|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||September 12, 1981|
MONUMENT, Colorado -- New Zealander Rod Millen pushed his magnificent Mazda RX-7 to a four minute win over a talent-laden 32-car field at the 225 mile, 11 hour Centennial PRO Rally this weekend. The Costa Mesa, Calif., resident and his co-driver, Bob Kraushaar of Tigard, Ore., were challenged closely by the all-Kiwi team of John Woolf and Grant Whittaker (both presently live in Santa Ana, Calif.) in a similar RX-7. The RX-7's ran nip and tuck to near the halfway point when Woolf's car stalled on a special stage and had to be push-started costing the team several minutes. Third in the all-night SCCA PRO Rally which ran to elevations over 10,000 feet in the Colorado mountains near Pikes Peak went to Jon Woodner of Washington, D.C., and Clark Bond of Bay City, Mich., whose Datsun 510 suffered from chronic electrical problems, eventually forcing them to run on just one headlight. Fourth, in the best finish they had ever had in a PRO Rally, were Bill Pichardo and Jim Lippincott of nearby Boulder, Colo., whose Chevrolet Monza ran flawlessly all night. It was the first time co-driver Lippincott had ever navigated a PRO event. Audi finally got into the winner's circle in a big way with a fifth overall and a first in the Production Class with the five-cylinder Audi 5+5 of Bill Brooks of Olympia, Wash., and Bill Banger, of Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. Second in Production went to the factory backed Peugeot 505 driven by the Ann Arbor, Mich., team of Gary and Carolyn Eaton. It was the fifth time this season that they have finished in the top three in their class. Third in Production went to another Michigan team, Guy Light of Midland and Jim Brandt of Lake Odessa, in a 4wd AMC Eagle SX/4. In all, Production Class cars claimed five of the top ten positions in the field which was reduced to 17 at the finish.
The win for Millen, his fifth of the season, moves him and Mazda into a commanding lead in the points standing. While there is still a mathematical chance for someone else to win the championship, it is now virtually assured for the personable Kiwi. The next event on the SCCA PRO Rally will be the Tour de Forest out of Olympia, Washington, October 3-4.
SCCA CONTACT: Tim Cline (203) 453-1742, T. Michael Moreland (303) 770-1044
EVENT: Centennial PRO Rally EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Colorado Region, SCCA LOCATfON: Monument, Colorado LENGTH: 225 miles, 12 stages (112 stage miles) DATE: September 11-12, 1981 WEATHER: Cool, rain, snow at high altitudes ENTRANTS: 32 FINISHERS: 17 TERRAIN: Mountains with forests, winding roads FIN CHAMP MFG POS. DRIVER/CO-DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR SCORE POINTS POINTS 1. Rod Millen, Costa Mesa, CA Mazda RX-7 167.27 20 20 Bob Kraushaar, Tigard, OR 20 2. John Woolf, Santa Ana, CA Mazda RX-7 171.51 15 Grant Whittaker, Santa Ana, CA 15 3. Jon Woodner, Washington, D.C. Datsun 510 182.50 12 12 Clark Bond, Bay City, MI 12 4. Bill Pichardo, Boulder, CO Chevy Monza 187.45 10 10 Jim Lippincott, Boulder, CO 10 5.(1P) Bill Brooks, Olympia, WA Audi 5+5 191.37 8 8 Bill Banger, Coeur D'Alene, ID 8 6.(2P) Gary Eaton, Ann Arbor, MI Peugeot 505 193.25 6 6 Carolyn Eaton, Ann Arbor, MI 6 7.(3P) Guy Light, Midland, MI AMC Eagle 195.30 4 4 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, MI 4 8. Larry Burch, Rochester, NY Dodge Colt 199.82 3 3 Dean Galbreath, Aurora, CO 3 9.(4P) Erik Zenz, West Allis, WI Saab 99 204.42 2 2 Dave Hueppchen, Plymouth, WI 2 10.(5P) Roger Suppes, Saginaw, MI Toyota Corolla 204.71 1 1 Woody Crutchfield, Frankenmuth, MI 1 PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS 1. Bill Brooks, Olympia, WA Audi 5+5 191.37 20 20 Bill Banger, Coeur D'Alene, ID 20 2. Gary Eaton, Ann Arbor, MI Peugeot 505 193.25 15 15 Carolyn Eaton, Ann Arbor, MI 15 3. Guy Light, Midland, MI AMC Eagle 195.30 12 12 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, MI 12 UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER EIGHT EVENTS DRIVER (Current Car) PRODUCTION DRIVER (Current Car) 1. Rod Millen, Mazda 127 1. Jon Davis, Saab 130 2. John Buffum, Audi 74 2. Gary Eaton, Peugeot 78 3. John Woolf, Mazda 67 3. Guy Light, AMC 62 4. Larry Schmidt, Dodge 48 5. Jon Woodner, Datsun 36 CO-DRIVER PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER 1. Bob Kraushoar 127 1. Harry Ward 130 2. Doug Shepherd 89 2. Carolyn Eaton 78 3. Grant Whittaker 67 3. Jim Brandt 62 4. Joe Andreini 48 5. Clark Bond 36 MANUFACTURER PRDUCTION MANUFACTURER 1. Mazda 147 1. Saab 140 2. Peugeot 81 2. Peugeot 78 3. Dodge 48 3 AMC 62 4. Audi 47 5. Datsun 36 UPCOMING 1981 SCCA PRO RALLY EVENTS October 3-4 Tour de Forest Olympia, Washington Jerry Hines (206) 823-6307 October 10-11 Budweiser Sunriser Circleville, Ohio Richard Paddock (614) 876-2277 November 6-8 Press On Regardless Houghton, Michigan Gary Hays (616) 947-4986 December 5-6 Sno*Drift Grayling, Michigan Joe Andreini (313) 294-0271