|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 1999
|Contact: Tamara Shadbolt
Tel: (503) 624-6366
Shelton, WA -- . Driver Lee Shadbolt and co-driver Claire Chizma drove the Hairpin Racing Subaru Impreza to a second place finish in the Wild West ProRally. The event was round five of the Michelin / SCCA ProRally Championship which took place in Shelton, Washington on June 18 and 19. The Championship series is sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). Hairpin Racing competes in the Production GT (PGT) class where cars remain primarily stock with only safety and suspension modifications allowed.
The weather in Shelton was sunny and dry with just enough wind to move some of the dust. In rallying, cars are typically separated by one minute intervals. When dust is a factor, this "dust window" may increase to several minutes. The Wild West organizers chose a two minute dust window for most of the event and teams had to drive with limited visibility in places. The first three stages were run in the daylight on forest roads southwest of Shelton. The following three stages required teams to install high-power driving lights to negotiate the same roads in the dark. After the dust had settled on Friday night, Hairpin Racing trailed the PGT team of driver Gail Truess and co-driver Cindy Krolikowski by 51 seconds.
Saturday's weather was the same, and the two minute dust windows were retained. The next four stages were further north with the longest stage of the rally at over 23 miles. Long gravel straights favored the higher horsepower cars, while 90 degree turns challenged everyone's brakes. Two of the final six stages were run at the Outdoor Recreation Park (ORV) where spectators had an opportunity to see each rally car compete on a one mile course from a grandstand. Former Hairpin Racing co-driver Paul Eklund took fast time on the short course with a 1 minute 14 second run driving the Primitive Racing Open Class Subaru Impreza. By the end of the event, Eklund would be third overall scoring critical manufacturers points for Subaru.
After 16 stages, it would be Truess and Krolikowski who would win PGT in the Rally Dynamics Mazda 323 GTX. Hairpin Racing finished second in PGT and eighth overall, their fourth top-ten overall finish in the last four events entered. The Hairpin Racing team is now qualified for the North American Rally Cup (NARC) which requires entry of two national events in both Canada and the US. Shadbolt and Chizma competed in the Bighorn and Rocky Mountain Rally events in Alberta, Canada in May. The first of those two events was fast and dusty with mostly gravel and dirt surfaces to compete on. At the Rocky Mountain Rally, conditions were completely different with muddy road surfaces covered by 10 inches of fresh wet snow. Shadbolt commented, "they were not the conditions we were used to, so we approached it as a learning experience - the events were fast!".
Current point standings for PGT drivers is as follows:
The next round of the Michelin / SCCA ProRally Championship will take place July 30 and 31 in Rumford, Maine. Hairpin Racing will not be entering that event, but all five of the above listed drivers are expected at the Ojibwe Forests ProRally on August 27 and 28. After that, there will be just two remaining events to determine the winner of the 1999 Production GT Championship.
For further information on Hairpin Racing, please contact team manager Tamara Shadbolt at (503) 624-6366.