FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2001
Contact: Eric Burmeister
DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- The dust has settled on another year in the SCCA ProRally Championship and it finds the Burmeister Rallysport team in a respectable 3rd place in the Group 2 class for two-liter, two wheel drive cars.
The season started out well for the team with a win at the Sno*Drift ProRally in Atlanta, MI. Eric Burmeister was teamed up with co-driver Mark Buskirk of Grand Rapids, MI for this January event. The pair battled the icy roads and failing brakes to win by nearly 10 minutes over second place Matthew Johnson and Eric Adams.
Next it was the International Cherokee Trails Rally in Chattanooga, TN. Eric and Mark spent a week in early March preparing for the only event in the series that allows reconnasaince of the course. The hard work paid off, but not without drama. First place was snatched from their grasp when the steering column came unattached from the steering rack, rendering any steering wheel input useless. After hammering the pieces back together with a fist-sized rock, the team were back under way. They had lost 15 minutes and slipped to second place, where they finished the rally, salvaging valuable points.
Two weeks after Cherokee, the Burmeister Rallysport garage saw a new addition...a 2001 Mazda Protégé. Eric picked up the car from a Metro Detroit Mazda dealer and immediately began to void the warranty. Mazda was going to return to rallying and picked Burmeister Rallysport to represent them in the coming events. The engine and transmission were sent to Burmeister Engineering, the elder Burmeister's shop, for rework and modification. The car itself made its way to Sachs Racing for suspension design before finally arriving at Racecraft in Zeeland, MI for preparation.
Meanwhile, the rally season was still going on. In June it was on to the Susquehannock Trail ProRally in Pennsylvania. Rob Dupree of Chicago, IL sat in as co-driver and Art Burmeister of Sterling, MI (Eric's father) donated the use of his car for the event as Eric was "between cars." It also marked the first rally that KC HiLites joined the team. The pair was leading going into the sixth stage of the event when two turns that appeared identical in the route book proved not identical in real life. The team went wide on an off-camber left turn and took the right front wheel and suspension off the car. It was a dissapointing end to the rally.
The team sat out of the season until August when they debuted the new Protégé in northern Minnesota at the Ojibwe Forests ProRally. The car was well built, but had no gravel time on it before the rally. Ojibwe is a historically smooth rally and would be a good first time out with the new ride. Eric Adams of Pittsboro, NC sat in the right seat for the inaugural running and the team were happy to find themselves very competitive after getting used to the longer wheelbase in the initial stages. The team came away with a fine third place finish and a list of things to improve for the next run.
That next run would not be until October for the new Mazda/Burmeister team. By this time they had third place in the championship locked and could not improve. They decided to go to the Lake Superior ProRally in Houghton, MI as a test of their changes so far and to learn more about the new car. Again, Eric Adams did the co-driving and the team fared well on the first day of racing. While in third place on the second day, however, the problems started to arise. First a dislodged relay killed the engine and later an error put the team wide in a very muddy turn. The weekend was not a loss as the team learned many new things and developed a fresh list for late season testing.
Thus ends another season of SCCA ProRallying with the Burmeister Rallysport team. The calendar for 2002 looks full as the team makes plans for entering nearly all the rallies on the national schedule, taking them to California, Arizona and the Northwest in addition to all the east coast rallies they are familiar with. Follow the Mazda/Burmeister team next year and discover the most exciting motorsport in the world...ProRally!
The Burmeister Rallysport team would like to thank Mazda Motorsports for their incredible contribution this year. Also Burmeister Engineering, Racecraft Engineering, Sachs Racing, Eibach Springs, KC HiLites/P-sport, American Graffiti Graphics, PW Rallysport, Sierra Rallysport, Johnson Controls Product Development team, DJT Motorsports, Rhino Racing Heads, Speedvision, Replica Productions, Sport Compact Car magazine, SpecialStage.com, WorldRallying.com, and Rally Planet. It was teamwork that made this possible and will pave the way for a great result in 2002! Thank you!
Finally, the team would like to thank every worker who stood out in the cold, hot, dusty, rainy, muddy, icy, or otherwise inhospitable weather to provide the competitors with such a fair and enjoyable motorsport. Racers don't get to shine unless there is a light pointed at them. You are that light. Thank you.
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.sachsracing.com
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/