Press Release

TEAM HONDA RESEARCH


THR WINS 2nd IN A ROW WITH THE CIVIC CVT IN PRO RALLY NATIONAL PRODUCTION CLASS!

THR's 'OLD FAITHFUL' CIVIC SEDAN TAKES 4th IN VERY EXPERIENCED AND FAST GROUP 2 CLASS!


THR Summary: 1998 Maine Forest PRO Rally
Rumford, MaineJuly 31-August 1, 1998
Class:Group 2Production
Car:1997 Civic EX Sedan MT #581996 Civic HX CVT #32
Driver:Nick RobinsonJay Kowalik
Co-driver:Carl LindquistScott Embree
Crew:Jamie Detellem, Michele Kowalik, & The Robinson's; Kristin, Pete, James and Colin

56 cars entered the National rally. The CVT Civic was among the 9 Production competitors which included two Ford Escorts, two Nissan Sentra SE-R's, a VW GTi, a Dodge Neon and 'wild Healey' in a Dodge Ram pick-up. THR's 'Old Faithful' Civic competed with 10 Group 2 competitors including VWs, Volvos, a Nissan, and a CRX. All the top Open class cars were present. Rumford draws thousands of spectators for the expose and actual rally.

The rally started Friday at 4:01p.m. The Production CVT Civic started 27th and the Group 2 Civic 58th. Stages 1 and 2 were traditional Maine runs; FAST, BIG ROCKS and BIG AIR! Stages 3 and 4 were a special treat for the spectators and teams. A banzai loop around downtown Rumford! The thousands of spectators cheers being heard over the 1.6L Hondas at 7000rpm+ told us we put on a good show.

The CVT started Saturday in 22nd, 1st in class and our Group 2 Civic the 34th car heading out to the woods, 4th in class and moving up 24 places from Friday's result! The CVT had the best Production stage times all day and the Group 2 team ran a quick and steady pace to maintain 4th. Both cars ran between the rocks and trees perfectly, coming home the way they left Honda R&D. Well, except for the skidplates and mounting points. Both cars experienced over 2 feet of air several times and drove over rocks the size of a Neon. The CVT was very unfriendly to an ESPN2 camera on the last stage, using every millimeter of the road on a 90 right and punting the camera off into the woods.

The CVT finished first in National Production Class by over 3 minutes, 16th overall. Old Faithful finished fourth in Group 2 and 20th overall and within 20 seconds of finishing 17th! Hyundai's finished 1st and 2nd overall. Jay and Scott finished 2nd in Seed 3 drivers points and Nick and Carl 1st in Seed 6!

Nick, Carl, Scott and Jay cannot thank our crew enough for logistically perfect services all weekend. Our entire team prepared flawless PRO Rally Civics.

The PRO Rally community once again treated THR like one of the gang and we had a lot of fun.

Congratulations to Nick and Carl on finishing their first National event in impressive fashion. Their memories are below:

THR GROUP 2DRIVER: Nicholas RobinsonCO-DRIVER: Carl Lindquist

This was our first National event and we were looking forward to competing in the fast forests of Maine. The supposedly retired silver 4 door Civic ran again. We were seeded 6th and near the rear of the 61-car field.

Our first two dirt stages gave us a chance to get a feel for the type of terrain and the way the car was handling. The roads were very open and fast. They were much faster than any of the other rally's that we have participated in. After the dirt stages we headed back into town for the tarmac stages. These were great fun, and we had some good stage times.

The tarmac stages were run in reverse seed, meaning the slow people go first. This meant that we were the 6th car to run through downtown Rumford. We were one of the first cars to really have some speed through the stage and were real crowd pleasers. It was fun to really slide the car around close to the curbs and spectators.

Friday night, after the first 4 stages, we were 34th overall and fourth in class and fourth in seed, 20 seconds behind 3rd place (a Volvo 240 with ~260 hp!).

Saturday morning the racing started again. We were very pleased with the way the car was handling but, as always, were wishing for some closer spaced gears. The rest of the rally was run without incident. It was a great learning experience for both Carl and I. We gained a great deal of higher speed confidence during the rally and also learned new car control tricks.

Throughout the day we slowly moved up the field to finally finish 20th overall, 4th in class and FIRST in seed (highest placing Seed 6 team). We were very pleased with our performance and ability to keep the car in good working order on such a rough course. We are eager to get back in the car again and continue to grow as a successful PRO Rally team.

ESPN2 WILL AIR A HALF-HOUR MAINE FOREST RALLY HIGHLIGHT SHOW ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 at 6:30p.m. and SEPTEMBER 9 AT 3:30a.m.

THR's SCCA SSC road racers had two 1st place finishes at Gingermann raceway this same weekend!!! That makes 9 wins in 14 races!!! Good Job Guys.

THR needs to thank the following for their continued support:

Honda Motor CompanyBenderís Race Cars
Hella Inc.Red Line Oil Inc.
Transportation Research CenterSusquehanna Motorsports
Snap-On Tools

E-Mail: Team Honda Research


Honda R&D Americas, Inc.21001 State Route 739, Raymond, OH 43026


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