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8 September 2003

Immediate release


Four drivers tied on Rally Series of North America leaderboard

Pasi Hagstrom won the International Wild West Pro Rally (5-7 September), the fourth round of the 2003 Rally Series of North America which finished in the city of Olympia in the Pacific Northwest on Sunday afternoon. The Finn, who is the Subaru World Rally Team?s leading test driver, won 11 of the 12 stages (one jointly) in his Prodrive-built Subaru Impreza WRX to claim an impressive 3 minute and 26 second victory over second-placed Ramana Lagemann. Rally favourite David Higgins was forced to withdraw from the event after winning the opening stage, his co-driver Daniel Barrett suffering from a virus.

In the battle for Rally Series of North America points, New York based Shane Mitchell scored maximum points in a 2002 specification Group N Subaru Impreza. The American took the lead in the opening leg on Saturday, winning each of the five stages that were run following the cancellation of two due to the high risk of fire in the forests. In contrast, wet and slippery conditions greeted the crews on Sunday and although second and third placed Mark Utecht and Ralph Kosmides challenged hard, the result remained unchanged at the end of 12 stages and 183.04 competitive kilometres.

Regular FIA Production Car World Rally Championship contender Alfredo De Dominicis, who opted not to contest the World Rally Championship round in Australia, failed to finish in his Lancer Evolution. The Italian and co-driver Danilo Fappani were forced out in the second stage with mechanical problems.

In the Rally Series of North America standings, Shane Mitchell now shares the lead alongside Canada?s Patrick Richard, Argentinean Marcos Ligato and Erwin Richter, winner of the Rally International de las 24 Horas, the third round of the series in July.

The next round of the series takes the crews to Canada for the Rallye International de Charlevoix (24-26 October) and then the final event in the US, the Ramada Express International Rally (11-14 December).

Wild West Pro Rally unofficial results

1. Pasi Hagstrom/Marko Taskinen Subaru Impreza WRX 2h 05min 47s
2. Ramana Lagemann/Michael Orr Subaru Impreza 2h 09min 13s
3. Lauchlin O'Sullivan/Christian Edstrom Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 2h 11min 27s
4. Shane Mitchell/Paul Donnelly (GpN) Subaru Impreza 2h 16min 56s
5. Mark Utecht/Jeff Secor (GpN) Subaru Impreza WRX 2h 19min 08s
6. Ralph Kosmides/Jimmy Brandt (GpN) Subaru Impreza 2h 20min 57s

- ends -

Tom Burgess
Chairman, Rally Series of North America
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.cnarally.org <http://www.cnarally.org/>
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