FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2001
For more information, Contact:
Eurosport Manhattan Rallying
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Eurosport Manhattan Rallying competed in the 2001 Rallye Sanair this past weekend. The two competing teams were Andrew Hadjiminas/Luis Figueiredo, driving an Open Class Subaru Impreza Turbo and Tony Birbilis/Jose Vicente, competing in their first rally together in a Group N Ford Escort Cosworth.
Rallye Sanair is a very different event than any other in North America. It is run completely on tarmac roads and includes stages on a race track. There would be 9 stages covering 100km. The stages on the race track would have up to 10 cars on stage at a time, competing with each other. This was to be a warm-up event for the drivers to get used to their 2001 cars.
The event started off well and both teams were running good. Tony Birbilis had developed a bit of a stomach bug, but continued regardless to gain as much seat time as possible. At the re-seed after the 5th stage, Andrew Hadjiminas was lying in 3rd overall and 1st in Open Class. Tony had re-seeded 23rd and 3rd in Group N. Things were going smoothly for both teams despite some slippery conditions due to snow that had fallen the past week. On the 8th stage was when things went wrong. Coming into a tight hairpin, Andrew was bumped twice by another competitor. The second hit resulted in the car spinning and ending up down a ditch. This was the end of his rally. Tony went on to finish 18th overall and 3rd in Group N.
The act performed by this driver was one of the most disgusting acts of sportsmanship ever displayed in North American rallying. To make matters worse, this escalated to an ugly incident in the service area. There was a protest filed and the driver was given a 10 minute penalty. Further action is pending on a decision by RallySport Quebec and CARS.
Eurosport Manhattan Rallying will be heading south for its next event, the Sand Blast ClubRally, taking place May 19, 2001 in Cheraw, South Carolina. Again, the competing teams will be Andrew Hadjiminas/Luis Figueiredo and Tony Birbilis/Jose Vicente. For more information on the event, go to http://usrally.com/sediv/sandblast/index.cfm. Pictures from Rallye Sanair will be up within a week on our site, http://www.eurosportrally.com.