14 3 Jim Kloosternrnn, Ypsilanti, Mich. SX/4 3 9. Mike Purzycki, Fenton, Mich. Jeep CJ-8 119.64 2 Ken Middleton, Holly, Mich. 2 10.(3P) Erik Zenz, West Allis, Wis. Saab 99 123.49 1 Lawson Smith, Fayetteville, N.Y. 1 PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS 1. Guy Light, Midland, Mich. Oldsmobile 117.75 20 20 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, Mich. Omega 20 2. Gene Henderson, Piockney, Mich. AMC Eagle 118.14 15 15 Jim Kloosternian, Ypsilanti, Mich. SX/4 15 3. Erik Zenz, West Allis, Wis. Saab 99 123.49 12 12 Lawson Smith, Fayetteville, N.Y. 12 UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER TWELVE EVENTS DRIVER (Current Car) PRODUCTION DRIVER (Current Car) 1. John Buffum, Audi 120 1. Steve Nowicki, Plymouth 112 2. Rod Millen, Mazda 105 2. Sandy Liversidge, Saab 102 3. Jon Woodner, Peugeot 73 3. Gene Henderson, AMC 87 CO-DRIVER PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER 1. Doug Shepherd 120 1. Linda Wilcox 102 2. R. Dale Kraushaar 105 2. Jim Kloosterman 87 3. Ginny Reese 64 3. Brian Berg 85 MANUFACTURER PRODUCTION MANUFACTURER 1. Audi 180 1. Plymouth 150 2. Mazda 165 2. Saab 149 3. Peugeot 104 3. AMC 10