FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2003
Contact: Eric Burmeister
DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- As the teams of the SCCA ProRally Championship gather in Houghton, Michigan for the Lake Superior ProRally this weekend, there are a few class battles that are going down to the wire. Houghton is at the base of the Keweenaw Peninsula, a strip of land that juts out into Lake Superior at the northernmost point of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It provides the perfect setting for the annual season ender to the ProRally championship. In October, the weather can turn from sunny 70's to a large accumulation of snow in just a few hours. The stages are a mix of sand, mud, gravel, and pavement ranging from slow, narrow trails to fast wide roads that allow speeds of more than 120 mph. This is a rally that often tests all facets of a rally team's capabilities.
The MAZDASPEED Rally Team USA is ready for the battle. Mazda Protege driver Eric Burmeister is leading the Group 2 class for 2 liter, 2 wheel drive cars by 3 points over the Dodge Neon of Chris Whiteman. The championship is a hot one at 106 to 103. Cindy Krolikowski is Eric's teammate for the rally, feeding the stage notes to him to try to steer to a class championship.
"It feels a lot like Homecoming," said Burmeister. "Chris (Whiteman) and I were roomates in college up in Houghton. I never thought we'd be fighting so hard for a championship for different manufacturers, but it is fun."
In the Woodner Cup for all 2 wheel drive cars, Whiteman leads by a single point over Burmeister and the turbocharged Dodge of Doug Shephard.
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.
Watch for live updates from the Keweenaw Peninsula on www.rally-america.com
The rally will be televised on SPEED Channel on Thursday, November 6, at 11pm EST and again on Friday, November 7, at 5pm EST.
For information on the SCCA ProRally series, check: www.scca.com