|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
June 28, 1999
|Contact: Frank or Dan Sprongl|
GORHAM, N.H.--Defending champion Frank Sprongl only got one chance to race up Mt. Washington on Sunday but he made the best of it, capturing his second consecutive Audi-Mt. Washington Hillclimb title.
Sprongl, of Mississauga, Ont., topped the field of 60 cars with a time of 6 minutes and 43.1 seconds for the 7.4-mile dash up the treacherous mountain road, two seconds shy of the record time he established with his victory in 1998. American Dan Rutan was second, 6 seconds back, while Australian Jeff Denmeade was third.
The Audi Dealer Team Castrol S2 coupe only got one chance to keep the title of king of the hill when a rock damaged a tire on a first attempt and Sprongl had to abort his run up the 6,200-ft. mountain. Practice on Saturday was equally frustrating, with suspension damage and other problems keeping Sprongl from making a full practice run.
"If I only had once chance," said Sprongl, "I had to make it a good one. I couldn't be conservative." Indeed, Sprongl found himself airborne on the narrow mountain road in places that left spectators gasping. "I scared myself!" he admitted. "The car got airborne in a turn where I never got air before. It couldn't have been inches from the edge when it landed!" It is Sprongl's fourth win on the mountain.
Coverage of the Audi-Mt. Washington Hillclimb will be featured across North America on the Speedvision network later this summer.
The repeat win at Mt. Washington puts the team back in winning form after a tree on the SCCA ProRally round in Pennsylvania earlier this month ended their winning streak at six events. That crash necessitated a massive reconstruction of the car in time to defend their Mt. Washington title and their attempt to repeat as winners of the fifth round of the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship, the Rally Baie des Chaleurs on July 3 in New Richmond, Quebec. Driver Frank, co-driver Daniel and Audi Dealer Team Castrol have swept the first four events of the Canadian championship this year.
Information: Frank or Dan Sprongl (905)877-1733