Press Release

April 16, 2000
  Contact:Paul Eklund

Oregon Trail ClubRally a Success, Primitive Takes Trophy then Breaks

Portland, Oregon -- The Oregon Trail and Trail's End ClubRallies for 2000 are in the books. 52 sportscars entered, but not nearly as many finished by the end of the 2nd day. The Royal Moore Subaru sponsored Primitive Racing Impreza USX suffered the loss of 2nd gear during the first night, but managed to finish 2nd overall in the first ClubRally. But early on day two, 3rd gear also shattered, sending pieces through the side of the transmission housing ending the team's attempt to limp to the finish.

This ended the team's chances for National series points during a race that saw them as far up as 3rd overall during the event. "The car was running great and we even caught and passed one of the competitors who started in front of us," said driver Paul Eklund at the second service stop of the day. "The roads are very technical, and I got a little tense in a few places," chimed in co-driver Scott Huhn.

Later in the night, the transmission broke on a tight, uphill, left-hand turn and the team had to keep the car in third gear just to finish the stage. "We didn't have enough time at service to change a transmission, so we finished the night shifting between first and third. That must have been pretty hard on 3rd gear, because it too finally gave up the ghost the next day," lamented Eklund while watching the final stage at the Tillamook Air Museum grounds. "These Subaru parts are darn tough, but pumping 250hp through it under these conditions is asking an aweful lot from stock components."

Eric Eaton in a Mazda 323GTX was first overall in the ClubRally, but he too suffered transmission woes and dropped out as well on day two.

The results of the National ProRally are not yet final as several teams have filed protests that the blimp hangar stages were dropped from scoring without good cause. Apparently some of the teams suffered poor scores and complained to rally officials that the course was not well marked. This doesn't make much sense as the vast majority of cars found their way around the track without incident, and rallies often have portions that are a challenge to navigate.

We hope that the rally officials re-instate those first stage times, or the hopes of having short, spectator-friendly stages at the start and finish of events will be in jeopardy. This would be a big loss to the sport.

Enough editorializing. The race was a blast. It was scary. And it could have gone better for Primitive (and about 20 other teams), but we had a lot of fun and look forward to the rally next year. Thanks to all that helped put it on.

Now Primitive begins preparations to repair the transmission and to head to Palmdale, CA for the magnificent Rim of the World Rally on May 5th and 6th. The team finished 6th overall here last year and hopes to move up a couple of spots this year. The screaming yellow zonker will have a new tranny, fresh ThunderLizard logos, and about 40 more horsepower for the event.

See you along the RIM. Pe

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