Press Release

November 10, 2001
Contact: Andrew Havas,
Team HavSpeed
Tel: 919-968-3007

Team Havspeed: Havas Turning the Corner At Last!
Exciting News from the FIA Sanctioned Rallye International Charlevoix!

La Malbaie, Quebec, CANADA -- The second running of the Charlevoix rally under FIA sanction produced some very impressive performances. Possibly the most intriguing was that of Andrew Havas. After a major engine failure in the tow van en route to Quebec, Andrew found a solution to repair the seemingly impossible and continue. This steely determination set the tone for team as they worked very hard to ready for a strong showing. A dedicated independent entrant without a major sponsor, contesting only his third rally on pace notes, Andrew had everyone talking about the Orange Electric/ car. Sporting a new look to match a new attitude, spectators, competitors, and the press might have mistaken this as a bit silly. The power of this statement would soon be felt by those in attendance. Nobody was laughing anymore. Andrew took his driving to a seemingly impossible level as he mixed it up with the four-wheel drives, and many were left to simply shake their heads. A great deal more were left cheering, with the energy pulsing from the Orange Flash going straight to the hearts of the spectators. Andrew was feeding off this energy as he carried the signatures of hundreds of fans with him down the stage. Those who witnessed his salute to the people at the Super Special will not soon forget the show. Such was Andrew's commitment that even a broken wrist could not stop him. He nursed a tired gearbox that was jumping out of gear since the beginning of the rally. Having to aim a rally car with a quick ratio box (yes, no rack and pinion on this 22 year-old car!) but no power steering is no mean feat, having to do it one handed? Impossible! "I knew it was only a matter of time before something happened. I had reluctantly agreed to have the TV2GO folks put a camera in the car, having DNF'd every single rally this year with one... Cherokee, Ojibwe, Wild West, Prescott were all great finishes... and no camera. About halfway through the "Les Matre", the last stage of Leg 2, we were absolutely moving into 3rd overall. On a five-left, the left-front wheel hit a loose stone in very rocky corner. The steering wheel turned into my left hand, and there was so much pain, it took me about 2 kilometers to force myself to grip the wheel again. I was driving with such anger - because I don't have a good budget, and look, it cost me a dream podium," said Andrew. "I then blew a five-right into five-left, and am really pissed at myself, because it was such an easy place on the stage. I calmly backed up, but I am burning inside. I push the notes to the limit, but then I am caught out by a lack of experience pace noting and a loss of some percentage of attention due to the pain. Our big shunt was the result of missing the "tightening" after the three-right. I showed my co-pilote an up-close view of the beautiful Quebec decour just 7km from being 3rd overall after Leg 2!" "If that wasn't bad enough, the next car started going off the same way, and used (what was) my beautiful car as a bumper to push him out of the ditch going full chat. It was kind of neat though, because I felt the impact in my feet before I jumped off to visit the decour once again. It is for this reason that they can never build a roller coaster good enough for me." "The weird thing is, I don't feel bad. I put all my chips on the table and rolled the dice. I couldn't give any more of myself. I am very happy because of the warmth I felt as I came back from the stage, from the crowd who waited with me deep into the freezing night air until a towing service arrived, and from all the people I respect showing genuine sorrow. From the spectators that I disappointed, to my team that had their chance to be famous... Arrrghhh! It's the frustration of paying dues... and my wrist hurts like hell." "...OK, everyone loves a little irony, so here it is: The video that caused the whole problem died before Les Matre. Superb! A slap in the face and then a kick in the ass! Never again!" After finishing the rally, eleven-time US Rally Champion and World Rally veteran John Buffum had this to say: "Once again Andrew showed us his speed and flair -- by running fourth overall against modern four-wheel drive machinery -- at Charlevoix. His unfortunate accident -- on a deceptively difficult corner -- should in no way detract from his performance." The Quebec City personality Eric "T", co-pilote for Andrew on the premiere Rallye International Charlevoix in 2000, and 2nd position co-pilote overall this year commented on the podium: "I was so sad to hear he (crashed). I wanted to be here with him. (Another group N competitor) said that he crashed because he was driving over his head... and I (told) him, no. You (have never had) a drive with that guy. He is fast but smooth. If you don't have at least one close call, you're just maybe smooth, but not fast. The 'rally god' sometimes comes down and puts his finger on you and (teaches) respect." "That guy (gave) up his job to chase that dream he has. Someone else asked me, is he gonna make it? And I said, I don't know. But if you (are) gonna put your money on one guy (pauses)... that's the guy. One thing that is for certain, all the spectators at RIC 2001 know that Andrew's the man on two-wheel drive! He even nearly got a ticket 'cause he miss a stop sign going to the super special. After his run, everybody think he's getting arrested when the cop (went) over to him. Next thing the cop is (expletive) signing his car!!!" said an animated Eric "T" Lawrence Partington from TV2GO (the TV production company covering the Canadian National Championship) had this to say about Andrew: "It was the drive of the event. Havas' old Mazda should not have been running in fourth place overall after two days of rough and demanding rally. Havas was able to stay ahead of most of the latest group N Mitsubishis (including two EVO 6's from Europe) and Subaru's by driving absolutely flat out on the ragged edge. His jumps were the highest and drifts the biggest, a real treat for the estimated 40,000 spectators and our TSN camera crews."

