lspr07_champs.jpgClose competition and sportsmanship abounds, as Doug Shepherd and Karen Wagner take the event victory; Kyle Sarasin and Mikael Johansson win the season championship and the Jake Himes Cup

The final round of the 2007 MaxAttack! Triple Crown Rally Series concluded this weekend at Lake Superior Performance Rally in Michigan. Billed as “the oldest, toughest, and meanest” rally on the Rally America calendar, LSPR did not disappoint, testing the teams and cars over two long days and nights of technical roads with every possible surface. Sixteen two-wheel-drive cars, representing eight different manufacturers, battled for their piece of the $8,000 purse and final bragging rights for the year.

lspr07_shepherd.jpgThe weekend-long battle between the Dodge Neon SRT-4s of Cary Kendall/Scott Friberg and Doug Shepherd/Karen Wagner ended with Shepherd and Wagner holding onto a narrow margin of victory. “With two stages left, I only had 11 seconds on them. I don’t remember the last time I’ve been in a battle like this,” stated Shepherd, as the team accepted their oversized first place check for $2,000. The rally veteran had some words for his younger competitors. “Speed is all about your attitude, not your age.” Kendall and Friberg claimed second place, and a check for $1,600.

The Ford Mustang of Mark Utecht and Rob Bohn ran with car number 535 in honor of MaxAttack! co-founder Jake Himes, who sported that number in his screaming yellow RX-7. “His spirit was riding with us,” stated Bohn. An inspired Utecht pedaled the rear-wheel-drive Mustang through some of the roughest stages that he has ever seen at a blistering pace; he ended the weekend third in MaxAttack! and received an extra-large check for $1,400. The team also received a big thank you for pulling one of their close competitors (Kyle Sarasin, Ford Focus) out of the first stage.

lspr07_bigcheck.jpgThe last three positions changed hands continuously throughout the weekend with seven different teams in the hunt. Kyle Sarasin and Mikeal Johansson climbed through the ranks after losing three minutes on the first stage with broken axles, only to have the same problem stop them within sight of the finish line on the very last stage. Eric Burmeister and Dave Shindle (Mazdaspeed3) towed the stricken Focus across the finish to get Kyle and Mikael to the end of their final 2007 MaxAttack! rally.

lspr07_burress.jpgThis show of generosity allowed the Seattle-based team of Tom and Don Burress, driving a VW Rabbit, to sneak by Burmeister and claim fourth place and a check for $1,200. The Burress brothers announced that they would donate their winnings to the Jake Himes Family fund.

Burmeister and Shindle, in the Mazdaspeed3, dropped to fifth and received a check for $1,000, and ended the season in the runner-up position for the Jake Himes Cup. Eric did not regret his decision to stop and tow Sarasin, simply stating, “It’s what Jake would have done.” Sixth place, and a check for $800, went to Evan Moen and Daniel Victor, who overcame many technical problems throughout the weekend.

For more information about the MaxAttack! Triple Crown and the Rallysports Group of America, please visit http://www.max-attack.com. For information about the Lake Superior Rally, please visit http://www.lsprorally.com or http://www.rally-america.com.

lspr07_burmeister.jpgThe Rallysports Group of America would like to thank the event organizers of the Oregon Trail Rally, Rally West Virginia, and the Lake Superior Performance Rally for their cooperation and assistance in the debut MaxAttack! season. The group is also grateful for all the competitors, marshals, and rally enthusiasts who have embraced the series. The support of the Team O’Neil Driving School (http://www.team-oneil.com/) and Burmeister Rally Sport (http://www.burmeisterrallysport.com) is also very much appreciated.

The 2007 MaxAttack! Triple Crown Rally Series has proved to be a resounding success, and the Rallysports Group of America is already excited about the 2008 season. Details and the event schedule will be posted at http://www.max-attack.com when they have been finalized.

About Rallysports Group of America
Rallysports Group of America, Inc. (RSGA) was formed as a non-profit organization in 2006 to advance the sport of performance stage rally in the United States. By providing education on performance driving, car preparation and safety, and by fostering the growth of meaningful competition, RSGA seeks to provide an attainable and sustainable entry point into performance rally, resulting in broader awareness and increased participation. For more information, please visit http://www.max-attack.com.

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