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Lovell and Freeman Fatally Injured During Oregon Trail SCCA ProRally

HILLSBORO, Ore. (July 12, 2003) ? Subaru Rally Team USA superstars Mark Lovell, 43 , and Roger Freeman, 52, both of England, were fatally injured Saturday during the first special stage of the Oregon Trail SCCA ProRally event.

The first car away from the starting line, driver Lovell, and co-driver Freeman, left the prescribed course moments into the stage and struck a tree in their Subaru Impreza WRX. The two were pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical personnel. Details of the incident were held until the families were notified.

?This is a tragic day for the world of rallying and motorsports in general,? said Steve Johnson, SCCA President and CEO, who was in attendance at the event. ?Mark Lovell and Roger Freeman were among the best crews in the world, but they were also great competitors as well. Our prayers go out to their families, Subaru Rally Team USA and all of their friends and supporters.?

The duo who had been rallying together for twenty years were competing in their third event together of 2003. They entered the Oregon Trail fresh from success winning the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb of June 27.

The 2001 Overall Drivers Champion, Lovell is survived by his wife, Julia, and his children Oliver and Thomas.

Roger Freeman is survived by his wife, Alison, and children Becky and John.

A decision was made to finish Day One of the rally while information regarding the accident was gathered and after rally organizers had consulted with SCCA national staff, national safety stewards and at the request of Subaru Rally Team USA Manager and close personal friend of Lovell and Freeman, David Campion. The field then ran an abbreviated schedule of stages later in the day. The rally will continue with the completion of the final six stages on Sunday as scheduled.
 

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CR>R5 into L3- 100 Finish
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This is truely a dark period for the US rallye world.
First Ski Sawmill, now Oregon.
I'm proud to have known Mark in person and will keep him in fond memory.

Whiplash RallyeSport
 

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"Mark Lovell / Roger Freeman RIP"

LAST EDITED ON 07-13-03 AT 05:24 AM (PST)

I was getting bits of news on Saturday of this tragic accident of one of Britains best driver and co-driver pairing.
I remember watching Marks career when he competed for Citroen in the Visa 4x4 then his national series and finally onto Ford before his once in a lifetime chance to compete on the now flourishing Pro Rally Seties which a lot of Brit and Irish crews are now competing on.

My sincere condolences go to Mark and Rogers family and to the whole Subaru works and USA team at this sorrowful time.

I wanted to put a piece on the subaru web site but it wont let me as i havent got a zip code? how do i get round this

Mark / Roger
RIP

Mark Lowe UK
 

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So sorry to hear this. We would like to send out our most sincere condolences to the families and friends affected by this tradegy. We were lucky enough to watch them dominate at Pikes Peak a couple weeks ago, and now this... :(

Adam & Christine Vale da Serra
 

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I cannot even begin to amass words at this moment. I received a call this AM that informed me of the tragedy.

The condolences and prayer of the entire Last Ditch Racing team go to Mark and Roger's family, as well as to the Subaru USA team and the US rallying community.

We are all deeply saddened. We have been moved by what Mark and Roger have done for our sport here in the US.

Godspeed Mark and Roger.
 

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It's going to be hard to have fun at any Rally anymore considering the events of the last few months. May those that were close to them find some solace in that they were doing something they loved to do. Rally In Peace.
J.Bressem
 

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I'm totally floored. I met Mark at the 2001 Maine forest rally and was able to spend quite some time talking with him. He was very nice and I thought of him as a wonderful representative of the sport.

Truly a horrible tragity. My thoughts go out to the family and friends of both Mark and Roger.

Gary
 

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This year at Rim Mark Lovell was one of the competitors that came up to me to ask about my husband Pat to see if he was alright from the night before. After I told him he was okay...he hugged me and told me "that without you as part of the organizing team and the workers...we could not compete. You guys take care of us. He said we will see you next year and want to see Pat up in those mountains again healthy"...not knowing that would be the last time we will speak to each other again in this lifetime.
He was a gracious person who cared about other people, even though he was in competition at the time. He took a minute to want to say something to me to make me feel better.
Today, I looked up into the sky and said "Mark thank you and I will never forget what you did for me that day".
Pat and I are having a hard time right now dealing with your loss and Roger Freeman's loss. Our condolscences, thought, and prayers go out towards both of the families. May you rest in peace. It is a sad day in the rally community again.


Denise and Pat McMahon
 

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This terrible news has come as such a shock. My thoughts are with their families and friends right now. It has been a real pleasure and honour to watch these incredible sportsmen show us how rally is done.
Thank You Mark and Roger for many years of inspiration.
May you rest in peace.

Nick Taylor.
 

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I helped with Subaru's practice session Wednesday. I regret to say that I was more concerned with staying out of the sun and out of the way of the team than getting to know the crews.

I'm fairly stunned. My sympathy and condolences for the crew's family and teammates.

andy
 

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This is very sad :(


They will always be remembered by the rally community, just as Earnhardt is by NASCAR fans.
 

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Thanks Bill for posting the picture.

This is my third attempt to post on this topic, so please bear with me...

I only met Mark a couple of times, and have never met Roger. The first time I met Mark was at Rim 2001. I was navigation for the first time in a 72 Datsun 510. The Datsun was significantly less 'flashy' than Marks ride (the last time he ran the WRC car in the US?); having what I think was it's original yellow paint, faded from 30 years of California sun, and shod with "modified" street tires mounted on some lovely blue spray painted steel wheels. The owner of the car had mistakenly placed his name on top on both sides of the car, so from the co-drivers side it appeared that "M. Lovell" was the Diver. Needless to say the Subaru USA team wasted no time in showing mark his new ride.

I worked Rim 2002, and did not get a chance to meet Mark again that year. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at my Rim poster though; shiny blue Subaru in proper rally attitude with my name on it... OK Mark's name, but it is still a pretty cool poster to have hanging on my wall...

Rim 2003, I really wanted to get my picture taken with Mark, and get a chance to shake his hand (now that I knew who he was). After the drivers meeting Friday afternoon, I got my chance. I introduced myself to Mark and he laughed, remembering the Datsun 2 years ago. He began introducing me to the members of the Subaru Team that where present as his long lost brother. I asked if I could get a picture with him and he said "sure". As we posed for my crew chief to take the picture, Mark said "Wait", took off his Subaru jacket (complete with "M Lovell" on the chest), and gave it to me to wear for the picture so we could both be Subaru's "M Lovell". It is one of the highlights of my rally "career"; and suddenly carries a little more weight in my mind.

I was well and truly convinced that Mark was a pretty cool guy at this point. For the last two years I had admired him, and now that I knew he was such an approachable person, who really took the time to make other people feel good and encourage them in the sport, he became somewhat of a hero to me. His comments regarding the Pirelli Girls at Rim showed me he really did have the best interest of the sport in mind (sorry, I needed to lighten this up a little for my own sake). Reading about him helping a competitor change a tire and picking up his triangles at STPR reinforced my feelings. His win at Pikes Peak was a victory I celebrated as well, in my own little way.

And now, only two months after discovering my Hero, he is gone...

My condolences go out to Mark and Roger's friends and families, I know there loss is much greater than mine.

p.s. Does anyone have pics of Lovell's Ford Sierra?

Thanks for bearing with me, this was harder than I thought it would be...
 
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