It is well know that the organisers of the rally are vying for a round of the World Rally Championship. Observing the event was the head of the Canadian FIA. Andrew was paid a huge compliment when Roger Peart introduced himself after the podium ceremony. In a personal email to Andrew, Mr. Peart had this to say:

"Dear Andrew,
Congratulations to you and your team on a stirring drive in last weekend's Rallye International de Charlevoix. Your performance in your "mature" Mazda RX7 against the latest four-wheel drive competition was one of the highlights of the event. A podium finish was starting to look likely, and we were all disappointed when you were forced to retire. I wish you better luck next time; I am sure we will be hearing much more of you in the future.
Roger Peart, President, ASN Canada FIA."

Andrew was interviewed by many journalists after the rally who were impressed by his quiet confidence and positive state of mind after what must have surely been the biggest let-down of his career. When asked about that, he pondered a day or so and replied via email with the following analogy: "Each rally for me is a mission, and the odds are always stacked... My Fortress is old and the rivets begin to loosen, it is patched together after some brutal attacks. But, she is my girl. Sure we are a team of airmen, but there is a feeling only I can feel about her. There is a quiet calm in there, and I wonder, could anyone else know this girl as well as me? There is some kind of romantic connection between man and machine. I am nearing the end of my tour with my 'belle', I want to be promoted, so volunteer for the most desperate mission... The Charlevoix rally for me was this mission. After enduring the flak and dropping the payload, we nosed it in the ground. But we had crossed back over the Channel, almost made it to the strip. Everybody gets out and life is more clear, more beautiful...

We are some kind of 'heroes', but I am sad because I feel like I let down my machine. She deserved to touch the earth at home, and be awash with the glory with the ground crew. I will always be sad about that.

But I realize she would have been assigned another crew, and I can't share my girl. With the sickening sound of aluminium screeching to a halt in the sweet Quebec earth still hurting my heart, there is a quiet calm as I say goodbye. I know she got as much out of me as I did from her. There is that feeling again of quiet calm as the wind rustles through the broken fuselage. As darkness blankets the field, I look to the stars in the sky... A warmth washes over me in the cool evening air..."

"...If I don't get that big deal, I guess I should try to write some kind of novel... maybe that would be easier, and I can just pay someone to have a car for me!"

