FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2002
Contact: Eric Burmeister
DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- The Burmeister Rallysport/MAZDASPEED Rally Team traveled to Maine this past weekend for the sixth round of the SCCA ProRally Championship, the Maine Forest Rally in the New England town of Rumford.
Eric Adams, co-driver for the Mazda Protégé team, was not available for this race due to family obligations, so long time co-driver Cindy Krolikowski took the job in the right seat. Said Cindy, who has rallied in many two-wheel drive cars over the years, "I'm excited to run in a front-driver again!"
Driver Eric Burmeister was honored to have one of the best co-drivers in American rallying guiding him through the stages. "Henry and Cindy (Krolikowski) have been great mentors to me as my rally career has progressed," said Burmeister. "They are the "working man's heroes" of the US rally scene."
Maine is typically known for its unforgiving logging roads with large rocks, balanced with very fast stretches of challenging forest roads. This year was no different. The pair spent Thursday on the shakedown stage getting used to the stage notes and the communication cadence. On the 5th run of that stage, they hit a watermelon sized rock that was strewn out into the racing line on a particularly fast turn. The crew worked feverishly Thursday night to bend the front end of the car back into shape, change the resulting broken radiator, and make suspension adjustments.
Things fell into place on Friday and the team got off to a good start. With 19 cars starting in the Group 2 class for 2WD, 2-liter cars, the stage was set for great action and fierce competition. Just before the fourth stage, the last one of the day, Burmeister discovered a missing suspension bolt on a rear trailing arm. Fellow competitors Lauchlin O'Sullivan and William Bacon came to his assistance to offer support, Ty-Raps, and whatever else they could. The situation didn't slow them too much and the crew easily took care of it upon returning to service.
By the end of the first day, the team lay in 7th place. The entire top seven, however, were all within a minute of each other. Once again, Group 2 was shaping up as one of the closest classes in the rally.
With Saturday morning came dampened ground thanks to overnight showers that helped to keep the dust down. The team kept up a good pace as they fought their way up to fourth in class. The result leaves Mazda in second in the Manufacturer's Championship for Group 2 Marques, and leaves Burmeister and Adams both in second in their respective Driver and Co-Driver championships.
A new piece of equipment on the MAZDASPEED Rally Protégé for this rally was the PSI unit from Johnson Controls. PSI (which stands for Pressure Safety Information system) consists of a replacement interior mirror with a display and sensors for each of the tires. The display continually monitors tire pressure on all four tires and alerts the team if a critically low pressure is sensed. Also, the driver may quickly scroll through the display and see the current tire pressure at any time.
Said Burmeister, "This is a great asset to the team. The rules only allow for air in the tires, not a more stable gas. We found after the 22-mile "Parmachenee Long" stage that we had a pressure increase of 11 psi on the front tires! We are always looking for ways to use data collected during competition. This is another rather simple tool that we can use."
Watch for the MAZDASPEED Rally Protégé on the SCCA ProRally programs and on future airings of Hi-Rev Tuners, both on SPEED CHANNEL.
e SCCA ProRally series is a "stage" or "performance" rally series that stretches across the nation. Sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America and televised on SPEED CHANNEL (formerly Speedvision), this form of motorsport is one of the fastest growing racing series in the United States. Competitors race flat out against the clock for hundreds of miles on a course of backroads closed to public usage. A co-driver or navigator tells the driver where every jump, dangerous turn or other obstacle is to the hundredth of a mile.
To look at info, scores, etc. on this year's Maine Forest Rally, check out: http://www.maineforestrally.com
For information on the SCCA ProRally series, check: http://www.sccaprorally.org
Information on PSI/Johnson Controls Automotive Group can be found on: http://www.jci.com/asg-electronics/products/infosys/psi_main.htm