Press Release

August 4, 2000
For more information,
Contact: Patrick Richard
Rocket Rally Racing
Phone: 604-803-6095
Fax: 604-803-6095

Rocket Rally Racing has First Mechanical Failure of the Season

RUMFORD, MAINE -- It ended before it even began. At the pre-event press expose of the Maine Forest Rally, held July 27 to 29, Rocket Rally Racing experienced a catastrophic transmission failure and was unable to start the event under power. The B.C.-based rally team recorded its first mechanical failure and DNF (did not finish) result of the season. The team has run eight events so far in the 2000 Subaru Canadian Rally Championship and the U.S.-based SCCA ProRally Championship.

On Friday's invitation-only press stage, Patrick Richard, Rocket Rally Driver, took the team's rally-prepared Subaru Impreza RS through a demonstration forest stage for team VIPs and members of the press. After the second high-speed pass through the mock-up rally stage, the car experienced gear selection problems. The team's only option was to try to replace the transmission in the few hours left before the start of the event.

Heroic efforts were on display as Rocket Rally Crew Chief Dave Clark and SPD Tuning's Mike Shields removed the disabled transmission at the event's official starting area. "Many thanks to Vermont Sportscar, for sourcing a spare transmission for us, and to the amazing fans who offered their road car transmissions as substitutes," said Nathalie Richard, Rocket Rally Boss. "In the end, we just ran out of time."

But all was not lost. With the Championship in mind, the team pushed the car 100 yards through to the start line and received two points for an official event start, as per SCCA ProRally Rules. Fellow Production GT competitor Lauchlin O'Sullivan towed the team's Impreza past the start area for the spectators, as repayment for assistance Rocket Rally Racing gave him at the Rim of the World ProRally in May. The team went on to complete the transmission work and compete in the second leg of the rally the following day. "We were able to salvage the second day and do some tuning, but in all honesty, it was quite an expensive test session," explained Patrick Richard. "I guess I should start learning how to use the clutch!" he joked.

The team still holds on to the top class spot in the North American Rally Cup and the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship, but the disappointing result at Maine dropped the team to second place in the SCCA ProRally Championship standings for Production GT rally cars. "That shows how close the championship really is," declared Ben Bradley, Rocket Rally Navigator.

The Maine Forest Rally will be televised several times nationally on Speedvision, beginning August 14 at 8 p.m. (ET).

Rocket Rally Racing, supported by Specialty Subaru of North Vancouver, DMS Shock Absorbers, SPD Tuning Service and Dragon Eyewear, heads next to the Ojibwe Forest ProRally in Bemidji, Minnesota, August 24 to 26.

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For more information contact:
(East Coast)
Nathalie Richard, Rocket Rally Boss
Phone 416-922-9222

(West Coast)
Patrick Richard, Rocket Rally Driver
1409 Pendrell Street
Vancouver, BC V6G1S3
Phone 604-803-6095
Fax 604-803-6095

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