It seems Andrew may not have to worry about that. Team Havspeed are expecting to have some big news very soon. Nobody will begrudge Andrew. He's paid his dues. Thanks to the Crew, Rod Hendricksen, Frank de Kat, Helene, Jan, my family for putting up with my hard ways, and all those people who have succumbed to my relentless requests for free labor back at the shop. Thanks to the fans, and all our loyal supporters. Special Thanks to: The Government of Quebec and the kind people in the region of Charlevoix for making this great event happen. We will return. Thanks also to Bernard Martel's Cummins dealer in Claremont, Q.C. (my new good friend); Henry-Paul (Bernard's good friend that only asked for 5o bucks cdn to pull my car out of the ground at Charlevoix); Danielle who works for Bernard (who I took for a ride in the car and afterwards said "encore!!"), and all the rest of that really nice crew that helped me in Claremont); Dominique for the use of the crane to load the wreckage; to James, Michel and Audra from EXPORT 'A' (sorry I couldn't make it to the slot car race Saturday night!), Yves Laundry (CHOI 98fm) for his undying love of motorsport, Terry and Linda Epp for making me feel truly welcomed by the sanctioning body of a rally series, Steve Sanders at Mazda for being impartial last year when I was branded "unprofessional", Steve Johnson (SCCA President) for showing up at a rally, Doug Plumer (you gave me a great leg up and continue to do so when you can), Margaret Lampert (for always being too damn happy), Marie-Eve Pilon my new stylist, Julien P. for the 10 dollar hotel room, Micheline, Julie, Isabelle, and Ghys (my core Quebec posse), George Beckerman (all this is his fault, I guess you want your terratrip back now?), Dave Clark (I guess you want to be paid now?), Dave Hintz (I guess you want your brakes back now?), Bill Pedersen (I promise as soon as I get a paycheck I will buy the Formula Ford cylinder head I borrowed in 1996), Walt (for those ridiculous battles in FF), Heidi (for your patience while I "work" on your restoration), Mark Meko (for your compassion for the struggling racer), Rick Miller for the good deal on the steering wheel that broke my wrist, Roger Pezzulich from Friendly Honda (I beat him at an autocross in 1985, my old car, his new car - a pattern? - and he has been down with the struggle ever since - my first sponsor), John Collins (another cool guy who gave me respect when I was a just starting), Mr.Tucker ( a *real* hero and decorated WWII Liberator pilot, owner of the farm where I learned to drive my Mom's Volvo sideways at 9, the guy who let me park my 45' Fruehauf storage trailer in the yard "temporarily," it has been there since 1994), Uncle Bill (who put up with me in his lorry for weeks at a time because I thought it was a cool way to pass my summer vacations in England as a kid, he has just lost his brother and I haven't even called him... Sorry Bill), Klaus and Annagret for driving 10 hrs to watch me DNF another rally, Bear for letting me run wild in his tool box after the nightmares in NYC, Mario for all the free bread and trusting me to fix his RUF 930, David Sugg for trusting me with his big-block Cobra rebuild, George and Jalene for showing up in WA and AZ unsolicited, Pete Colaizzo, (for shredding the papaya), Karen Petersen and my extended NER family, Pitalk,, for the coolest photo of the car as carried by some higher power (remember Berger at Hockenheim winning when he had no business to), Ben Bradley (fix the Cortina), Ed Brennan, Bob Sanderson, Dave Coleman, Jerry Winker for practically giving pictures away, Tim McKinney for having no agenda; (Allan Tyndall, Jeremy Hart and Ralph Hardwick, I hope TN wasn't the last time); and all those other guys who help me get exposure (Oran ), That Crazy Chick from Toronto, Manuel Desbiens for changing tires after hours and not asking for money (we gave him a broken wheel signed by the team), Serge Dufour and Suzie Roy (and all the others) for refusing to leave me in the woods after the off, Mario and Christiane Dumais proprietors of the Auberge Sur La Cote in La Malbaie, John Allen for laughing at getting laid off his job and co-driving pretty good, USG for kicking it G-style, Sylvie "T" (for always smiling after her loved ones shunt), MK & SB, Ted Atkins for his friendship and wisdom, Karl Burke for not killing me after getting him to move to NC, Mike and Sam at NAPA, Dave