FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2003
Contact: Eric Burmeister
DETROIT, MICHGAN -- The MAZDASPEED Rally Team USA won the Group 2 class at the Susquehanock Trail ProRally in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania this weekend, overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds prior to the event. "This one is for the crew," stated driver and team principal, Eric Burmeister. "If it weren't for all the hard work the team did in the weeks before the rally, we couldn't have even been here, let alone win."
Burmeister and co-driver Cindy Krolikowski put in a measured drive from beginning to end, clinching the win in the Group 2 class for two-liter, two-wheel-drive cars. The rally was rather uneventful as the Johnson Controls/Mazda Protege performed exactly as it should, sporting a new, torquier engine, fresh suspension, and a fresh transmission. This was the second rally for which the pair was teamed up, having run together in Maine last August. "The fun, two-wheel-drive slides brought a smile to my face," said Krolikowski. "The car has much more "grunt" than last year and I'm looking forward to the Oregon Trail Rally next month."
The days leading up to the rally provided the only real drama, with a last minute scramble to install a new engine that was air shipped to the team's Detroit base the week before the rally. A newly designed power steering hose still caused trouble the day they left Michigan, a problem that plagued the team in California last month. A call was placed to Detroit Flexible Metal Products (www.hosenow.com) and a different design was fabricated and next day shipped to the team's hotel to save the weekend.
Now the car is all cleaned up and on display with other famous Mazda race cars at the Ford Centennial Celebration in Dearborn, Michigan (www.celebrateford100.com). The festival features a concert series on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights featuring Beyonce Knowles and Friends (including Destiny's Child), Toby Keith, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and many others. It will feature most of the famous racing car drivers for Ford, Jaguar, and Mazda including NASCAR and NHRA superstars. "Being here with the Tri-Point World Challenge Team and the Mazda GTP cars is great," said Burmeister. "It not only serves to show the importance of Mazda as a Ford company to the Motor City, but it shows the Protege is a flexible car that is as competitive on the track as it is on the rally course...and as it is on the road.
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 information on the SCCA ProRally series, check: www.scca.com
MAZDASPEED Rally Team USA/Burmeister Rallysport can be reached at: (313)337-1675 or
e-mail Eric Burmeister at: firstname.lastname@example.org