This year's MWR was sanctioned by Land O' Lakes Region of SCCA and was the first event in the SCCA Central Division Road Rally Championship as well. That helped to improve the entry list with several teams from the Twin Cities, as well as LaCrosse and Frederic, Wisconsin, and one team from Houghton, Michigan. Among the competitors were 1997 SCCA National Course Rally Champions Scott Forehand and Dave Fuss, and other regulars from the National circuit including John Emmons and Lois Van Vleet, J. B. Niday and Al Kintigh, and Gary Starr. The only ASCC team to participate was Larson/McConnell, after the early entry of Jokela/Anderson was forced into a DNS by illness.
The course took rallyists up Seven Bridges Road in Duluth and north into the first control. From there the course stayed pretty close to Pequaywan Road (Co. Rd. 44), with the intent of minimizing the workers' distances between controls. Someone forgot to tell the workers, and Monsieur Winker in the course opening car had to set up to work several controls to confirm that there would be times for the competitiors when they arrived. All in all, however, there appeared to be no serious glitches at the controls.
The rally course wound its way east on Fox Farm Road, then northwest on Drummond Grade, a short loop to Hypo (not a Typo) Creek Road, then to Toimi. Back from Toimi the rally teams again looped down Hypo Creek from the opposite direction, down Pequaywan to the ever popular Rossini Road (the closest thing to PRO Rally thrills on this event), then back west on Fox Farm. Getting back to Proctor presented RM Mlle. Sargent with a bit of a problem as there isn't much exciting between those points, but a DIYC and a CAST 15 loop past Archer Motorsports kept teams on their toes.
Speeds must have been reasonable as several teams were able to keep their scores under 5 points (3 seconds) maximum on a leg. The winning team - Niday and Kintigh - averaged just over 1 point per leg! It was only 14 more points back to fourth place and the Class S winning team of Forehand and Fuss. Only one car fell off the road during the event; Gary Starr kept his MWR record intact when he found a soft "road" while avoiding an oncoming pickup. The pickup driver was kind enough to help extract the sunken Honda and the team continued without damage or further incident.
The MWR finished at Blackwoods Restaurant in Proctor about 7 pm, allowing teams to have a bit of dinner before they hit the road for the long journey home.
By the way, the chorus to Indian Lake (referenced in the Route Instructions just past the rest break at Hugo's) as sung by the Cowsills:
Indian Lake is the scene you should make with your little one. Just keep it in mind if you're looking to find a place in the summer sun. Swim in the cove, have a snack in the grove or you can rent a canoe. At Indian Lake you'll be able to make the way the Indians do....
Class A/E 1-T J.B. Niday*/Al Kintigh* Eagle Talon 14 2 John Emmons*/Lois Van Vleet* Honda Civic 19 3 Phil Schmidt/Steve Irwin Toyota MR2 27 4 Gary Starr*/Brad Odegard* Honda CRX 117 Class B/L 1 Paul Moormann/Suzanne Wootton Audi Quattro 327 Class C/S 1-T Scott Forehand*/Dave Fuss* Audi S4 28 2 Tobin Goetz/Dean Bitle Isuzu Stylus 227 3 Todd Larson/Mike McConnell Mazda PU 351 4 Matt Jachimstal/James Bialas Ford Ranger 549 5 Tim Bleed/Don Nyren Ford Ranger 692 * = SCCA member (for LoL and CenDiv points)
MWR 98 Officials
Chairman - Tim Winker
RallyMaster - Diane Sargent
Control Workers - Bill Taylor, Dana Goetz, Roger Johnson, Mark Strohm.
Sweep - Ken Cich, Jay Talarico.
1998-1999 ASCC Winter Rally Series