|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||St. Paul, Minnesota -- October 28, 1998|
Contact: Mark Utecht, Mark@MayhemRacing.com
Lake Superior PRO Rally
Date: October 23rd-24th, 1998
Houghton, Michigan - The team of Mark Utecht and Brenda Corneliusen finished off the 1998 season with the best finish of Mayhem Racing's PRO Rally history. Competing in a Dodge Omni GLH Turbo, they were entered in the Lake Superior PRO Rally along with both divisionals. The weekend started off Friday with a high level of intensity and determination. Having just come off a disappointing run at the Ojibwe Forests PRO Rally in Minnesota, they were looking forward to a better result.
The first day started off with unseasonably fantastic weather. Most of the favored Group 5 drivers were in attendance, including the top two points leaders in the class: Ralph Kosmides in a Toyota Supra Twin Turbo and Mike Hurst in a Mazda RX-7. Attrition took a toll on many of the competitors but Mark and Brenda were able to avoid any serious troubles. In Friday's divisional, the Craig Kazmierczak/Diane Sargent Mazda RX-7 went off the road and bent the front suspension, resulting in a DNF for them. This unfortunate incident opened the door for Mark to claim the Central Division O2 Driver's title. At the end of the day on Friday, the results listed Mark and Brenda 1st place in Group 5 (4th place overall) in the national and finishing 1st place in O2 (2nd overall) in the first divisional event, the Ottawa Divisional.
Realizing that he had clinched the Central Division O2 Driver's title with the victory in the Ottawa Divisional, Mark knew he could back off a little during Saturday's stages. He had an almost 4 minute lead over the next Group 5 car in the national event and had no need to win his class in Saturday's divisional event, the Keweenaw Challenge. They took it easy on the first few stages, giving up 30 seconds or so and kept the pace going.
Just before the Brockway Mountain stage (a paved stage run two times in a row), the power steering line became detached and subsequently unusable. Rather than take time to find and install a new line, Mark cut the power steering belt at the next service. However, the planned switch to some road racing tires for the paved stage was canceled due to the time taken by the work on the power steering. They then attacked the Brockway stage equipped with the Michelin gravel tires. The rest of the event went smoothly and they held on to 1st place in Group 5 and only gave up two overall spots to a couple of Production GT cars. They finished the second divisional event, the Keweenaw Challenge, in 2nd place O2 and 5th overall.
Because of the 1st place finish in Group 5, Mark jumped up into 3rd place in the Group 5 Driver's year-end points ranking. With no events left on the schedule, Mark was awarded the 3rd place trophy at the evening's banquet. Mark and Brenda also each received their trophies for finishing 1st in Group 5 in the National event as well as 1st in the O2 class at the Ottawa Divisional. Mark was quick to thank his crew chief (and wife) Mary and crew member Jim Konkler for all of their hard work during the weekend.
Looking forward to next year, Mark has selected Diane Sargent as his permanent co-driver for the season and they plan to compete in four national events together: Sno*Drift, Susquehannock Trail, Ojibwe Forests, and Lake Superior.
Thanks from all of us at Mayhem Racing!
Mayhem Racing is based in St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, please visit our website: http://www.mayhemracing.com
Mark Utecht - Mark@MayhemRacing.com
Brenda Corneliusen - Brenda@MayhemRacing.com
Media and Public Relations - JimKonkler@MayhemRacing.com
Sponsorship Information - SponsorInfo@MayhemRacing.com