|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
October 3, 1999
|Contact: Tamara Shadbolt|
Tel: (503) 624-6366
Prescott, AZ.-- The Hairpin Racing Team finished fourth in Production GT (PGT) at the Prescott Forest ProRally. The team, consisting of driver Lee Shadbolt and co-driver Claire Chizma, compete in a Subaru Impreza Coupe prepared by Hairpin Racing, Inc. The team is currently in second place in the 1999 Michelin / SCCA ProRally Championship for the competitive PGT class.
The Prescott event started under typically cloudless Arizona skies. Temperatures had been over 85 degrees during the previous four days. However, service crews came prepared for a cold night in the Arizona desert at an elevation of over 5000 feet. This year the entire event was completed in just one day and placed great demands on teams and vehicles. Harsh road conditions due to extremely rocky terrain added driving challenges.
Adopting a popular international event style, the Prescott ProRally began with a "super stage". The half mile course was run in front of a grandstand filled with hundreds of rally enthusiasts. The smooth dirt course was in stark contrast to the rocky, rutted roads seen during the rest of the race.
The Hairpin Racing team took an early lead in its class with quick times in the first four stages. At the first service, a rear strut required replacement as a result of a jump near the start of stage three. Such repairs are common in ProRally where far more ambitious repairs can be seen in short service breaks.
Shadbolt's early lead slipped away as stages began to feature long straight sections that favored the higher horsepower, turbo-charged cars. The Subaru Impreza is naturally aspirated and PGT rules allow no engine modifications. Power was reduced further as the rally stages climbed to over 6000 feet in elevation.
The second service took place near the historic mining town of Jerome. Hairpin Racing spent this service searching for a fluid leak that was later attributed to the car in front of them. The following stages saw rally cars chased by a helicopter capturing video footage for the upcoming Speedvision televised program on the event. At the third service, teams installed high power rally lights to illuminate the desert roads as darkness approached.
On stage road hazards took their toll on PGT competitors. Season points contender Kendall Russell bounced off the road and became stuck. Driver Mark Tabor and co-driver John Dillon lost their brakes on a turn-around stage, but managed to finish the event. Canadian competitor Patrick Richard and co-driver Ben Bradley dodged rocks, cleared cattleguards, and hung wheels over cliffs to finish third in PGT in their Subaru Impreza. Prescott local Roger Hull finished second, while Seamus Burke drove his Mitsubishi Galant to first place. Hairpin Racing finished fourth in this class and was 12th overall out of 39 entries. PGT points leader Gail Truess finished fifth and maintained her lead for the season.
The final round of the Michelin / SCCA ProRally Championship will take place October 22 and 23 in Michigan.
For further information on Hairpin Racing, please contact team manager Tamara Shadbolt at (503) 624-6366.