|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
August 28, 2000
|For more information, contact: Eric Burmeister|
Burmeister Engineering Rallysport
DETROIT, MI -- After excitement in the Burmeister Engineering Rallysport (BER) camp and much attrition in Group 2, Eric Burmeister and Mark Buskirk emerged with a second place class finish at the Ojibwe Forests ProRally this past weekend in Bemidji, Minnesota.
On Friday night, the pair found themselves losing power to an overheating engine, but putting in solid stage times in the #42 VW GTI. On stage 7, however, a front brake hose broke and left the team with only rear brakes via the hand brake. They made it safely back to the hotel without incident. Unfortunately, the team's new service van wasn't so lucky as a large deer literally rammed into the side of it just a half mile from the hotel.
With a new brake line, the pair went on to enjoy the wonderful twisty roads of Northern Minnesota until a broken throttle spring on the throttle body caused an anxious moment. The temporary fix was a rubber band (yes, as in office supplies!) from Mark's co-driver's bag. In a characteristic gesture of goodwill at the start of the next stage, fellow Group 2 competitor John Butts offered a spare extension spring he happened to be carrying in his rally car that lasted the rest of the rally.
After hearing his son complain about the handling of the car, BER rally boss Art Burmeister discovered a broken cross-member behind a rear engine mount. The skidplate was dropped and the team tried to weld the suspect pieces, but they were not very accessible. Fortunately, the other three mounts held tight and the car shifted fine. The team would just have to take it easy through the super special and subsequent rough stages.
With just a few stages left, the team found a leaking master cylinder that caused Eric to have to pump the brakes once before getting any actual braking pressure to the front. Also, the car was almost out of gas due to a miscalculation in fuel consumption. "I just leaned out the mixture and drove in 4th and 5th instead of 2nd and 3rd (gears)," Eric exclaimed at the following service. "I knew I wasn't going to catch Bob (Nielsen) and I hoped to just stay ahead of J.B. Niday." The team lost over a minute on that stage alone, but was able to hold onto their second place position.
At the awards ceremony, the three surviving Group 2 National competitors enjoyed a drink with one another. All were Central Division members and all were driving VW's.
This finish, along with a fair finish in Maine last month, brings the team from 19th place just two rallies ago to 5th place in the Group 2 National Championship. "We are starting to salvage what started as a real dismal season," said Eric. "The championship is out of reach, but we still want to finish up there and gain experience for next year."
Eric and Mark wish to extend their thanks to Chris "the human wrench" Whiteman for another fine job of keeping the car (and the driver) together. Chris will be missed as he finds himself in his own rally car soon.
This rally will be aired several times on SPEEDVISION starting Monday, September 11 at 8:00 p.m. EST.
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 back roads 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 also includes co-drivers Randy Moore and Mark Buskirk. The team receives help from Quaife America, Sachs of America, North American Radiator, Nokian Tyres, and RM Pro Tune.
For information on Quaife America, go to: http://www.quaifeamerica.com
For information on Nokian Tyres, go to: http://www.nokiantyres.com
For information on Sachs Race Engineering, go to: http://www.sachs-ag.de