FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2006
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Irvine, California -- The motto "To finish first, first you must finish" was more evident for the Rallynotes.com team then any other this weekend at the Rim of the World Rally in Lancaster, CA. This is only their 3rd full stage rally and they are proving that they have what it takes to be a national team.
The all volunteer crew pushed hard to keep car 761 in it. "We just kept taking stuff off the car and finding more broken. Everyone was up until 3:00AM," said driver Kristopher Marciniak. "I called Harry who was coming up on Saturday morning. I canít believe he answered his phone. I said you know where I live, Harry. Pick up the four struts off my porch and at 7:00AM he was waiting for us at service. He had already started on the front right!" The crew of four: Harry Bushling, Kaiser Chen, Colten Becker, and Susan Rand, continued to work throughout the day to see that the car finished the rally.
Setting fast times on Friday the team was 1st in Production and 4th in the very competitive regional P-Stock class. They finished the night in 17th overall, very respectable for a production Dodge Neon. "The Bilstiens were amazing on the rough stuff, I know thatís what allowed us to move up so fast. We went from 33rd to 17th in 4 stages!" exclaimed Kris. "I was heartbroken when we discovered the housings we had made were broken and we had to pull the struts Saturday morning."
The only goal at this point was to finish the rally. The team would drive smooth throughout the afternoon into the final two night stages. A small mistake on the rougher section of Maxwell Road got the car stuck nose first into loose gravel. A gracious tug from car 632 driven by Dean Schlingmann & Chip Doeden got the Dodge Rally Neon back on the road to finish the last stage.
On the final transit back to headquarters the engine died. Disappointed, the team pulled over and tried to get the Neon going again. "The car was not getting fuel. The oil light was on, I have no idea what was wrong," said Kris. They flagged down the next rally car driven by Bristol Keele & George Scott. They graciously offered a tow back to the finish pavilion. "That is what rally is all about!"
At the finish, the time control workers told the team to head into the pavilion, where the winnerís circle was located. "I was stunned. I asked if he was serious," said co-driver Christine Wittish. "It was amazing" as we pushed the car inside everyone was cheering and applauding. Getting to participate in the champagne ceremony was something I had no idea we would be taking part in so soon in our rally career. The team will be looking for its next win in less then a month at the Olympus International Rally in Olympia, Washington.
Kristopher is a computer technician and support analyst working for the Alteer Corporation in Irvine, CA. Christine is a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine in the field of molecular biology and the lab of Dr. Douglas Wallace.
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