Olympus PRO Rally 1982



TUMWATER, Washington -- John Buffum, driving the new Audi Quattro four-wheel-drive super-car, simply ran off and hid from the opposition at the Olympus PRO Rally this weekend. The Vermont native and his partner Doug Shepherd led the 424 mile SCCA event from the opening gun and were never seriously challenged. That isn't to say that people weren't trying. Rod Millen, the current U.S. Rally Champion and winner of the first two events this season, drove his Mazda RX-7, "As hard as I have ever driven in my life," only to finish second more than five minutes behind the Buffum/Shepherd/Quattro combine.

Five-time Canadian Rally Champ Taisto Heinonen drove his Toyota Corolla to third another four minutes back and two minutes ahead of New Zealander John Woolf in the Peugeot 504 Coupe. Another Kiwi, Clive Smith, put his Chevrolet Chevette into fifth well behind the leaders. Early contender Jon Woodner parked his Datsun 510, "in the top of a big tree" on stage nine of the 17 stage event after going off the road at speed. The tree kept them from going over the edge of a very steep mountain.

Production Class was a tight battle all night with one of the early leaders, John Crawford, going out after the car got stuck as he was trying to turn the Dodge Omni around after, going off course on a stage. Guy Light lost third gear in his Oldsmobile Firenza and, on the transit zone after stage 7, lost control at a tricky railroad crossing intersection, plunging the car down a 30 foot embankment. Light and co-driver Cam Warren were shaken and bruised but otherwise undamaged.

That left the lead to Gene Henderson in his 4wd AMC Eagle SX/4, but that didn't last. On stage 10 the car rolled, ending wheels up on the stage. That put Sandy Liveroidge and his Saab in the lead by a very slight amount over the Audi Coupe of Bill Brooks and the Plymouth Arrow of Steve Nowicki. Liversidge opened up a bit of a gap only to slide off the road and get stuck in the trees just two stages from the end. Nowicki then got some minor problems corrected and reeled the Audi in winning the class by six seconds.

After the rally, the winner and loser reflected on what had happened and what it meant. Said Buffum, "This one was sweet. Last week we were fortunate, the rally ended while we were ahead. We had no problems with the car other than an occasional rub of the B.F.G's on the fenderwells. This was really a Quattro rally.''

Millen was a bit glum. "We drove as hard as we could but just couldn't catch him. We figure we're about three seconds a mile slower than the Quattro. The car (the Mazda RX-7) is about as fast an we can make it. There will be rallies where we do well or he has a problem but it will be tough to defend our championship.'' In the PRO Rally Championship, Millen continues to lead with 70 Championship points to Buffum's 40 followed by Woolf with 37. Olympus was Audi's second event this season and 04 second win. It seems obvious that the stakes for playing with the big boys just Went Way Up.

Will the Audi Supercar so dominate the sport as to destroy all inLerest? "Sure," said Jon Woodner, "The way Mohammed Ali destroyed interest in boxing or Bjorn Borg did in tennis.'' With barely time to clean up their cars, the PRO Rally Tour heads for Michigan and the Northern Lights PRO Rally in Houghton Lake, May 1-2.

SCCA CONTACT: Tim Cline (203) 453-1742, T. Michael Moreland (303) 770-1044


EVENT: Olympus                              			EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Northwest Region, SCCA
LOCATiON: Tumwater, Washington                 			LENGTH: 425 miles, 17 stages, 165 stage miles
DATE: April 17-18, 1982                        			WEATHER: Intermittent rain and hail
ENTRANTS: 54 FINISHERS: 31                   			TERRAIN: Forest, low mountains

                                                                                 		      PROD   PROD
FIN.                                                            			CHAMP. MFG.   CHAMP. MFG.
 1.     John Buffum, S. Burlington, VT       	Audi Quattro    	193.75   	20     20     
        Doug Shepherd, Livonia, MI                                      		20

 2.     Rod Millen, Costa Mesa, CA           	Mazda RX-7      	198.78   	15     15
        R.Dale Kraushaar, Tigard, OR                                   			15

 3.    	Taisto Heinonen, Surrey, B.C.  		Toyota Corolla        	202.40 		12     12
    	Martin Headland, Surrey, B.C.                        				12

 4.     John Woolf, Livonia, MI              	Peugeot 504     	204.00   	10     10
        Grant Whittaker, Livonia, MI                                    		10

 5.    	Clive Smith, Calgary, Alberta  		Chev Chevette      	216.98    	 8      8
  	Dave Poston, Costa Mesa, CA                            				 8

 6.     Steve Parker, Redmond, WA            	Mazda RX-3      	225.66   	 6
        Roger Blain, Des Moines, WA                                     		 6

 7.     Topi Hynynen, North Hollywood, CA    	Volvo 142       	228.04  	 4
        Adrian Crane, Palo Alto, CA                                     		 4

 8.(1P)	Steve Nowicki, North Berlin, WI   	Plymouth		230.55		 3            20     20
    	Dave Weirrian, Seattle, WA    		Arrow               			 3            20

 9.(2P)	Bill Brooks, Olympia, WA             	Audi Coupe		230.64    	 2    	      15     15       	
        Bill Banger, Toeur D'Alene, ID                                  		 2	      15

10.    	Steve Roberts, Bellevue, WA 		Mazda RX-2   		232.11  	 1
   	Don Gibson, Tacoma, WA                           				 1
                                PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS    
 1.	Steve Nowicki, North Berlin, WI      	Plymouth		230.55		20     20
    	Dave Weirrian, Seattle, WA    		Arrow               			20

 2.     Bill Brooks, Olympia, WA             	Audi Coupe       	230.64   	15     15
        Bill Banger, Toeur D'Alene, ID                                  		15

 3.    	Bruce Davis, Carmichael, CA    		Plymouth      		244.66   	12
        Mike Neff, Sacramento, CA        	Arrow                			12


DRIVER (Current Car)                                 	PRODUCTION DRIVER (Current Car)
1. Rod Millen, Mazda             70                	1. Gene Henderson, AMC    32
2. John Buffum, Audi           	 40                	2. Sandy Liversidge, Saab 28
3. Jon Woolf, Datsun           	 37                	3. Guy Light, Oldsmobile  23

CO-DRIVER                                            	PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER
1. R. Dale Kraushaar             70                	1. Jim Kloosterman        32
2. Doug Shepherd                 40                	2. Jim Brandt             23
3. Grant Whittaker               37                 	3. Harry Ward             21

MANUFACTURER                                         	PRODUCTION MANUFACTURER
1. Mazda                         70                	1. Saab                   35
2. Audi				 40               	2. AMC                    32
3. Peugeot                       37                 	3. Ford                   20
							   Plymouth		  20

Results 82
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