FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2003
Contact: Eric Burmeister
Irvine, CALIFORNIA -- As the 2003 SCCA ProRally series picks back up from its Spring hiatus, MAZDASPEED Rally Team USA is poised to attack the second rally of the year, the Rim of the World ProRally in Palmdale, CA. Run in a mountainous desert landscape along the San Andreas faultline, Rim covers some of the most rugged terrain seen on the entire series with steep dropoffs and very uneven roads.
The team is coming off of the first rally, Sno*Drift, where mixed fortunes were bestowed upon the MAZDASPEED crew. A new race engine was having some "issues" just prior to the rally and team driver Eric Burmeister ended up having to borrow his father's car to race with. The team came away with a fine second place finish in the Group 2 class (for two-liter, 2WD cars), but scored no manufacturer points for sponsor, Mazda. "We were up against the wall," says Burmeister. "Dad was real generous to step out of his car so we could get Driver's Championship points."
Now the team has a solid performer in the Protege that is even more capable of Group 2 victory. The 2003 spec car features all new engine, management, suspension, and several other systems were upgraded and revised. "Last year we proved the durability of the Protege package and its viability as a top two-wheel-drive rally car," explained Burmeister. "This year we added some power and made improvements based on data we collected in 2002. It really is a great car!"
One of the lessons learned in 2002 was the demanding nature of the desert terrain on suspension components. Speeds at last year's Rim were off the mark due to the team's inexperience with the roughness of the roads. The dampers were not valved for the conditions and this hampered the team in getting over the waterbars. They return this year with a new adjustable suspension system and valving much more suited to the task thanks to ProTrac dampers in The Netherlands.
Returning to the co-driver's seat for this rally will be Cindy Krolikowski. Cindy has joined up with the team for the remainder of the 2003 season and is excited to contest in a two-wheel drive car again.
Competition at this rally is sure to be fierce. Local Bill Malik (Volvo) is always a strong contender, especially in the West. Dodge factory support driver Chris Whiteman (Dodge Neon SXT) and the Northwest's Scott Fuller (VW GTI Kitcar) are among the many capable drivers entered in the Group 2 class. Expect a great two-wheel drive battle for the win.
The 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, 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 back roads closed to public usage. A co-driver or navigator describes the road in tremendous detail to the driver via an intercom system in the helmets.
For at event interviews with Driver/Team Principal Eric Burmeister or Co-Driver Cindy Krolikowski call (313)550-4454.
For information on the SCCA ProRally series, check: http://www.scca.com
Burmeister Rallysport can be reached at: (313)337-1675 or
e-mail Eric Burmeister at: firstname.lastname@example.org