Press Release
August 4, 1998, Tigard, Oregon

Contact Tamara Shadbolt.
(503) 624-6366


Hairpin Racing Subaru Leads Production GT Class after Maine Forest Rally

As the dust continues to settle in and around the logging roads of Rumford, Maine, the Hairpin Racing Team of Lee Shadbolt and Paul Eklund retain the lead in the highly competitive Production GT (PGT) class of the Michelin PRO Rally Series. The Maine Forest Rally drew 56 National entries into the moose-filled woods and brought several of the top West Coast teams East to defend their point accumulations. The Hairpin Racing Team from Portland, Oregon, increased their PGT points lead over Kendall Russell by two points, leaving them 8 points in the lead with three races remaining. But last year's Champion Steve Gingras is coming on strong following a second place finish in this event moving him up to third in the series, 16 points behind Shadbolt.

The Maine Forest Rally marked the 25th anniversary of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National PRO Rally Series. Past series winners were honored at the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the event. The Open Class and overall winners of the rally were Paul Choinere and Jeff Becker driving the mighty Hyundai. First in PGT and third overall were Bill Driegert and Tony Lumino piloting a Mitsubishi Galant at an incredible pace. Finishing eighth overall and first in Group 2 was Chris Havas and Eric Trembley in a VW Golf. Ralph Kosmides and Joe Noyes took Group 5 honors in their Toyota Supra and were ninth overall.

The road speeds were brisk. They made the motto "Real Cars on Real Roads going Real Fast" completely true. The winning Hyundai averaged over 66 MPH on certain twisty gravel stages. Meanwhile, the Hairpin Racing Subaru Impreza averaged 55 MPH without the aid of a turbo charger or experience on the long rocky stages. This means that bursts to near 90 MPH occurred on the short straights before braking and sliding into the next corner or over a blind crest. There was also a short, fun stage through the streets of Rumford with the finish line at the steps of the Rumford City Hall.

The field of Production GT cars fared very well at this event, with four of the 10 entries finishing in the top ten overall. This was partially due to the mild weather and the taller gearing featured in production-based cars. The weather kept turbocharged cars from overheating and the gearing actually allowed the PGT cars to have higher top speeds on the faster stages than some of the Open Class cars that top out at under 100 MPH. Interestingly, every PGT car finished. This heats up the points race for the season championship. The Maine Forest Rally will be televised on Sept 8th on ESPN2, 3:30PM PST.

The next event will be the Ojibwe Forest Rally in Bemidji, Minnesota on August 28th - 30th. The Hairpin Racing Team plans to compete on the sandy, flowing roads to continue to defend their series lead.

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