|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
August 9, 2000
|Contact: Andrew Havas, Team HavSpeed|
Rumford, Maine -- The Orange Auto Electric/Jemco.com Mazda RX7 was en route to a top ten finish overall when mechanical failure brought an abrupt end to the team's first Maine Forest Rally, July 28-29. Andrew Havas of Chapel Hill, North Carolina partnered with veteran co-driver Mal Swann from Stratford, Prince Edward Island (Canada) for the event. Right from the start, Andrew and Mal were working together like seasoned veterans, and it showed at the end of Friday's stages.
After starting 36th on the road, the bright orange Havspeed Mazda was reseeded in a tie for 16th overall, tied for 2nd in class, and only 6 seconds out of 1st place in Group 5. "I was very pleased to learn that we were right up there in contention for the class win, especially after dropping some time on the first stages getting used to a new set of development shock absorbers. Once I had confidence in the car, I could push. On the last stage Friday night we caught and passed a 4wd Subaru! Anytime you can do that with rear wheel drive, you can be sure you are smoking along pretty good," said Andrew, after the rally.
"Mal and I were working perfectly together, and things were looking great for a class win. I was finding the stages in Maine tight and very rough, which was suiting my car much better than the fast and smooth stages of the Pennsylvania rally. The new shocks were working great, and we started off Saturday's first stage flying. It was great to be on par with, and even ahead of some Maine Forest regulars! Unfortunately, 4.9 miles into stage 5, something let go in the engine and we couldn't continue. We were flat out in 4th gear at the time doing 100 mph or so when it happened, so it was lucky for us we were on a relatively straight stretch of road, and that I was able to easily keep the car under control. We coasted the car safely onto the shoulder of the stage, set out our triangles, and watched the remainder of the 108 car field pass by, one minute at a time."
An unfortunate end to a promising debut by the Team Havspeed crew at the Maine Forest Rally did not dampen the team's spirits. While disappointed with the outcome, there was a good feeling of things to come. Andrew's Havspeed Engineering will be building a higher displacement rotary engine, which will net the team up to 100 additional horsepower. Team members anticipate the results will be staggering if prior event history is anything to go by!
Further consolation came to the team through Friday's participation in the Seven Islands ClubRally, which resulted in a tie for the G5 win and 4th overall with Mark Utech and Brenda Corneliusen. This posed an interesting dilemma for the organizers, as there is no provision in the rulebook for this situation. Nobody could recall a tie happening before, so it was decided to award two first place trophies!
Team Havspeed is sponsored by Orange Auto Electric, Jemco.com, and receives additional support from Mazda Corporation, PIAA lighting, Earl's Indy, and Panasport racing wheels.
The Maine Forest Rally airs on Speedvision Network August 14th at 8pm and midnight eastern time.
Havspeed Engineering Ltd., Race and Rally Car Preparation Specialists. Visit us on the web at: http://www.havspeed.com.