|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
January 30, 2000
|For more information, contact: Eric Burmeister|
DEARBORN HEIGHTS, MI -- The cars of Burmeister Engineering Rallysport did not start the 2000 SCCA ProRally season the way they intended this weekend. The cars and competitors were well prepared but, unfortunately, the glare ice conditions of Atlanta, Michigan claimed both cars before rally's end.
Eric Burmeister and Mark Buskirk were having a great day climbing from 26th on road to 10th (1st Group 2) after just seven stages. Being ten cars ahead of the nearest Group 2 competitor gave the pair some breathing room, but on stage 8 a "square left at T" left the pair with severely damaged suspension which would eventually seal their fate.
"I threw the car sideways to scrub off speed and line up with the exit," stated Eric, "but it just maintained its velocity sideways on the polished ice." The resulting hit on the opposite bank bent both right wheels under with extreme positive camber. The pair continued for 4 more miles when the right rear wheel fell off the car from the damage. They continued another half mile on three wheels to a suitable place to pull off to check the damage when the brake rotor failed, leaving them without brakes and without hope of finishing what was destined to be an incredible performance in Group 2. "I am just happy to have passed so many Open class four-wheel-drive cars today," Eric said. "It is a true testament to how well the Nokian Hakka Q tires and that Quaife diff really work!"
Art Burmeister and Randy Moore also had a good run before touching a bank on an off camber downhill right turn. The car subsequently bounced back and forth between the banks before coming to rest on its side in the road. Neither of the occupants sustained any injuries, but the car, unfortunately, could not continue due to front suspension damage. "It's frustrating that both cars went off," the elder Burmeister said, "but sometimes that's rallying."
Both cars were equipped with Nokian Hakkapeliitta Q tires and Quaife limited slip differentials. These enhancements allowed both drivers to drive faster and with more confidence on the extremely slick stages than they could the previous year.
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 SPEEDVISION, this form of motorsport is growing by leaps and bounds 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. There is no practice and the pair has not even seen the road prior to competition.
Burmeister Engineering Rallysport is a two-car team of Volkswagen GTI's owned by Art and Eric Burmeister. Based in Michigan, the father/son team, along with co-drivers Randy Moore and Mark Buskirk, are campaigning the SCCA ProRally Series for 2000 in Group 2, a class for two-wheel-drive modified cars under 2 liters in displacement. Eric and Mark were third in the 1999 Group 2 championship and plan to do even better this year.