|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
August 28, 2000
|Contact: Tamara Shadbolt|
Tel: (503) 624-6366
Portland, Oregon-- The Hairpin Racing Team returned to Portland today following a successful week in Minnesota. Pre-rally activities included a press event at Morrie's Subaru in Minnetonka, Minnesota where five Impreza rally cars were displayed. Morrie's, the most recognized Subaru Dealer in the US, sponsors two Imprezas in the ProRally series, including the Hairpin Racing Impreza that is driven by Lee Shadbolt and co-driver Bob Sherman. For more information go to the website www.subaru.net.
In another event prior to the Ojibwe Forests ProRally, the Primitive Racing Impreza represented Morrie's at the Ojibwe Speedway in the Triple Caution (!!!) RallyCross. Paul Eklund scored fast times in his lizard encrusted Yellow Impreza at this warm up event. RallyCross events, which are open to all street cars, often sport more than their fair share of Subaru vehicles as entries. At the press event the prior day, ProRally Marketing Director Kurt Spitzner reported that the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) RallyCross program is the fastest growing motorsport series in North America!
The Ojibwe Forests ProRally started in Bemidji at the Northern Inn with 77 entries. Top entries included four Hyundai rally cars, six Mitsubishi Lancers, nine Imprezas, and the normal pack of Eclipses and Talons. Of particular note was the Ruby's Toyota Supra driven by Ralph Kosmides, a Ford Escort ZX2 driven by Tad Ohtake, the Porsche 911 of Dennis Chizma, and an immaculate Ford Cosworth Escort piloted by Kurosh Jahromi. It was arguably one of the most impressive fields ever seen at Ojibwe and a clear indicator of the strength of the sport. Driver Lee Shadbolt and co-driver Bob Sherman were off to a great start and experiencing none of the problems that plagued the Hairpin Racing Team earlier in the season. The roads were just slightly dusty in spots, and the dirt surface of the fast roads was unpacked. Shadbolt commented that the heat and humidity was not a factor and that the 2.0-liter turbocharged Impreza was running great. At the first night time service, the Primitive Racing Team ran into transmission problems when they became stuck in fourth gear. The service was unacceptably short to attempt a transmission change, but their team worked feverishly to the drone of their UltiMite portable power generators as the swap took place.
The action that night in the pits was just a glimpse of the battle on stage. It was a Mitsubishi - Hyundai battle with a host of Subarus close behind. The most exciting battle of the evening was between PGT competitors Steve Gingras in and Eagle Talon and Canadian Patrick Richard in a Subaru Impreza 2.5RS. In the end, the turbocharged Talon edged out Richard's Impreza by just 12 hundredths of a minute. The second day of the rally featured a service at a farmer's field that served as a short stage for spectators and teams to enjoy. The Hairpin Racing Impreza entered the first service with a broken transmission and no second gear. Debris in the transmission restricted gear selections to first, third, and fifth. But the team drained the debris and replaced the fluid and continued on. Performance on the following stages was greatly affected. The following night stages brought out the high power driving lights that are trademark of nighttime rally events. Staying true to their record for finishing events, the Hairpin Racing Team completed the Ojibwe Forests ProRally.
The next event in the ProRally Championship series will be the Wild West ProRally in Olympia, Washington. Another large, impressive field is expected for this event to be held on September 15th and 16th. The Hairpin Racing Subaru Impreza is undergoing yet another class conversion as the car will be upgraded to run in the SCCA OPEN class against the fastest rally cars in North America.