Michigan International PRO Rally

April 28-30, 1983


CADILLAC, Mich. -- John Buffum and 35 other competitors survived the inaugural edition of the three day, 800 mile Michigan International PRO Rally. Buffum's Audi Quattro moved into the lead early on and built it to a final margin of over two minutes. Technical problems caused several of the rally's 37 stages to be cancelled as well as many other delays to the event. Buffum and co-driver Neil Wilson of England took home first prize and moved Audi into a commanding lead in the manufacturer's points standings.

Second went to the 4wd prototype Mazda RX-7 of Rod Millen and R. Dale Kraushaar which suffered from an incorrect selection of gears for the sandy roads around Cadillac, Michigan. Millen kept Buffum within sight for the entire event but was not able to reel the German car in. Third overall, and first of the conventional two-wheel-drive cars, was the Peugeot 504 Coupe of Jon Woodner and Ginny Reese who had to fight off a determined charge from another 4wd vehicle as Mike Purzycki and Ken Middleton drove their AMC Jeep CJ8 to fourth overall in their best finish ever at an international event.

Production Class went to Steve Nowicki who took advantage of some of the fast stages in the middle of the rally to put his Plymouth Arrow on top. He moved ahead of Gene Henderson's AMC Eagle SX/4 after several of the very sandy stages that would have been to Henderson's advantage were cancelled. Henderson eventually dropped to third in the class behind Guy Light's Oldsmobile Omega.

This Michigan event was one of the most ambitious events tried in many years of PRO Rallying. It began Wednesday at the Renaissance Center in Detroit and continued to Cadillac with a competitive stage in Grand Rapids along the way. There were several major problems in scheduling and many stages had to be cancelled; however, the avowed purpose of the down- state route was to generate higher visibility for the sport and in that it was most successful. The daylight portions of the rally were covered by several television stages and the entire rally -- all three days -- was covered live by radio station WKJF in Cadillac.

The event marked the official unveiling of the Firestone rally team with a modified Lincoln Mercury Lynx of Taisto Heinonen, a Ford Escort Production car for Walter Boyce, and Mark Hardymon's Mazda RX-7. Heinonen's Lynx wouldn't start at the Detroit section and Boyce's Escort blew an engine half-way through the second night, but Hardymon held on for a fifth- place finish, also winning seed 2.

Next event on the PRO Rally circuit is a Co-Efficient B, or Driver's-Only Championship event, Foresthill Divide in Auburn, California, May 21-22. The remmining events on the 1983 SCCA PRO Rally Series are as follows:

    DATE                           EVENT                         LOCATION
    May 21-22                      Foresthill Divide             Auburn, California
    June 10-12                     Susquehannock Trail           Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
    September 2-4                  Dallas                        Dallas, Texas
    September 10-11                Manistee Trails               Manistee, Michigan
    November 4-6                   Press On Regardless           Houghton, Michigan
    November 18-20                 Tour de Forest                Bellevue, Washington
    December 2-4                   Sno*Drift                     Grayling, Michigan
    December 9-11                  Reno International            Reno, Nevada


EVENT: Michigan International               		EVENT CONDUCTED BY; Saginaw Valley Region, SCCA
LOCATION: Cadillac, Michigan                		LENGTH: 799 miles, 129 stage miles
DATE: April 28-30, 1983                     		WEATHER: Cool and some rain
ENTRANTS; 62 FINISHERS: 35                		TERRAIN: Forest trails

FIN.                                            					CHAMP. MFG.
 1.   	John Buffum, S. Burlington, Vt.    	Audi Quattro  		122.11   	20    	20
     	Neil Wilson, Chester, England                               			20

 2.   	Rod Nillen, Costa Mesa, Calif.     	Mazda RX-7    		124.31   	15    	15
     	P.Dale Kraushaar, Tigard, Oreg.                            			15

 3.   	Jon Woodner, Washington, D.C.      	Peugeot 504   		139.35   	12    	12
     	Ginny Reese, Chelsea, Mich.           	Coupe                			12

 4.   	Mike Purzycki, Fenton, Mich.       	Jeep CJ8      		141.80   	10    	10
     	Ken Middleton, Holly, Mich.                                 			10

 5.   	Mark Hardymon, Powell, Ohio        	Mazda RX-7    		142.32   	 8
     	Tom Drake, Bay City, Mich.                                  			 8

 6.   	Bruno Kreibich, Ridgewood, N.Y.    	Audi Quattro  		147.03   	 6
     	Clark Bond, Bay City, Mich.                                 			 6

 7.(1P)	Steve Nowicki, New Berlin, Wis.    	Plymouth      		151.24   	 4    
     	Brian Berg, Milwaukee, Wis.         	Arrow                 			 4   

 8.(2P)	Guy Light, Midland, Mich.          	Oldsmobile    		153.54   	 3
     	Terry Conklin, Midland, Nich.         	Omega                			 3   

 9.   	Tom Bell, Williamsburg, Mich.      	Datsun 280Z   		155.35   	 2
     	David Stone, Acme, Mich.                                    			 2

10.(3P)	Gene Henderson, Pinckney, Mich.    	AMC Eagle     		155.43   	 1      
     	Jon Wickens, Birmingham, Mich.       	SX/4                  			 1     

                                  PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS

 1.   	Steve Nowicki, New Berlin, Wis.    	Plymouth      		151.24   	20    	20
     	Brian Berg, Milwaukee, Wis.         	Arrow                 			20

 2.   	Guy Light, Midland, Mich.          	Oldsmobile    		153.54   	15    	15
     	Terry Conklin, Midland, Mich.        	Omega                			15

 3.   	Gene Henderson, Pinckney, Mich.    	AMC Eagle     		155.43   	12    	12
     	Jon Wickens, Birmingham, Mich.       	SX/4                  			12


DRIVER (Current Car)                           		PRODUCTION DRIVER (Current Car)
-------------------					---------------------------------
1. John Buffum, Audi           95              		1. Gene Henderson, AMC          55
2. Rod Millen, Mazda           65              		2. Steve Nowicki, Plymouth      52
3. Jon Woodner, Peugeot        48              		3. Guy Light, Oldsmobile        29

CO-DRIVER                                      		PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER
---------						---------------------
1. Doug Shepherd               60              		1. Jim Kloosterman              43
2. R. Dale Kraushaar           50              		2. Brian Berg                   40
3. Ginny Reese                 48              		3. Terry Conklin                29

MANUFACTURER                                   		PRODUCTION MANUFACTURER
------------						------------------------
1. Audi                        95              		1. AMC                          70
2. Mazda                       80              		2. Plymouth                     60
3. Peugeot                     48              		3. Dodge                        36


   FIA/SEED 1 - Buffum/Wilson          SEED 3- Brooks/Grimshaw         SEED 5- Klos/Klos
   SEED 2 - Hardymon/Drake             SEED 4- Purzycki/Middleton      SEED 6- Nykamp/Nykanp

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