FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 21, 2001
Contact: Eric Burmeister
DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- The Burmeister Rallysport team fared well this weekend in their first rally with Mazda Motorsports. The team traveled to Bemidji Minnesota to race in the Ojibwe Forests ProRally and came away with a third place finish in Group 2 (two liter, two wheel drive class).
The new car, a 2001 Mazda Protege MP3 proved quick and reliable. The team lost 2 minutes to leaders Bob Nielsen and Dave White on the first three stages as driver Eric Burmeister was getting used to the longer wheelbase car. By the eighth stage, the top 3 were turning in times within 1 second of each other over the 12 minute stage! The Group 2 class again proved to be one of the most competitive and exciting battles in the rally.
"The rainsoaked stages were covered with that unique Minnesota dirt," explained Burmeister. "It's not sand and its not gravel. Its...kitty litter! Apparently my Silverstone tires like kitty litter!"
Handling co-driver duties for the team was Eric Adams of Pittsboro, NC. Adams normally co-drives for Matthew Johnson, but was free for this event. The team was very grateful to borrow his talents to make this first event a smooth one.
The new car is the result of a collaboration of efforts from many companies and individuals. Mazda Competition Parts was instrumental in getting the project off the ground. The cage and most of the preparation was done at Racecraft Engineering in Zeeland, MI and the seam welding, engine work, and transmission work was done at Burmeister Engineering in Sterling, MI. The suspension was built by Sachs Race Engineering and Eibach Springs. Paint was by Don Sauer, Terry Collins, and Colin McCleery and graphics were handled by American Graffiti Graphics. Finally, the incredibly bright HID lighting was put together by KC HiLites and P-Sport and service was handled by the Burmeister and Barbret families.
The whole package came together beautifully and will prove to be a strong weapon in the battle for Group 2.
"We learned a lot at this rally," said the 29 year old Burmeister. The mechanicals of the engine should provide more power than our dyno results are showing right now. We just need to refine the electronics to unleash that power."
On a bit more somber note, a Burmeister Rallysport support team, PW Rallysport, suffered a roll-over accident in the final stages of the event. Driver Chris Whiteman was taken to the Park Rapids Hospital and suffered a broken filling in his jaw and several bruises. His co-driver for this event, David Hackett, suffered bruises as well. The team would like to wish Chris and David a quick recovery.
The SCCA ProRally series is a "stage" or "performance" rally series that stretches across the nation. Sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America and televised on SPEEDVISION, this form of motorsport is growing by leaps and bounds in the United States. Competitors race flat out against the clock for hundreds of miles on a course of backroads closed to public usage. A co-driver or navigator tells the driver where every jump, dangerous turn or other obstacle is to the hundredth of a mile.
Watch for the televised Ojibwe Forests ProRally on SPEEDVISION-- Monday, September 10 at 8PM EST.
For information on the SCCA ProRally series, check: http://www.sccaprorally.org
For information on the Ojibwe Forests ProRally, go to: http://www.ojibweforestsrally.com
Burmeister Rallysport can be reached at: (313)792-2397 or e-mail Eric Burmeister at: email@example.com
Mazda Competition Parts can be reached at: http://www.mazdamotorsports.com
Sachs Race Engineering can be reached at: http://www.sachs-ag.de/english/motorsports/index.htm
Eibach Springs can be reached at: http://www.eibach.com
KC HiLites/P-sport can be reached at: http://www.p-sport.com/
American Graffiti Graphics can be reached at: http://www.vinyl4all.com
PW Rallysport can be reached at: http://pwrallysport.com
Sierra Rallysport (Colin McCleery) can be reached at: http://rallysport.net/SierraRallySports/