Press Release

August 5, 2003
Contact: Eric Burmeister
Burmeister Rallysport
Phone: 313-792-2397

Burmeister/Krolikowski Extend Class Championship Lead in Maine

DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- From Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine, the teams of the SCCA ProRally Championship left one coast and headed for the other for the Maine Forest Rally this past weekend. The town of Rumford, Maine plays host to this event and the teams quickly got down to business, including the MAZDASPEED Rally Team USA with driver, Eric Burmeister and co-driver, Cindy Krolikowski. The Maine Forest Rally is known for its rough, fast logging roads that weave through the mountains of western Maine. The sweeping nature of the roads lends itself to very high speeds, but the ever present rocks and watermelon sized boulders can cause suspension damage in a heartbeat.

The rally started off with a sprint spectator stage through a park. The deep sandy start was torn to chatter bumps by the time Burmeister and Krolikowski got there. The Mazda Protege rally car gave up a rear engine mount in the first few competitive feet of the rally on that starting line. Determined, the team continued with the broken mount and finished the first day in 3rd in the Group 2 class for two-liter, two-wheel-drive machines. At day's end, there were just 30 seconds covering the top 3 positions in the class and the Mazda team sat just 9 seconds behind the Acura Integra of William Bacon of Massachussetts.

The rally provided a one-hour service at the end of the day, where the MAZDASPEED crew worked feverishly to replace the stubborn engine mount and ready the car for the second day of competition. They succeeded brilliantly and the car was checked into the Parc Ferme with just 20 seconds to spare.

Day two provided its own drama as the team drove hard through the stages. A light mist and occasional rain provided dust control and made for very fast conditions. "I looked down once and saw 64 mph on a trail with grass growing down the middle," exclaimed Burmeister, "and that opened to a 104 mph straight!"

Said Cindy Krolikowski, "We are learning the nuances of the stage notes. It allows us to keep the throttle down over those blind crests and jumps and its exhilarating!"

As the day wore on, Matthew Johnson and William Bacon were fighting for the lead. Knowing the championship contenders were all behind them, the MAZDASPEED team decided to back off a bit to ensure the finish and limit damages before heading to Minnesota in two weeks.

They finished 3rd in Group 2 ahead of the Mopar Dodge Neon of Chris Whiteman and extended their lead in the Group 2 Championship. After Scott Fuller's VW Golf left the road, they also went back into the lead for the Woodner Cup, the award for the fastest two-wheel-drive team overall, including turbo and large-engined cars. Will Bacon took the class win and Matt Johnson got second.

The team leaves the rocks of Maine behind for the sand of northern Minnesota and the Ojibwe Forest Rally in two weeks.

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:

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