Press Release
May 16th 1998, Park Rapids, Minnesota

Mayhem Racing Finishes 1st In Class, 3rd Overall.

The debut of the new Mayhem Racing Shelby Charger rally car was filled with excitement in the Mayhem service area. The car looked great and everything seemed to be in rally-ready shape.

The Headwaters divisional PRO Rally event was held in Park Rapids, Minnesota, on May 16th. The event consisted of 6 stages with a service break after three. Mayhem Racing was to start in 4th position with a repositioning of the run order to occur after the first three stages.

The event started out in great shape as Mark Utecht and Paul Schwerin were blazing through the Northern Minnesota woods at high speed. At the end of the first three stages, they found themselves in first place overall.

At service, there was some concern about the car running a little hot. Since the next three stages were to be run in the dark, they knew the ambient temperature would fall so the problem should not cause concern. Regular service was performed on the car with no other problems found.

With darkness setting in, Mayhem was 1st out (due to the repositioning) at the start of the transit to the beginning of the fourth stage. Mayhem set the fastest time on the next two stages (4 and 5) and maintained both 1st place in O2 class and 1st place overall.

The sixth and final stage of the event held a nasty surprise for the Mayhem Racing team. About 3 miles in on a relatively long stage, they found trouble. Coming left over crest a little too quickly, the car hit a berm on the right rear side of the car. The result of that impact lifted the rear of the car up in the air. The car proceeded to bounce on the nose once and come back down onto all four wheels very hard. Immediately after that, while the car was starting to spin in a clockwise direction, they slammed into a tree on Mark's (the driver's side) door. The impact sent the car spinning in a counterclockwise direction 1-1/2 times around until it came to rest pointing back up the stage. Fearing the arrival of the next car on the stage, Mark quickly got the car turned around and on it's way down the stage.

The impact with the berm broke the rim on the right rear so the tire went flat immediately. They completed the stage on 3 tires and 1 rim.

Due to the problems encountered on the final stage, Mayhem Racing fell down 2 spots overall but they had built up a large enough lead to retain 1st place in class.

Mark reported sore ribs due to the fact that the impact with the tree on his door caught his arm between the door and his ribs. Paul was physically OK but did report feeling a little ill on the last stage.

The car will be given a serious look-over as soon as possible to determine what to do with the next event in Pennsylvania. The car needs to have the undercarriage checked over pretty good. The drivetrain and suspension looked to be fine.

Look for pictures from this event to be up on our web page at: within the next few weeks.

Thanks from all of us at Mayhem Racing!

* Press Release Index * Bio Team Mayhem * Teams Index * RRN Index *