|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||August, 30, 1982|
CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio-- "It seems to me I've heard that song before," might well be the theme of the 1982 SCCA PRO Rally Championship. The winners of both the overall and Production honors have won every event since April. Rally superstar John Buffum of Burlington, Vermont, drove his factory prepared Audi Quattro to its fifth consecutive PRO Rally win while Steve Nowicki won the Production Class for the fourth time in a row in his Plymouth Arrow. These are the only two drivers to win at a PRO Rally since last April. They must really be doing something right.
Buffum's margin of victory in the 375 mile event was two minutes over current champion Rod Millen who is now in the midst of an extensive development program with Mazda to make his RX-7 into a Quattro beater. The Mazda has a completely new engine, all new suspension, and a dozen other little tricks. It looks like the program is going in the right direction and Millen was not at all disappointed in his showing.
Peugeot is back and Jon Woodner had the just-completed 504 Coupe out for its first run, and inspite of some early driver-adjustment problems (such as spinning on each of the first three stages) hung on for a third place finish.
But as it has been for the past several events, the real story at the Budweiser Forest PRO Rally was the quality, quantity and the intensity of the Production Car field. Steve Nowicki had all manner of problems in his Plymouth Arrow, but hung on with his fourth great drive in a row. It is interesting that he is able to hold his own against the factory teams, based mostly on his reliability. Gene Henderson was second in the class in his AMC Eagle, less than a minute behind. At one point in the rally, there were eight Production Class cars running on the same minute.
Jon Davis and his team have sorted out the Ford Escort, moving the car as high as second In the early running only to go out when the car slid off the road and then got rolled on by Jeremy Segal's Volvo. It was a bad night for Volvo as three of the four entered rolled or crashed - two being complete write-offs.
Second in Production went to Gene Henderson in his AMC Eagle SX/4. This finish puts him just a couple of points out of second in the Production standings behind Sandy Liversidge and his Saab who had a disappointing finish at the Budweiser. Third went to Don Jankowski with his best finish ever in his Dodge Omni. The highest placing local entry placed very high indeed as Mark Hardymon finished fifth about seven seconds out of fourth.
B.F. Goodrich introduced their new Datsun 200SX in Production with automotive writer Gary Witzenburg at the wheel and his wife Jill in the co-driver's seat. It was his second PRO Rally (he ran Northern Lights earlier in the season in the Peugeot Production Car). They finished well back in the pack due in no small part to an eight minute timing error at one of the start controls.
The 1982 Budweiser (formerly Sunriser 400) was probably the best rally in the event's history and probably a good candidate for Rally of the Year honors. It was essentially flawless. Buffum and Audi now take a 15 point lead into the Centennial PRO Rally September 11 in Colorado.
SCCA CONTACT: Tim Cline (203) 453-1742, T. Michael Moreland (303) 770-1044
EVENT: Budweiser Forest EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Ohio Vally Region, SCCA LOCATION: Chillicothe,Ohio LENGTH: 375 miles, 17 stages, 75 stage miles DATE: August 27-29, 1982 WEATHER: Clear and sunny ENTRANTS: 75 FINISHERS: 50 TERRAIN: Forest and hilly roads FIN. CHAMP. MFG. POS. DRIVER/CO-DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR SCORE POINTS POINTS 1. John Buffum, S. Burlington, VT Audi Quattro 87.50 20 20 Doug Shepherd, Livonia, MI 20 2 Rod Millen, Costa Mesa, CA Mazda RX-7 89.49 15 15 R. Dale Kraushaar, Tigard, OR 15 3. Jon Woodner, Washington. D.C. Peugeot 504 95.72 12 12 Ginny Reese, Chelsea, MI Coupe 12 4.(1P) Steve Nowlcki, New Berlin, WI Plymouth Arrow 99.17 10 10 Brian Berg, West Allis, WI 10 5. Mark Hardymon, Columbus, OH Plymouth Arrow 99.29 8 Tom Drake, Columbus, OH 8 6. Niall Leslie, Toronto, Ont. Dodge Colt 99.37 6 Pete Gladysz, Detroit, MI 6 7. Larry Schmidt, Rochester, MI Dodge Colt 99.71 4 Joe Andreini, St. Clair Shores, MI 4 8.(2P) Gene Henderson, Pinckney, MI AMC Eagle 99.97 3 Jim Kloosterman, Ypsilanti, MI 3 9. Bruno Kreibich, Ridgewood, NY Porsche 911 100.31 2 Scott Hughes, Loveland, OH 2 10.(3P) Don Jankowski, Farmington Hills, MI Dodge Omni 100.59 1 Pat Nowak, Ann Arbor, MI 1 PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS 1. Steve Nowicki, New Berlin, WI Plymouth Arrow 99.17 20 20 Brian Berg, West Allis, WI 20 2. Gene Henderson, Piockney, MI AMC Eagle 99.97 15 15 Jim Kloosterman, Ypsilanti, MI 15 3. Don Jankowski, Farmington Hills, MI Dodge Omni 100.59 12 12 Pat Nowak, Ann Arbor, MI 12 UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER SEVEN EVENTS DRIVER (Current Car) PRODUCTION DRIVER (Current Car) 1. John Buffum, Audi 110 1. Steve Nowicki, Plymouth 90 2. Rod Millen, Mazda 85 2. Sandy Liversidge, Saab 55 3. Jon Woodner, Peugeot 57 3. Gene Henderson, AMC 50 CO-DRIVER PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER 1. Doug Shepherd 110 1. Brian Berg 60 2. R. Dale Kraushaar 85 2. Jim Kloosterman 53 3. Ginny Reese 30 3. Linda Liversidge 47 MANUFACTURER PRODUCTION MANUFACTURER 1. Audi 110 1. Plymouth 110 2. Mazda 85 2. Saab 70 3. Peugeot 64 3. AMC 63