FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2000
Contact: Tamara Shadbolt
Tel: (503) 624-6366
Tigard, Oregon -- The Hairpin Racing team of driver Lee Shadbolt and co-driver Bob Sherman completed the gruelling Rim of the World ProRally on the night of May 6, in Palmdale, California. Covering over 100 timed stage miles, this year's event will be remembered for rougher than normal roads and a higher attrition rate. Sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), it was the 17th consecutive Rim of the World ProRally. The Hairpin Racing team has competed in this event for the past three years.
The Hairpin Racing team spent the prior eight weeks preparing their 1997 Subaru Impreza for the Federation Internationale du Sport Federation (FIA) Group A (Gr.A) class recognized by the SCCA. This required installing a Japanese market, turbocharged, and intercooled 2.0 liter boxer engine, special factory alloy control arms, upgraded ventilated front and rear disc brakes, WRX model sheetmetal, and a number of other "homologated" (approved by the FIA) components. The ambitious modifications required were not fully sorted and the engine suffered from hesitation below 3000 rpm (attributed to an electrical problem that could not be repaired at the event).
The rally began with a dirt spectator stage next to the Palmdale Holiday Inn (see photo at www.rimoftheworldrally.com/images/2000/35_Stage1.jpg). The next stage took the 36 teams into the Angeles National Forest after dark on partially paved roads. The electrical problem was quickly overshadowed when the team hit a rock on stage three with the driver side front wheel causing a flat and a severely bent strut. The team limped the car to the end of the stage and replaced the wheel. This resulted in a late arrival to the next stage and 120 road penalty points. The strut held together for another stage despite the wheel being at an odd angle. Once in service, the crew replaced the strut in just 13 minutes and the team was off to finish the final two stages of Friday night.
Saturday featured a charity rallysprint in which two cars, separated by a half lap, raced on a dirt course. Hairpin Racing crew member Simon Levear quit turning wrenches long enough to take a few turns at the wheel of the Hairpin Racing Impreza against the Impreza of Canadian competitor Patrick Richard.
The racing resumed in the afternoon with the famous Del Sur turn around stage. The team suffered no mechanical problems going up and then back down Del Sur. The final four stages featured numerous water bars - places in the road where water is diverted to minimize erosion. A careful approach was required to keep from nosing the car into the dirt and rock on the entry and to keep the car from jumping too high on the exit. Some water bars were full of loose sand which required yet another approach. The rally cars donned huge off-road lights for the final two night time stages.
Hairpin Racing finished 12th overall, and brought home the first place trophy for the Group A class. Of the 36 starting competitors, 21 did not finish (DNF).
Hairpin Racing would like to thank event organizers Paula and Mike Gibeault along with the entire Rim of the World Organizing Committee for another outstanding event. We would also like to thank the following sponsors:
UltiMite Portable Power Generators - from Subaru. This is the 1100 watt power generator featured in the Hairpin Racing service area for powering work lamps. It weighs just 23 pounds!
SPO Motorsports - Exclusive importer of SYMS Racing and other fine performance products. SYMS is a regular competitor in the Japanese Touring Car Championship, the Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb, and preparer of FIA Group N engines for the Japanese Rally Championship.
Morrie's Subaru of Minnetonka, Minnesota - The most recognized Subaru Dealership in America.
Royal Moore Subaru of Hillsboro, Oregon - Event and technical supporter of the Hairpin Racing Team.
NEO Synthetic - Manufacturers of performance lubricant products.
For more information about Hairpin Racing contact Tamara Shadbolt at (503) 624-6366 or visit the website www.subaru.net