FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2001
For more information, Contact:
Mark Utecht Ph: 651-408-1203
Brenda Corneliusen Ph: 763-502-8561
STACY, MINNESOTA -- Mark Utecht and Brenda Lewis started the 2001 ProRally season with the best possible results: First in Production GT in the Sno*Drift ProRally; First overall and first in PGT in each of the two ClubRallies run in conjunction with Sno*Drift. In their first event since switching from a two-wheel drive Dodge Omni GLH, the Mayhem Racing pair took their all-wheel drive 1992 Mitsubishi Eclipse to sixth place overall, equal to Utecht’s best placing ever.
"To say we’re excited is an understatement", said Utecht. "The roads were glare ice so traction was minimal. The Nokian Hakkapeliitta Q tires were a big help, but even with the exceptional ice traction of the Hakkas we had some ‘moments’, including a couple of spins at over 70 miles-per-hour. We were lucky to stay out of the snowbanks that sucked in many competitors."
Utecht and Lewis finished two minutes and 27 seconds (2:27) ahead of 1999 ProRally Production GT Champions Gail Truess and Patti Hughes-Mayer in a Mazda 323 GTX. All of the cars that finished ahead of the Mayhem Racing Mitsubishi were Open Class or FIA Group N cars, factory built performance models designed for rallying.
"The Eclipse was quite reliable so we had no maintenance issues", said Utecht. "And despite bouncing off a couple of hard snowbanks, we had no body damage. That makes it much easier to prepare the car for it’s next outing, the Headwaters ClubRally in May."
Production GT is considered a "stock" class, allowing very few modifications other than for safety. The Mayhem Racing Eclipse has Sparco racing seats for driver and co-driver, Willans safety harnesses, a Mayhem Racing custom built roll cage, Auto Meter Gauges, a Terratrip rally computer, and a Terraphone intercom. Out front are Hella HID (High Intensity Discharge) Rally Lights in a custom pod, and the car rides on Michelin Rally tires. The only performance enhancement is the addition of a GReddy Profec Boost controller.
Utecht and Lewis won the SCCA ProRally Group 5 driver and co-driver titles in 2000 aboard a Dodge Omni GLH. In addition, they were awarded the Jon Woodner Cup, presented to the most successful two-wheel drive competitors in the ProRally series. The pair were also given the SCCA Land O’ Lakes Region Rally Driver and Rally Co-driver of the Year trophies at the region’s annual awards banquet.
The next event on the schedule for Mayhem Racing is the SCCA ClubRally National Championships in Washington state on March 3rd. They will be competing in the Group 5 Dodge Omni, against the 2000 champions from the SCCA’s seven divisions around the United States, to determine a National ClubRally Champion in each class. Utecht was the 1997 O2 (later renamed to Group 5) ClubRally Champion for 1997, also in a Dodge Omni GLH.
Mayhem Racing is based in Stacy, Minnesota, just north of the Twin Cities. Team manager is Mark's wife, Mary Utecht. J. B. Lewis is Chief Mechanic on the team's 1992 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX.