Press Release

October 29, 2000
Contact: Andrew Havas, Team HavSpeed
Tel: 919-968-3007

Team Havspeed Rally Finishes Ninth Overall at 2000 Charlevoix Rally

LaMalbaie, Quebec -- Team Havspeed has successfully finished the first pace-noted rally in Canada! After dropping eight minutes due to steering damage and a flat tire, Andrew Havas and Eric "T" (Tremblay) did their best to reel in the time lost on SS2. It was to be a long rallye, with over 1100 total kilometers of running, with high attrition likely. The team sought to find a good pace while exercising caution. It turns out the rough stages were to take a surprisingly high number of entries out early, including many event favorites.

The team benefited from the retirement of John Buffum's Hyundai, by the use of John's helmet and intercom system. This solved an intermittent problem with a defective headset. Said Andrew, "It is also a good feeling wearing the helmet of a champion!"

The team ran steadily throughout the second day, despite the total loss of the exhaust system (which forced the team to resort to hand signals for the remainder of the rally) and alternator failure. Heavy snow started to fall quickly and never let up. Andrew struggled with the damaged steering, as the stages became icy.

The real excitement came at the end of the day when a sudden blizzard halted the FIA observed rallye. Many competitors were stuck for four or more hours at the base of a 20% grade. Crew chief Frank de Kat promptly fitted snow tires to the Orange Mazda. The team went up and over the mountain easily, to the cheers of those stranded. Frank unfortunately had to take the long way around with the service van.

Snow continued to fall heavily throughout Saturday night, and as a result, the organisers decided to run only two of four stages scheduled - two runs through the famed "Le PAX!" Andrew and Eric successfully navigated through the masses of spectators and deep snow to earn a well-deserved finish.

"Both Eric and I have had some very bad luck lately, so just to finish, we feel a huge weight lifted off our shoulders. All weekend we had this pressure and to place so well is a nice feeling. I am happy for my sponsors Orange Auto Electric (who saved the day with a spare alternator) and,, and Mazda USA. They deserved a great finish to the year," said Andrew. "It was a weekend of unbelievable challenges to overcome, from the last minute, all-night engine swap, to the 22 hour drive non-stop journey, to all the problems on course. It seemed we were destined to be there at the end. When I was assigned car number 67, the year I was born, I knew it was a good omen.... but I was still holding my breath until the end!"

Team Havspeed is sponsored by Orange Auto Electric,, and receives additional support from Mazda Corporation, PIAA lighting, Earl's Indy, and Panasport racing wheels.

Havspeed Engineering Ltd., Race and Rally Car Preparation Specialists. Visit us on the web at:

Frank de Kat

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