Press Release

October 25, 2000
For more information,
Contact: Tim Winker
Wink Timber Media Agency
Phone: 218-729-0821
or 218-348-8366

Two Twin Cities Area Teams Take SCCA ProRally Championships

A Third Team Captures Second, Another Takes Co-drivers Title

HOUGHTON, MICHIGAN -- Teams from the Twin Cities dominated the year-end championship standings in several classes in the Sports Car Club of America's ProRally Series. In Group 5, the driver and co-driver titles went to Mark Utecht (of Stacy, Minnesota) and Brenda Corneliusen (of Fridley, Minnesota) in their 1986 Dodge Omni GLH.

The Group 2 championship went to Bob Nielsen (of St. Paul) and Brett Corneliusen (of Minneapolis) in a 1986 Volkswagen GTI. In addition, J.B. Niday (of Richfield) and Al Kintigh (of Brooklyn Park) finished the season in second place in the Group 2 category. All three teams were among the over 70 cars that participated in the D&N Bank Lake Superior ProRally in Houghton, Michigan, this past weekend. All six rallyists are members of the Land O' Lakes Region of SCCA.

Going into the final event, Utecht was tied with rival Bryan Hourt (of Ohio) who drives a Honda Civic. Hourt faltered early in the two-day Lake Superior ProRally with electrical problems, and Utecht was able to back off a bit, though he was able to finish second in the Group 5 category (for two-wheel drive cars with engine size up to 5.1 liters). Utecht's co-driver, Brenda Corneliusen had collected sufficient points to take the Group 5 championship for co-drivers at the previous event, held in Prescott, Arizona. The team also captured the Jon Woodner Cup for the highest placing driver and co-driver in a 2-wheel drive car.

In the Group 2 category, Nielsen held the points lead for drivers going into the Lake Superior ProRally, but there were three others who were within eight points, including J.B. Niday in third. Likewise, there was a tight points battle among four co-drivers, with Al Kintigh in third and Brett Corneliusen in fourth. After Jay Streets and Bill Feyling (of California) suffered a rear-end failure in their Toyota Corolla, and Nicholas Robinson and Carl Lindquist (of Ohio) dropped well back with a suspension problem on their Honda Civic, Nielsen and Corneliusen were able to take the Group 2 class win and the championship. Niday and Kintigh placed fourth in G2 in the rally, and collected enough points to take second in the Group 2 championship.

In addition, Bill Westrick (of Michigan) who co-drives for Steve Gingras of Elk River, Minnesota, in a Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, took the Production GT championship for co-drivers. Gingras, who was the 1997 and 1998 Production GT Drivers' Champion, finished second in the PGT Drivers' points this year.

Tim Winker
Wink Timber Media Agency
Phone: 218-729-0821

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