FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2001
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Eurosport Manhattan Rallying
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- What looked like a perfect setting for the 2001 Maine Forest rally turned out to be a disappointment as only one of the three Eurosport Manhattan crews made it to the finish. Despite the two non finishers, the trip to the Mead paper forests was a productive one for the team as the new components adapted to the open class Subaru Impreza Turbo driven by Andrew Hadjiminas and Luis Figueiredo performed flawlessly. The only problem they encountered all weekend was the thick choking dust typical of this rally.
Andrew has continued to improve his speed consistently without taking any risks. The primary exercise for this event was to test several new components implemented to the Subaru in preparation for Sakis' Hadjiminas second appearance of the year at the Ojibwe Forest Pro Rally in Minnesota on August 17th and 18th. "It is a great relief for the team to finally bring the Subaru to the finish after all the work and development that has gone in to the car over the last year. We always knew the car was competitive, and now it's even better, but like all other things, it takes time to get all the components to work together, especially when you have very limited testing time and facilities. We now feel that we have the reliability we where lacking and now it's time to improve our stage times" Quoted Andrew after completing the very difficult task of finishing the Maine Forest Rally.
Second driver Jose M. Vicente co-driven by Canadian Peter Watt got off to a bad start from stage 1 when the throttle got jammed on the very first turn in the rally. The problem was easily repaired but did not improve their luck. They drove stage two very cautiously in order to save the car, but it did not help as in stage 3 an impact with a rock ripped off a rear suspension link leaving the car almost undriveable. They limped thru the stage losing a total time of about 18 minutes. The team managed to repair the car in time for the Saturday re-start only to be sidelined at the service after stage 6 with terminal cylinder head gasket damage.
The team's share of bad luck seemed to be contagious as Tony Birbilis could not start the event due to a broken timing belt on his Eurosport Manhattan Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Tony was to be co-driven for the first time by former Cypriot rallyist Mario Socratous and was looking forward to the Maine Forest experience. There was nothing that could be done as the failure was caused by a defective new part giving up and causing the camshafts to go out of synchronization. Despite the disappointment Tony's healthy and fun approach to the sport still prevailed as he hustled to get himself and the crew back to stage one to show his support for the remainder of the team and other competitors.
Eurosport Manhattan Rallying now looks forward to the Ojibwe Forest Pro Rally held in Bemidji, MN on August 17th and 18th. Team leader Sakis Hadjiminas and co-driver Luis Figueiredo will be at the wheel of a much improved Subaru Impreza Turbo in a bid for top Open class honors, while Tony Birbilis and co-driver by Jose M. Vicente will try to re-encounter themselves with their good luck streak in the Group N Ford Escort RS Cosworth.
Eurosport Manhattan would like to thank their sponsors for their continuing support:
Corona Beverages, www.corona.com
Per Annum City Diaries Inc., www.perannum.com
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Ojibwe Forest Pro Rally: