Driver Jim McClelland and Co-Driver Jon Price nab 2WD and G2 Championships.

WASHPA Racing’s first year came to a winning end last week with the 2008 2WD and G2 Rally America Eastern Regional Championship Series with first-place finishes for both Owner/Driver Jim McClelland and Co-Driver Jon Price. If that weren’t enough, McClelland also managed to grab the Rookie of the Year Award. McClelland and Price placed 4th and 14th respectively in the overall standings.

“What an amazing year it has been,” said McClelland. “We want to thank our primary sponsors for this year – Hitchcock Insurance, of Washington, PA and Slow Boy Racing, of Indiana, PA. “Without their help we would not have been able to achieve as much as we did this season.”

WASHPA Racing managed to pack in some fast-paced action throughout 2008, beginning in January with its first-ever rally, the Team O’Neil Rally in Dalton, NH. “We have experienced so much that it’s hard to describe,” McClelland said. “From the very first race of the season, where Jon and I heard the most awesome words that any team can hear Three…Two…One… GO! to our struggle traveling to the Upper Peninsula for LSPR.”

Here are a few highlights of WASHPA Racing’s winning season as explained by McClelland:

Team O’Neil Rally: We left paint on many of Tim’s trees but we finished, in the snow, with a rear-wheel drive car that suddenly needed a new front bumper and right fender!

Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally: With the suspension destroyed on Day 1 we had an encounter with a tree on Day 2 (with no serious injuries, just to the car!).

Andrew Havas, of Havspeed Engineering, rebuilt the 724 Car in record time and got us to the New England Forest Rally.

New England Forest Rally: Darlene Jones signed on as Team Manager, 15-year-old Matt DeWees stepped up as Senior Crewman and the WASHPA Team was interviewed for a New York Times article.

Rally West Virginia: These were the most fun roads we raced on all year. It was like driving a roller coaster. Rally-Moto racers are crazy!

September 21, 2008: WASHPA Racing is featured in a Sunday New York Times article.

Rallye Defi: Our first Canadian event yielded us our first, First-Place of the season. Canadian rally fans are amazing! WASHPA Racing also made their television debut at Rallye Defi on TSN (Canada’s ESPN). The episode can be seen at www.Flatovercrest.com.

Lake Superior Performance Rally: Well, well, well. This was a tough event, but we’re sure it would have been a lot easier if we could have gotten the 724 Car all the way to the race. This event was set to be Darlene’s maiden voyage in the co-driver seat. The trouble started just East of Toledo, OH. That is where the trailer had its first flat. A few hours later we lost an entire wheel when all of the studs snapped off at the drum. That caused the suspension to meet the highway and then we were in trouble. So the trailer, with the car, stayed in Detroit, MI while we traveled the rest of the way to the U.P. to watch the last event of the Rally America National Series. Four tire changes on the highway and a new set of leaf springs are what it took just to get the rig back to PA. We have a lot of people to thank for their help during this rally adventure: Trooper Ramsey of the Ohio State Police, Sam and Nat the middle-of-the-night towing guys, Bill, Lynn, Tom and J.R. from Metro Airport Truck for their awesome work on the trailer, crew volunteer Scott Cannon, our local crew guys from Michigan Tech., Jeffrey Novak, Russell Jungnitsch and Stephen Lewis, Karen Wagner for her help in getting Darlene ready to co-drive, and the organizers of the LSPR for their help and understanding.

What will 2009 bring for the WASHPA Team? A run for the 2WD National Championship? “The 724 Car is in great shape,” McClelland said. “The team is solid and the future is bright. Stay tuned WASHPA fans, the New Year is here!”

Follow WASHPA Racing’s progress at www.WASHPA-Racing.com. See WASHPA Racing’s coverage on TSN at http://www.flatovercrest.com/2008/12/crc-tv-tsn-rallye-defi-english.html. (The 724 car appears at 11 minutes 43 seconds into the coverage).

For more information about WASHPA Racing, contact team owner Jim McClelland at [email protected] or team manager Darlene Jones at [email protected]

About WASHPA Racing:
WASHPA Racing is a performance rally racing team based out of Washington, Pennsylvania. Driven by car owner Jim McClelland with Jon Price serving as co-driver and Darlene Jones filling the team manager position, WASHPA is currently racing a 1987 Toyota MR2 (The 724 Car), a 1.6L, naturally aspirated, rear-wheel drive, mid-engine, G2 Beast!

WASHPA Racing truly is “Living the Dream – One Race At A Time.” To find out more, visit WASHPA Racing at www.WASHPA-Racing.com.

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