27 two-wheel-drive rally cars battled over the fast New England Forest Rally stages; second through fourth were separated by eight seconds going into the final stage

The second round of the 2010 MaxAttack! Series, presented by the Danza del Sol winery, was very similar to the previous round in Oregon: it was a hot, dusty affair with a very strong entry list. Twenty-seven teams registered for the MaxAttack! event, once again with a wide range of machinery, but barely half the field made it to the end of the rugged two-day event.

The fastest two-wheel-drive car at the New England Forest Rally was the Dodge Neon SRT-4 of Lauchlin O’Sullivan and co-driver Karen Wagner. They were clearly the class of the field all weekend, and their domination was sufficient for fellow competitor Eric Burmeister to describe Lauchlin as, “…on his own planet, I don’t even know where he’s from!” The Dodge team won by almost four minutes, despite losing some time over the course of the weekend due to a flat tire and some lingering dust.

Behind the O’Sullivan and Wagner was an epic battle for second through fourth. Leaving the final service in Errol, NH, there were three teams separated by fewer than 15 seconds. Local favorite Chris Duplessis and co-driver Catherine Woods had a slight advantage in their Scion XD. The Scion had been equipped with a limited slip differential, and was lightened since it’s debut at Oregon Trail, but it was still a relatively stock car. Josh and Jeremy Wimpey experienced a litany of problems with their Golf over the course of the weekend: they lost their power steering early on, were caught behind a slower car which damaged their windshield, they had a flat, and they broke a motor mount. Yet they were still in the game. Eric Burmeister and Dave Shindle, in the Mazdaspeed3, had brake problems the first night which put them three minutes back of the others, but they too clawed back to this thrilling finale.

After the tenth stage, with just two stages remaining in the rally, Duplessis/Woods led Burmeister/Shindle by 12.3 seconds, who in turn were ahead of the Wimpeys by just 2.3 seconds. Following Stage 11, Duplessis still led the other two, but his lead was reduced to just 3.5 seconds up on the Wimpeys, who had edged past Burmeister/Shindle by 4.2 seconds. This meant that going into the final stage of the rally, there were just eight seconds separating second through fourth in MaxAttack!. It was all to play for on the final stage.

On the last stage, Middle Dam, Duplessis and Woods took the stage win, edging the Wimpeys by two seconds, to secure second place by 5.5 seconds. The Wimpeys in turn edged out Burmeister and Shindle by four seconds to hang on to third place by 8.2 seconds. Finishing fifth in MaxAttack!, and the top rear-wheel-car, was the Datsun 280z of Greg Healey and Brian Johnson. The Datsun in turn beat out the Greasecar Motorsports cooking oil-powered turbo diesel Rabbit of Justin Carven and Geoff Clark, who edged out the Canadian duo of Martin Walter and Ferd Trauttmansdorff in a Nissan 240SX. Luke Sorensen and Josh Jenny had a great run going in their Saab 99 turbo, but a flat tire and a problem with the jack on the ensuing tire change cost them over ten minutes on Stage 5.

Running well early on, and buoyed by their Oregon Trail victory, Dillon Van Way and Ben Slocum were holding down second until Stage 9, when the engine on their Ford Focus suddenly and mysteriously quit. They were able to get going again, but despite eventually finishing the stage they were forced to retire due to the engine management problems. Stage 9 was also unkind to a number of teams who made contact with the Maine scenery or had mechanical problems on the stage.

The Top 5 finishers in the first round of the 2010 MaxAttack! series, and prize money won, were:

1. Lauchlin O’Sullivan/Karen Wagner, Dodge SRT-4 ($1500)
2. Chris Duplessis/Catherine Woods, Scion XD ($1200)
3. Josh Wimpey/Jeremy Wimpey, VW GTI ($1000)
4. Eric Burmeister/Dave Shindle, Mazdaspeed3 ($800)
5. Greg Healey/Brian Johnson, Datsun 280Z ($500).

The 2010 MaxAttack! series champion and Jake Himes Cup winner will be decided in a spectacular “Shootout” fashion in October. The top finishers from the west coast Oregon Trail Rally and the east coast New England Forest Rally are expected to meet in the middle and fight it out at the venerable Lake Superior Rally, on the upper peninsula of Michigan. Of course the same $5,000 event prize fund will be up for grabs for all registered two-wheel-drive entrants at this 2010 season finale.

The Rallysports Group of America would like to thank the organizers of the New England Forest Rally for their gracious assistance and support, all the volunteers (who ate a lot of dust this weekend!), and Rally America.

The 2010 MaxAttack! Rally Series Presented by Danza del Sol consists of three events, which are:
* Oregon Trail, May 14-16, Portland, The Dalles, and Dufur, OR, http://www.oregontrailrally.com
* New England Forest Rally, July 16-17, Bethel, ME, http://www.newenglandforestrally.com
* Lake Superior Performance Rally, October 16-17, Houghton, MI, http://www.lsprorally.com
Oregon Trail and the New England Forest Rally will be the qualifying events for the Jake Himes Cup, and the Lake Superior Performance Rally will be the central Shootout event.

Each event will feature a $5,000 prize fund to be distributed among the top two-wheel-drive teams, as well as a season championship. For more information about the MaxAttack! Series and the Rallysports Group of America, please visit http://www.max-attack.com.

About Danza del Sol Winery
Nestled in the rolling hills of the beautiful Temecula Wine Valley, Danza Del Sol Winery is a thirty-five acre estate winery located in Southern California’s Wine Country. While Danza Del Sol’s tasting room officially opened in February 2010, the winery itself already has a remarkable history. The estate was previously owned by Dr. William Filsinger and his late wife Katharine, who provided the Temecula Wine Valley with exceptional wines for nearly 30 years. Danza Del Sol is dedicated to producing a unique range of premium varietal and proprietary blended wines that are sure to exceed your expectations, at affordable prices. For more information, please visit http://danzadelsol.com/.

About Rallysports Group of America
Rallysports Group of America, Inc. (RSGA) was formed as an 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 a sustainable and competitive arena for the advancement of North American performance rally that promotes increased value for rally competitors, organizers, and sponsors alike. For more information, please visit http://www.max-attack.com.

About Rally America, Inc.
Based in Golden Valley, Minn., Rally America sanctions the premier rally racing series in the United States, the Rally America National Championship Series. In 2010, Rally America will conduct six National Championship events at venues across the country, from Olympia, Wash., to Bethel, Maine. Rally America competitors reach speeds well over 100 mph in modified street cars on natural-terrain courses of gravel, dirt or snow. In the Fall of 2010, Rally America will also introduce European-style wheel-to-wheel rally cross to North America. For more information regarding Rally America, Inc., the 2010 Rally America National Rally Championship or the new European-style rally cross events taking place at the New Jersey Motor Sports Park in the fall of 2010, please visit www.rally-america.com.

Lauchlin O’Sullivan and Karen Wagner head to victory at the New England Forest Rally round of the 2010 MaxAttack! Rally Championship, presented by the Danza del Sol winery. Photo by Pete Kuncis, http://www.onalimbracing.com.



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