FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shelton, WA (May 20, 2006)
Driving a 4WD Subaru WRX, driver Wyeth Gubelmann and co-driver Cindy Krolikowski were able to take advantage of their opposition's problems to win the Olympus International Rally. Bruce Davis and co-driver Jimmy Brandt finished the rally in a Dodge Neon to take top 2WD honors. This year's Olympus Rally marked the return of the event after an 18-year absence.
One after another, Gubelmann's potential challengers fell victim to problems that put them out of contention for the lead. The team of Blake Yoon and Nathalie Richard, in a Mitsubish Evo VII, high- centered their car two miles into the first stage of the rally. If it were not for assistance from a fellow competitor who pulled them back onto the road, their rally would have been over. They went on to score several stages wins. Wolfgang Hoeck and Piers O'Hanlon, also in a Mitsubishi Evo, were challenging Gubelmann for the lead early on, until a timing error made by the team resulted in a 10 minute penalty. Dave and Rick Hintz scored a stage win, immediately before the engine of their Subaru WRX suffered a bearing failure and they were forced to withdraw.
Ralph Kosmides/Alan Ockwell and Gary Cavett/Jeff Secor, all competiting in Subaru Imprezas, drove steady rallies to finish second and third respectively. The East Coast team of George Georgokopoulos and Faruq Mays suffered from a number of mechanical issues before retiring with a broken driveshaft.
Turnout for 2WD competition was light. The team of Bruce Davis and Jimmy Brandt were the sole Open 2WD entry and Kristopher Marciniak and Christine Wittish were the only Stock entry to finish. Kris and Ed Dahl broke a control arm on their Acura Integra and withdrew.
Wolfgang Hoeck leads George Georgakopoulas by one point in the (USRC) United States Rally Championship for Overall 4WD Driver, while Alan Ockwell has a clear lead for Overall 4WD Co-driver. In the 2WD Championship, Bruce Davis and Jimmy Brandt each lead their respective championship by a large margin.
With two of the three completed USRC rallies being on the West Coast, the West Coast competitors have been favored in the championship so far. However, the USRC now swings back to the east coast for rounds in New York and Tennessee, so the standings are likely to change.
Complete Results can be found at: http://rallydata.com/Results/Olympus_2006_NatResults.htm
About the Olympus Rally
The Olympus International Rally is round 4 of the USAC United States Rally Championship. It is headquartered in Shelton, Washington state and runs on roads west and southwest of Shelton. From 1986 to 1988, the Olympus Rally was a round of the FIA World Rally Championship, the last a WRC rally has been held in the US. For more information about the Olympus Rally, visit www.olympusrally.com.
The Olympus Rally is sponsored by Subaru Western Region, Piloti Shoes, Little Creek Resort and Casino, Prodrive, Rotter's Auto Center, Hanson Motors, Whitney's Auto Group and SafeDrives.