FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2007
Contact: Eric Burmeister
Portland, Oregon -- As the new MaxAttack!tm two-wheel-drive rally championship came roaring into Portland, Oregon this weekend for Rally America's Oregon Trail Rally, MAZDASPEED Rally Team USA was determined.
"I guess you could say I have something to prove," explained Eric Burmeister, driver of the 2007 MAZDASPEED3 Rally Car. "The car needs to be fast, but dependable. We are trying to push the limits of what a two-wheel-drive rally car can be."
The 400-mile rally proved to be a proper test for the latest configuration of the Racecraft/Burmeister Rallysport prepared MAZDASPEED3. The battle took place on the 100+ stage miles that began with tarmac and sod stages at Portland International Raceway on Friday before heading out to the beautiful Oregon mountains near the outpost town of Vernonia for 2 more full days of twisty ridge running stages.
The rally started well for Burmeister and codriver Dave Shindle as they took two stage wins on the road course at PIR on Friday. Saturday greeted the teams with rain, fog, and slimy roads covered with loose gravel twisting through the forest hills. The conditions were more than many could bear as the stages were littered with broken, crashed, and overturned cars.
Burmeister: "We tried a couple different alignment and suspension setups on the car to find what works on the loose roads. We are ditch-hooking (putting the inside two wheels over the edge of the road to hold the car on the road) where we're allowed to, but it's really a challenge to stay on the road as the traction is so variable. We just don't have mountain roads like this to test on in Michigan!"
As Day 3 arrived, a battle was shaping up for MaxAttack!tm honors as the always quick Andrew Havas/Francois Morin, young gun Kyle Sarasin/Mikael Johansson in their supercharged Focus, the Dodge of Cary Kendall/Scott Friberg, Michel Hoche-Mong/Sameer Parekh's Volkswagen, and the Burmeister/Shindle MAZDASPEED3 all fought for position in the still rainy Oregon forest. Local hotshoes Don and Tom Buress had tossed their VW into the woods, but were tugged back to the road and were still fighting for traction with some very fast times.
"As a MaxAttack!tm Triple Crown Rally Series founder, I am very happy with the competition we are seeing this weekend," said Eric. "The project is working. This kind of intense competition is bringing rally's value up in the world of American motorsport."
As the stages wound down, the attrition continued. Less than HALF of the national entries in the Rally America event would finish. The drama continued for the Mazda crew as well, as a very soft tire induced a spin on the final stage of the day, less than a half mile from the finish. The team was okay, though, and soldiered on to the end.
"This is like the rallies of years ago," commented Shindle. "Half the field finishing is what we used to see a couple decades ago. But it's good to see teams driving at maximum attack!"
At the finish, Havas/Morin and Sarasin/Johansson took top honors with MAZDASPEED Rally Team USA sharing the MaxAttack!tm podium.
"The crew made it happen," said Burmeister at the finish. "Without them we'd have never made it."
Art Burmeister, Eric's father and engineer added, "I'm convinced that this latest evolution of the MAZDASPEED3 Rally Car is a winner. With more suspension tuning, testing, and refinements, we will continue to climb."
The next MaxAttack!tm event is at Rally West Virginia in June. The team will then travel to Pikes Peak in Colorado for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in July.
For more information, contact Eric Burmeister on 313-550-4454 or email@example.com or check www.burmeisterrallysport.com
For information on the MAZDASPEED3, go to www.mazdausa.com
For the Oregon Trail Rally's site, go to www.oregontrailrally.com
For information on Racetech seats, check www.racetechseatsna.com
For information on Rally West Virginia, go to www.rallywestvirginia.net
For NASA Rallysport, go to www.nasarallysport.com
For the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, check www.ppihc.com