dw08_post.jpgJohn Lane and Ray Damitio claimed first overall in the twentieth anniversary of the Doo Wop Rally Series, based in the historic Washington seaport of Aberdeen.

It was a come from behind victory for Lane and Damitio, driving a two-wheel drive 1976 Volvo 262. The popular duo shook of the rust from a five-year layoff and claimed a five second victory over Pete Van Bogart and Mike Barber in a new Cascade Motorsports 2007 Subaru WRX. The Subaru Legacy of Mark Mager and Miller Dumaoal finished third, another ten seconds back.

VanBogart and Barber topped the field on day one but the Production GT class Subaru suffered a power disadvantage on day two’s fast stages. Pre-event favorites Dave Hintz and John Ford suffered a cracked header on day one but came back to win the second Doo Wop round with a 2002 Subaru WRX.

The flying Burress brothers, Tom and Don, challenged the leaders with their 1977 Volkswagen Rabbit until a malfunctioning fuel pump knocked them out of the running for the Group 2 title. Sophomore driver Carl Decker teamed with Adam Craig to claim the Group 2 win in a 1993 two wheel driver Subaru Impreza.

Doo Wop 1

Doo Wop 1 was shortened by the loss of the Crane Creek stages. The Crane Creek road climbs dramatically on the western edge of the Olympic Mountains. The stage road was battered by winter storms that buried the start under several inches of snow, while toppled trees littered the finish area. Without Crane Creek, Doo Wop 1 was limited to three rounds of the ten-mile Taholah loop road through the Quinault Indian Reservation on the Pacific shoreline.

Van Bogart and Barber brought the brand new Subaru WRX to the first round of the Doo Wop series, and came through the break-in period with an overall win. The Cascade Motorsports team sealed the deal with a blazing run on stage two of the short three stage event, when they gained more than 20 seconds on the field. A slide into a dirt berm on the last corner of the last stage provided a little excitement for the winners, who also claimed the Production GT class honors.

Jay Woodward and Jason Grahn jumped into the early lead in their 4WD Mazda Protege, which had been a Doo Wop winner in 1995; Woodward has restored the car to better than new condition. Woodward and Grahn posted the fastest time on stage one but then Van Bogart and Barber turned it on in stage two. The Protege team finished second overall, first in the open class, 42 seconds behind the winners.

Tom and Don Burress flew into third place in their Group 2 Rabbit. The rapid bunny finished just eight seconds behind the second place Mazda. A ten second penalty assessed against the Burress brothers for clipping one of the chicanes was the difference. The chicanes are used to slow speeds on the fastest sections of the Taholah stage.

Just five seconds behind the Rabbit were Mager and Dumaoal, fourth overall in a 1999 Subaru Legacy RSTi. The Group 5 class winners, Lane and Damitio were another five seconds back and fifth overall

Mark Tabor and Ben Bradley were sixth overall, second in PGT, leading a pack of Subaru Impreza variations. Following the Tabor/Bradley WRX was Brian Svedin and Tracy Manspeaker in a PGT class 2.5RS in seventh. Mark Fox and Jake Blattner were eighth in an open class Impreza. Decker and Craig, ninth in their 2WD Impreza, followed by Bob Trinder and Andy White, tenth in a right hand drive WRX.

The pre-event favorites, Hintz and Ford fractured a header on stage one and missed the second pass while a fix was welded together. They came back to post the fastest time on stage three.

The only production class entry suffered a worse fate, when Ian McPherson and Mark Nelson in a Toyota Mr2 rolled out of the event on stage three. The other six DNF’s in the event were able to make repairs and continue on to the “fun stuff,” the roads of Doo Wop 2.

Doo Wop 2

An overnighter by the service crew replaced a broken rear strut bracket and put Hintz and Ford in position to take the win in Doo Wop 2. The Hintz Subaru fell behind on the Blue Slough pavement stages but put thirty seconds on the field on stage three to jump into the lead. They never trailed after that. Hintz/Ford posted fastest time on four of the six gravel stages including the fastest time (6:57) on the famous run from the Brooklyn Tavern to take the win with 1:34 to spare.

Lane and Damitio parlayed the fastest times on the Smith Creek stages into a second overall and first in Group 5. To the delight of the fans, the rear-wheel drive Volvo left trails of burnt rubber on the sun baked portions of the Brooklyn stage. Lane says the turbocharged V6 could be even faster with a little more engine management work.

Mager and Dumaoal finished third overall, 20 seconds out of second with the Legacy. Van Bogart and Barber were another 45 seconds back, fourth overall and first in PGT. Tabor and Bradley were second in PGT only 12 seconds behind the class leader. Van Bogart came from behind on the next to the last stage to grab the PGT win.

Trinder and White posted solid times moving up to sixth overall. The Group 2 winners, Decker and Craig were seventh, just two seconds ahead of Svedin and Manspeaker.

The PGT Subaru of Svedin and Manspeaker edged rally rookie Malcom Davies and Bruce Parker by one second on the last stage to take the ninth spot by that one second. Davies and Parker showed impressive speed in an Eagle Talon TSI.

Adam Crane and Britta Nielsen survived a wild spin off course just a mile from the finish on the last stage. Then they slid their rear-wheel drive Toyota Corolla into tenth overall and second in Group 2.

The Burress brothers rocketed into the lead on the first pass down the Blue Slough Road, and then backed it up with the fastest time on the second run too. So after two stages, a 1977 Volkswagen Rabbit was in first overall. Unfortunately a malfunctioning fuel pump stalled their effort after stage three. The Rabbit was repaired and returned to set a new Group 2 record (7:02) on the run from Brooklyn to Oakville.

Story and photo by Jim Culp

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