FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2001
Contact: Tamara Shadbolt
Tel: (503) 624-6366
Bemidji, Minnesota-- The Hairpin Racing Team of driver Lee Shadbolt and co-driver Bob Sherman headed home after finishing 17th overall in the Ojibwe Forests ProRally. The event, held in Bemidji, Minnesota, was the seventh round of the SCCA ProRally Championship. Television coverage will follow on Speedvision on a date to be announced.
It was the fifth time that driver Lee Shadbolt had entered this event, but the first time with a thunderstorm and a tornado warning. Dust would not be a factor! Starting in a downpour with flashes of lightning, the team ran into problems on the very first stage as water leaked through a hood vent and saturated the air filter. The engine cleared up after two miles, but over 30 seconds had been lost. This gave the following competitor an opportunity to pass the Hairpin Racing Subaru Impreza at the 10-mile mark. Shadbolt was content to follow but Mark Nelson's Mitsubishi Lancer EVO slid off the course on a 90 degree corner and stalled. Within seconds the Mitsubishi was back on course and re-opened its lead on the next fast straight. At 16 miles, it was the second longest stage of the event.
The last stage of Friday was the longest at over 17 miles. It would be an excellent stage for the team as they caught the Chevy S-10 of Ken Stewart at the flying finish. Others didn't do as well. At least two competitors suffered wheel and suspension failure on a rocky downhill section ending their event. The Hairpin Racing team was able to see all of these hazards due to careful selection of auxiliary lighting. Shadbolt commented that the rally was much more technical than prior years.
The event resumed at noon on Saturday with a spectator stage at the local Bemidji Raceway. The rally cars were run in reverse order, meaning the ClubRally competitors drove before the ProRally competitors. Some 2-wheel drive cars struggled through the wet clay course, while all wheel drive OPEN Class cars completed it in less than a minute.
There were eight stages on day two, and several DNFs due to crashes. One of the Knight Racing Subaru Impreza OPEN Class cars (driven by Jonathan Rhyther) rolled on the grass pasture stage referred to by competitors as "Cow Patty One". The car suffered extensive damage, but was driven back to service. On the seventh stage of the day, the 2002 WRX just ahead of the Hairpin team slid into a deep ditch and was out of the event. The weather had cleared, but the road surfaces were sandy and loose, particularly in corners.
The Hairpin Racing team finished 17th overall out of 52 entries and 9th in the competitive OPEN Class. The rally winner was Mark Lovell and Steve Turvey in a Subaru sponsored 2002 WRX prepared by Prodrive. Former PGT competitor Steve Gingras and co-driver Bill Westrick finished 4th overall in a Knight Racing prepared OPEN Class Subaru Impreza. Primitive Racing's Paul Eklund and co-driver Scott Huhn finished 8th overall, solidifying their contention as a top 10 finishing team. Perhaps the most impressive finish of the event was by Sports Compact Car staff member Dave Coleman and his co-driver rally legend Paula Gibeault in a production class Hyundai Tiburon which finished 14th overall and first in the Production Class.
The next SCCA ProRally Championship event will take place in Olympia, Washington, September 7th and 8th. The Hairpin Team, still striving for improved event finishes, will make additional vehicle and team preparations for that event.
For more information on Hairpin Racing, contact Tamara Shadbolt at (503) 624-6366 or email@example.com