FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2001
Contact: Eric Burmeister
DETROIT, MI -- The Burmeister Rallysport team of Eric Burmeister and Mark Buskirk survived a wild ride at the International Cherokee Trails Rally this weekend in Chatanooga, Tennessee. The pair spent the week in the area doing their first reconnaissance rally and finished second after several twists of fate.
The rally started with a great battle between Burmeister/Buskirk and the VW GTI team of Richard and Brian Pilczuk. The teams were trading times over the first two days, but the veteran Pilczuk was getting the best of them. On the third stage, a loss of power steering caused a bit of grief and Burmeister had to manhandle the car through the extremely twisty stages before getting it fixed at service two stages later.
Stages 7 and 8 on the second day proved to be very decisive for Group 2. On Burmeister's car, the very rough stage 7 had shaken loose a part of the throttle linkage and the throttle pedal just dropped to the floor as if the cable had broken. Upon doing a temporary fix on the stage, the pair were again under way...but not for long.
At 4.5 miles into the same stage, the car suddenly veered uncontrollably into the bank on the right side of the road. "I was just spinning the wheel like a bumper car," explained Burmeister, "and merely making suggestions as to where it may decide to go!" Luckily, it went right (into a soft bank)...instead of left (off the mountain road). The culprit was a faulty steering rack spline that came unattached from the steering column. After pounding the pieces back together with a fist-sized rock, the pair continued very cautiously to the end of the stage and to service where the problem was fixed. The team suddenly found themselves dropping from 2nd to 3rd as their time was a full 15 minutes off the pace of their second running of the same stage and the Isuzu Impulse of Randy Baily and Will Perry slipped by turning in consistently fast times.
The following stage saw the unfortunate end of the rally for the Pilczuk team as they had an off-road excursion. The beneficiaries of this included Burmeister Rallysport. Car 42 managed to continue their quick pace to take second in class. This gets the team started off with a good lead for the Group 2 Driver's and Co-Driver's Championships with 39 points.
The team wishes to thank all the rally organizers who made this event a wonderful success and all the Group 2 competitors. Said Burmeister, "I came away from this week knowing more people than when I came and I find, as I have found in the past, that rallyists really are some of the nicest people in the world."
Thanks also go to Colin McCleery of Sierra Rallysport, Art Burmeister of Burmeister Engineering, Jerry Barbret, Jeff Secor, Chris Whiteman, Michael Paulin, Sachs Race Engineering, and Quaife America.
The International Cherokee Trails Rally will be televised on April 9 at 8:00pm EST on Speedvision Network. Check your local listings.
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 backroads 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.
For information on the SCCA ProRally series, check: http://www.sccaprorally.org
For information on the International Cherokee Trails Rally, go to: http://www.cherokeetrailsrally.com/
Burmeister Rallysport can be reached at: (313)792-2397 or e-mail Eric Burmeister at: email@example.com
Sierra Rallysport can be reached at: http://rallysport.net/SierraRallySports/
Quaife America can be reached at: http://www.quaifeamerica.com/
Sachs Race Engineering can be reached at: http://www.sachs-ag.de/english/motorsports/index.htm