Press Release

July 9, 2003
Contact: Eric Burmeister
Burmeister Rallysport
Phone: 313-792-2397

MAZDASPEED Rally Team USA Looks for Another Class Win in Oregon

Hillsboro, OREGON -- As the teams arrive in Portland for the Oregon Trail Rally, the mid-season event for the SCCA ProRally Series, the Mazda rally team is ready to do battle with some of the best 2 wheel drive rally teams in the country. Coming off a victory in Pennsylvania last month, driver Eric Burmeister is excited to be leading the Group 2 class and the hunt for the Woodner Cup, the award for the fastest Overall 2WD driver.

"If you would have told me we would be doing this well at the beginning of the season," said Eric, "I wouldn't have believed you." At the Sno-Drift Rally in Michigan the Mazda Protege Rally Car was sidelined due to engine control unit issues. Eric borrowed his father's rally car with a few hours to go before the start and salvaged the race earning second place with co-driver Ole Holter. The team had similar luck at the Rim of the World Rally in California when a new race engine overheated and Eric with co-driver, Joe Andreini, suffered multiple flat tires and a loss of power steering in uncharacteristic monsoon conditions. Finally, with another engine and the bugs worked out, Burmeister and Cindy Krolikowski hammered the smooth Pennsylvania roads to top the Group 2 Class at the Susquehannock Trail ProRally (STPR).

There are certainly teams out there who are determined to make it as hard as possible for the Mazda Protege team, though. Running in second for both Group 2 and the Woodner Cup is one of Eric's closest friends, ex-college roomate, and ex-crew chief, Chris Whiteman, with co-driver Mike Paulin, in the Dodge Neon SXT rally car. "I knew he was going to be fast," quipped Burmeister, "because he used to beat me mercilessly on dirt bikes, but I am very impressed with his dedication and heart. He repaired the Neon after a roll in Pennsylvania in record time to make it to this event in Oregon and is giving it everything he has. After knowing him this long, though, I really expect nothing less."

Many other teams are fighting hard for the 2WD honors as well. Arizona's Brian Scott in a Ford Focus SVT, Chris Havas in a VW GTI Turbo, Brian Vinson in a Turbo Neon, and Scott Fuller in the VW Kit Car are a few examples of drivers who will not let MAZDASPEED Rally Team USA rest.

The Oregon Trail Rally starts in Hillsboro, Oregon on Saturday July, 12 and runs through the mountains for two days before finishing back in Hillsboro on Sunday evening.

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:

MAZDASPEED Rally Team USA/Burmeister Rallysport can be reached at: (313)337-1675 or
e-mail Eric Burmeister at:

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