FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2001
Contact: Andrew Havas,
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania -- After a strong showing, Andrew Havas and Scott Slingerland's rally ended in massive disappointment for the privateers. While running a strong 6th overall and comfortably dominating the 2 wheel-drive contingent, the Havspeed.com RX7 hit a badly rutted section and was pulled off the right side of the muddy stage 9, just 2 miles from the finish of the demanding 20 mile stage.
Heavy rains after the first leg created fog and very slick, difficult conditions. Havas was coping well and running a quick and steady pace until that point, with an older rear-wheel drive car.
"My disappointment is difficult to put into words at this point," said Havas afterwards. "I have invested all my resources and effort in order to make a name for myself in my quest for a title sponsor. As the sport of rally grows in the U.S., it is going to be harder and harder for the privateers. I can't help but feel that I'm missing the boat, so I am doing all I can to be noticed and hopefully someday secure some support."
"We basically got caught out by circumstance, and subsequently a potential top six finish evaporated. With rear-wheel drive, once the front wheel hooks a rut, the car is pulled to that side. Unfortunately, on the other side of the rut was a 15 foot drop. The car gently slid down the bank, and at least I could take some comfort in that the car was undamaged."
However, when it rains it pours. Literally... In spite of the warning triangle, another competitor found the same ruts and slid down the same spot. They slammed the Havspeed car, totally destroying the left side of the car, and pushing it further down the bank incurring damage to the right front body and suspension.
"It was bad enough to cope with losing the great result we were headed for, but when I saw the other car smashed into mine, I felt ill.... I couldn't believe it... That really added insult to injury. Now I have my work cut out trying to scrape together the budget to repair the car and continue to run. This ending to what was such a promising run is certainly not what I needed," said Havas.
Attrition was to play a big part of this year's STPR. Many top teams retired with heavy accident damage. Surviving to take third overall was the Subaru of Karl Scheible, Seamus Burke drove an outstanding rally to finish second, and Mark Lovell took the top step of the podium with his works WRC specification Subaru, clearly the class of the field.
Team Havspeed would like to thank the many spectators who signed the Orange RX7, and were very supportive of our effort. Also, congratulations to eventual Group 5 winner Tad Ohtake, who drove a consistent event.
Visit http://www.havspeed.com for updates on the team's hunt for sponsorship....
Havspeed International Racing