FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2001
Contact: Tamara Shadbolt
Tel: (503) 624-6366
Tigard, Oregon-- The Hairpin Racing Team returned home following a challenging finish at the Wild West ProRally. The rally, with headquarters in Olympia, Washington, was run under ideal conditions with sunny skies and a slight breeze. It was the eighth event of ten in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) ProRally Championship Series. The Wild West ProRally will be televised on Speedvision.
The Hairpin Racing Team, consisting of driver Lee Shadbolt and co-driver Bob Sherman, was striving for an improved finish over their 17th overall in the Ojibwe Forests ProRally. The event consisted of two legs with six stages on Friday night and the remaining ten stages on Saturday. Event organizers chose two minute dust windows for the entire event which allowed twice as much time as normal for dust to settle between rally cars. The result was excellent stage times for competitors regardless of actual starting position. However, of the nearly 40 ProRally competitors that started, only 23 finished.
The Hairpin Racing Team started on pace. By the second stage, high power driving lights were utilized to illuminate the road ahead as they negotiated twisty gravel logging roads. The team had good stage times on four and five. But it was stage six that determined the outcome of their event. Heavy ruts in a rocky part of the stage ripped the Subaru Impreza exhaust system in half. The team was forced to stop or render the remaining parts irreparable. Using a steel cable that normally secures a hood pin, they strapped the loose exhaust pipe to the underside of the car, loosing over ten minutes in the process. Back on stage, they encountered the stranded Subaru of competitor Patrick Richard and his co-driver Ben Bradley. Their Rocket Racing Impreza was stopped in the middle of the road in a narrow, rocky part of the stage. The driving lights of another competitor, Gary Cavett in another Subaru Impreza, were coming up behind. Driver Lee Shadbolt made a quick decision to pull in front of the stranded car just as Cavett blasted by. Patrick Richard, ready with a tow rope, attached it to the back of the Hairpin Racing Impreza and they pulled Richard to a safer part of the road. Less than two minutes were lost and the Hairpin Racing Team finished the stage four miles later.
Overnight welding repairs were completed by the service crew of ClubRally driver Andy Sharples enabling the Hairpin Racing Team to continue on Saturday. Leg two featured the longest stage of the series at 28.5 miles. This proved to be a challenge both to cars and competitors as seven cars did not finish. The calibrated speedometer in the Impreza saw over 110 mph at the end of a 1.5 mile straight and the team covered the entire stage in just over 30 minutes. The Hairpin Racing Impreza came into service with a broken rim and heavily worn tires. On stage eight they narrowly missed a deer and later broke the driver's mirror after sliding too close to a tree. The long stage was run a second time followed by a 40 minute service to replace tires and brake pads.
Stage 12 was a spectator stage at the Thurston County Off Road Vehicle (ORV) Park. The course was in much better shape than it had been the in previous Rally Sprints and only had one spot of sticky mud. Organizers were forced to cancel three stages due to time delays, so the final stage was run before dusk and did not require additional lights. Despite being delayed almost 15 minutes on stage six, the Hairpin Racing Team managed to finish 22nd overall and 9th in the OPEN class.
The next SCCA ProRally Championship event will take place in the high desert forests of Prescott, Arizona on October 5th and 6th. The Hairpin Racing Team, still striving for improved 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