|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2000
|Contact: Paul Eklund
503-699-0311 ext 134 or
Shelton, WA -- The dusty, gravel roads outside of Shelton, Washington proved to be tough testing grounds for several teams at this weekend's National event, but several teams who have suffered various woes during the season came back strong. Noel Lawler simply ran away and hid from the rest of the pack in his turbo Hyundai Tiburon. Paul Choiniere followed with a good run in his Tiburon, and Garen Shrader added another great finish to his excellent season.
Next up was crowd favorite Carl Jardevall and Amity Trowbridge in the turbo Volvo Group 5 car. That car was sideways the entire rally and the spectators loved it! Rounding out the top 5 was Paul Eklund and Scott Huhn in the Primitive Racing prepared Subaru Impreza USX turbo. With fresh engine, tranny and turbo the team was able to post good stage times and even tied for top time on one short sprint stage. The only real problems suffered were a flat on stage which cost the team only about a minute, and a clogged air filter which cut engine power slightly until it could be cleaned at service.
Patrick Richard and Ben Bradley took the sixth spot, finishing just behind Eklund's Subaru after launching a full out attack on the final stages which netted him several top stage times! Simply amazing for a PGT class car without a turbo. "That was a BLAST," raved Richard after the final downhill stage, "it was fun racing flat out against you [Eklund]."
On the wilder side, one off-camber righthand corner apparently caught most teams off-guard and sent several tumbling up a hill. Yes, UP a hill. Karl Scheible hit the bank and a stump hard, peeling off the rear bumper and jamming the trunk shut. This prevented him access to his spare tire and was unable to continue.
Later, locals Bob and Tammy Reaves slid off the corner at a high rate of speed and rolled their Mazda RX-3 up the hill about 30 feet. It came to rest on its wheels perched at the top of the hill, but badly battered. Both driver and navigator were shaken up severely, but later attended the awards ceremony in good spirits.
Even later, another ClubRally car driven by John Teeter would roll in the same corner. Mark Utecht, Group 5 contender would also end up with a crunched roofline from an off course excursion. On the previous evening, the Subaru XT driven by the Sorem's tumbled on a different section of road.
For the Primitive Racing team, the event was a great reward for a season filled with troubles. The car, sponsored by Taylor Made Labels, T-Scandia Motors of Tigard, Oregon and Royal Moore Subaru ran nearly flawlessly. The new, medium compound Silverstone tires provided excellent traction on the varied surfaces and the DMS suspension continued to do its job well, holding the rallycar on the road. The new "monster scoop" gulped lots of air for the intercooler and the cooling ducts definitely reduced underhood temperatures.
One of the few big "moments" came on the final corner of the final stage as the team fought hard to negate Patrick Richard's maximum attack. Swinging the car a bit too wide around a right turn, the car faced into the lights of the Speedvision cameras while heading perilously towards a giant, old growth cedar. As driver Eklund waited anxiously for the boost to build, the car continued to rotate and draw closer to the giant tree. At the last moment, the turbo spooled and Eklund tossed the car into the left hander around the tree and across the finish line in a giant broadslide.
Primitive Racing is already preparing the Impreza USX for the challenges of the Prescott Forest Rally which begins in just two weeks! (Sept 29-30th) Look for both the Wild West and Prescott Forest rallies to appear on Speedvision in October.
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