|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||May 3, 1982|
HOUGHTON LAKE, Michigan--For the third time in four weeks, John Buffum has taken an SCCA PRO Rally victory in his Audi Quattro. Buffum and co-driver Doug Shepherd were never seriously challenged at the dust-chocked Northern Lights PRO Rally near this central Michigan resort community. Second were New Zealand Kiwis John Woolf and Grant Whittaker in their Peugeot 504 Coupe which won five of the rally's sixteen stages.
Third, in his best finish in the last three years, was Eric Jones in his old-style Datsun 510 while Jon Woodner, in perhaps the drive of the night, put his new-style Datsun 510 in fourth. Woodner was off the road twice by the mid-point of the rally and had dropped back below 20th place but, along with co-driver Ginny Reese, he came back strongly in the final stages.
Production Class is clearly becoming the hot story in PRO Rallying. Twenty-three of the 75 Northern Lights entrants were in this class, with 10 of the top 14 finishers in Production Class machines. Top of the heap for the second time in as many events was young Steve Nowicki in his Plymouth Arrow. Guy Light led Production in his Oldsmobile Firenza at the halfway point by 28 seconds aided by some dust-free roads since there were no cars immediately in front of him. Starting the second half of the event, the cars were again bunched together and everyone had to eat dust. Nowicki then put the hammer down and pulled out to a two minute win over Guy Light.
Third in the class was Sandy Liversidge in his Saab 99 which he continues to drive to PRO Rally events from his home in Vermont. It clearly looks like Liversidge and Nowicki could be fighting the 1982 Production Championship battle down to the wire.
Notable DNFs included Rod Millen, Whose Mazda RX-7 lost oil pressure early on; Larry Schmidt, whose Dodge Colt retired with a holed radiator before dinner; Wayne Baldwin, who put his Volvo GLT far into the woods near the half way point; Bruno Kreibich, whose Porsche broke a half shaft while lying third; and Jon Davis, whose Ford Escort went dead in the water while lying third in the Production Class. Clearly, Northern Lights was a battle of both dust and attrition.
With the win, Buffum closed in on Millen in the overall points standings, but Rod still leads 70 to 60.
The PRO Rally circus now has a short breather of three weeks before facing the heat of Texas for the Chisum Trail PRO Rally over the Memorial Day weekend. The remaining events in the 1982 SCCA PRO Rally series are as follows:
DATE NAME LOCATION May 28-30 Chisum Trail Paris, Texas June 11-15 Susquehannock Trail Wellsboro, Pennsylvania August 27-29 Sunriser 400 Chillicothe, Ohio September 17-19 Centennial Monument, Colorado October 1-3 Tour de Forest Olympia, Washington November 4-7 Press On Regardless Houghton, Michigan November 19-21 Mendocino Forest Clear Lake, California December 3-5 Sno*Drift Grayling, Michigan December 10-12 Reno International Reno, Nevada
EVENT: Northern Lights EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Saginaw Valley Region, SCCA LOCATION: Hougnton Lake, Michigan LENGTH: 260 miles, 16 stages, 110 stage miles DATE: May 1-2, 1982 WEATHER: Warm and dusty ENTRANTS: 75 FINISHERS: 35 TERRAIN: Wooded, flat forest FIN. CHAMP. MFG. POS. DRIVER/CO-DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR SCORE POINTS POINTS 1. John Buffum, S. Burlington, Vt. Audi Quattro 106.66 20 20 Doug Shepherd , Livonia , Mich. 20 2. John Woolf, Livonia, Mich. Peugeot 504 112.97 15 15 Grant Whittaker, Livonia, Mich. 15 3. Eric Jones, Columbus, Ohio Datsun 510 123.25 12 12 Roger Seiling, Columbus, Ohio 12 4. Jon Woodner, Washington, D.C. Datsun 510 126.39 10 Ginny Reese, Detroit, Mich. 10 5.(1P) Steve Nowioki , North Berlin, Wis. Plymouth Arrow 126.85 8 8 Brian Berg, Brown Deer, Mich. 8 6.(2P) Guy Light, Midland, Mich. Oldsmobile 128.86 6 6 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, Mich. Firenza 6 7.(3P) Sandy Liversidge, Jericho, Vt. Saab 129.54 4 Linda Wilcox, Jericho, Vt. 4 8.(4P) Ken Houseal, Lansdale, Pa. Plymouth Arrow 131.25 3 Diane Houseal, Lansdale, Pa. 3 9.(5P) Bill Brooks, Olympia, Wash. Audi Coupe 131.49 2 Bill Banger, Coeur D'Alene, Idaho 2 1O.(6P) Gene Henderson, Pinckney, Mich. Eagle SX-4 131.58 1 Jim Kloosterman, Ypsilanti, Mich. 1 PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS 1. Steve Nowicki, North Berlin, Wis. Plymouth Arrow 126.85 20 20 Brian Berg, Brown Deer, Mich. 20 2. Guy Light, Midland, Mich. Oldsmobile 128.86 15 15 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, Mich. Firenza 15 3. Sandy Liversidge, Jericho, Vt. Saab 129,54 12 12 Linda Wilcox, Jericho, Vt. 12 UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER FIVE EVENTS DRIVER (Current Car) PRODUCTION DRIVER (Current Car) 1 Rod Millen, Mazda 70 1. Steve Nowicki, Plymouth 50 2. John Buffum, Audi 60 2. Sandy Liversidge, Saab 40 3. John Woolf, Peugeot 52 3. Gene Henderson, AMO 38 4. Jon Woodner, Datsun 33 Guy Light, Oldsmobile 38 5. Clive Smith, Chevrolet 18 5. Bill Brooks, Audi 35 CO-DRIVER PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER 1. R. Dale Kraushaar 70 1. Jim Brandt 38 2. Doug Shepherd 60 Jim Kloosterman 38 3. Grant Whittaker 52 3. Bill Banger 35 4. Dave Poston 18 4. Linda Wilcox 32 Ginny koese 18 5. Dave Weiman 30 MANUFACTURER PRODUCTION MANUFACTURER 1. Mazda 70 1. Plymouth 60 2. Audi 60 2. Saab 55 3. Peugeot 52 3. AMC 38 4. Datsun 35 Oldsmobile 38 5. Toyota 22 5. Audi 35