Skinner and the MD posse, Victor and the rest of the FM posse because they are really sick and I feel sorry for them (Rick I still want my flight sim demo), Jeep Man, Tree Man, MC EZ Cheeze for pimpin', Farkas, Little Sir, the Fishers, the Schiffers my surrogate grandparents, the Schoenfelds, Mama Denz (for being stronger than she knows) and her strong family, Ed Jacobs because he lives in Ohio and he never slept when working the press room at the rallies, Jean-Georges Marcotte for showing everyone in ME and TN that this is how timing and scoring works (a genius, cause Frank de Kat says so), Bill Scribner (another genius who is building a space shuttle in his garage out of scrap from Boeing surplus),Tim Winker just for the hell of it, Andy Schupak, John Buffum (for telling me "you should do a rally" after winning Mt.Washington in 1994), Frank Sprongl for copying the cut of my tires, Lovell (she was on the pipe and lit), David Campion and the boys (WA), Karl Scheible for his advice, Weegee for keeping CM's memory alive and digging up planes in Greenland, Mike Hurst, Carl Jardevall, Steve McNaughton, Murray Thomas, Bill Malik, Peter Pollard, Peter Watt, Mal Swann, Tivvy (for the cab co. phone number and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Pete and Sue Ashton (for lending me 2000 British pounds without asking why and taking me to the British Truck Grand Prix when I was at a bad time in life), Keith Townsend, Jon Nichols, Dominique Jullien for hitting me upside the head with my future, Jack Willis (for hope), Carlos Sainz for having bad luck too, Jean Alesi for being so happy in Canada for 6th, Michele Alboreto for spending a long time with me on the pit wall at Charlotte, and then being genuinely happy to see me in Atlanta (a true gentleman I'll never forget), DC for winning in front of me in Portugal (also some Irish "nutters" were there too as I remember), Fast Mike and JR, Driver Dick (for not killing me when I co-drove him at Perce Neige), CM for the entry and hotels before I had my stuff together, Boathead (for still being cool after that got printed), Lawler, Bradley, Lady Sylvia F. Townley-Peeler (chance meeting of a wise woman in Montana who bought me dinner and I never said thanks), and for that matter, all the rest of the Irish posse I know, Ray Bowden (for trying to make a machinist out of me- "once you get a little precision in your life, it changes everything... And it's good!"), Slappy for paying my AZ Visa bill, Auntie Margaret, Ted and Nancy Stair, Danny Musten for the video dubs, Chris Palazzo for hooking me up with cheap graphics to get the message out, Barry and Phil Ortiz for all things steel, the Vallieres, Drew Young who practically gave me the 64 Cadillac (plus the whole hillclimb posse), various crews and teams that give me assistance in quiet ways (Libra, SOA, Can-Jam,TAD), Mas Kobayashi, Lou Laurenzana, Wolfgang, Tim Buck, Chris Olander because he asked me if "I was any good" before giving me product (where are you?), Toni Honsowetz (for being gracious), Johnnie Morris for his never ending positivity and insight, and Kurt Spitzner for forcing me to get hard and raise the level of my game.

Huge thanks to these people who colour outside the lines: Tucker, Scalia, Tamas "my Corporal", Jens, Jen, Lassie, Anders "the funniest man in ProRally" Green, Matt, Carl, Diner Boy, Suzanne for lending me a car after knowing me for two days, Pat and Michelle, Mike, Len, Big Jim Russell, Aldo Santini, Carroll Smith, Captain Dick (for never giving up hope), and especially the "T" for his foresight and providing me the environment to flourish. Thanks to M. Wilson for actually answering my letter. I'm sure I missed plenty of people, but I hope you know it comes from not the heart, but the soul. Also George down the street, a struggling artist, Denise and Bob Skoczylas... If I make it, so can you! ...and Fred at Orange Electric for keeping the fire lit. (In memory of Carl Merrill, Tom Maxwell, and Henry Glasstetter - true gentleman who are really proud) -Andrew

Be sure to visit the official rally website at: As well as for event photos and news The new is coming soon. Be sure to check out the December issue of Sport Compact Car Magazine that features the Team Havspeed Mazda! Team Havspeed is currently supported in part by Orange Auto Electric, Bosch,, Panasport, DMS, Bilstein and Mazda


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