Press Release

January 30, 2000
Contact: Ole Holter
Tel: 310-334-7024

Matco Tools ProRally Team Celebrates Podium Finish
at Sno*Drift ProRally

Long Beach, CA -- On Saturday, January 29th, the Matco Tools ProRally Team took to the snow and ice covered roads of Montmorency County near Atlanta, Michigan for the first round of the 2000 SCCA ProRally Championship. This event marked the first time the team had raced in a snow rally.

Saturday turned out to be an unseasonably warm and beautiful winter day for northern Michigan with mid day temperatures in the twenties. As the sun shone down on exposed corners and hills, it seemed to create a slight "melt" on top of the icy surface which made the roads incredibly slick. Several teams experienced many spins and minor "offs" throughout the day. Of the fifty-two cars that started the rally, only thirty-six were able to finish.

Mark Brown, driving the Matco Tools ProRally Toyota Corolla (with co-driver Ole Holter), started the day off pushing for a class win and being highly competitive with the leading teams in their class. But, early on, they learned how difficult driving on ice can be, spinning out and getting stuck at the spectator area on the first stage. With help from the spectators (THANK YOU !), they were back racing in a matter of seconds. They continued pushing very hard but had a low speed slide into a tree where they unfortunately got stuck for ten minutes. Luckily Mark had brought a "come-along" and they were able to extract the car themselves. Before proceeding with the night stages, the team had to perform minor "cosmetic surgery" on the front of the car in order to make it possible to mount their driving lights.

Knowing that their closest competitors were "biting at their heels", Mark turned up the commitment dial for the last few stages. Later in the evening, some stages were cancelled which made it practically impossible to make up the ten minutes lost during the day. With the first and second place cars so far out ahead, the team continued to fight hard for a third place finish. At the end of the evening the Matco Tools ProRally team had taken the Toyota Corolla with a completely stock motor to third place in a highly competitive class which started the day having sixteen entrants.

In preparation for the Rim of the World ProRally on May 5-6, the team will now be putting a new motor in the Corolla. As Mark said, "the new motor will have minor tuning improvements which will make the Corolla much more competitive in Group 2 competition". Mark has won the Production class for the last two years at Rim of the World, and expects to do very well at Rim this year in Group 2 with the freshened motor.

The Matco Tools ProRally Team will be competing in the following rallies for the 2000 SCCA ProRally Group 2 Championship:

	Event				Location			Date            
	Rim of the World ProRally	Palmdale, California		May 5-6, 2000
	Ojibwe Forest ProRally		Bemidji, Minnesota		August 25-26, 2000
	Wild West ProRally		Shelton, Washington		September 15-16, 2000
	Prescott Forest ProRally	Prescott, Arizona		September 29-30, 2000
	Lake Superior ProRally		Houghton, Michigan		October 20-21, 2000

For more information, contact:
Ole Holter
Matco Tools ProRally Team
1801 Knoxville Avenue
Long Beach, California 90815

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