Press Release

August 20, 2001
Contact: Christopher Whiteman

PWRallysport Wins Friday's Club Rally; Ends Season on Saturday

Detroit, Michigan - With co-driver Mike Paulin absent from this event, PWRallysport's Chris Whiteman headed for Bemidji, Minnesota for the 2001 Ojibwe Forest ProRally. With sit in co-driver David Hackett of Reno, Nevada, the team had high expectations for the weekend.

At event start on Friday afternoon, the weather forecast was severe thunderstorms all night. By the time the team started stage one, the rain had passed, leaving dust free roads. "I was concerned about the condition of the roads because of the rain. I have never competed here before so I wasn't sure if I was going to run into mud, sand, or clay. The roads were surprisingly very good," explained Whiteman. After putting together a few good stages by the end of the night, the team won the Club Rally event and were tied for 5th with the Hamilton/Sabo team in the National.

Day two started at Bemidji Speedway with a very slippery, clay based short track. "We took a chance by changing to mud tires with the hope getting a little advantage. It turned out that the extra traction we gained only bogged down our little VW engine," said Whiteman. By the end of the first long service, the team had slipped a little to Hamilton/Sabo. Whiteman explains, "I thought that stages 1, 2, and 3 on day two went pretty well for us but we were falling off the pace. I knew that we were going to have to drive perfect stages if we had any chance of moving up." Stage 4, at the ranch, didn't help the team as they had to finish the last half of the stage with a blown right front tire. The next three stages were very fast and smooth.

Stage 7, about six miles in, a costly mistake happened. Whiteman explains, "We were going down a long straight, wide open, and came into an easy left very hot. Normally this wouldn't have been a problem except the turn apexed on a down hill. The suspension unloaded and the rear end got loose and the car went into a slide." The car slid into the bank and went into an air born spin and came down, right above the drivers head, on a stump. The car bounced off of the stump and landed on its wheels. "My head somehow went out of the vehicle as the door window shattered. When the car hit the stump, my head hit the stump also. When the car came to rest, my helmet was trapped between the door frame and the roof. I had to pull myself free," explains Whiteman.

Not knowing the extent of his injuries, Whiteman requested medical assistance from the sweep crew. Whiteman explains, "I started having neck and back pain along with blurred vision and dizziness. The first response team arrived and stabilized me until the ambulance arrived. I was taken to the hospital on a back board." Fortunately for Whiteman, all x-rays showed no spine injuries.

PWRallysport would like to thank everyone who helped out during this incident, including the very professional first response crew, the EMS technicians, the Burmeister Rallysport team and the PWRallysport team.

PWRallysport would also like to thank their team sponsors, including North American Radiator for keeping the car running cool, American Graffiti Graphics for making the car look great, Burmeister Engineering and Burmeister Rallysport for all of their great VW parts and support throughout the season.

American Graffiti Graphics can be contacted at; North American Radiator, located in Utica, MI and can be contacted at (810) 739-7330; Burmeister Rallysport and Burmeister Engineering can be contacted at (810) 873-2974.

For more information on the team and pictures of the car, please visit our website at


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