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Only two drivers have managed to score points in both 2004 rallies - Doug Sheppard (7th and 6th O/A) and Pat Richard (Ist and 1st). We've still got 7 events to run, but you've got to like Pat's chances to go all the way this season even if he is campaigning an underpowered Group N car. The N cars seem to be more reliable than the Open Class machines. Based on current form, even if Seamus Burke or ACP can beat him on stages or to the occasional top podium spot, it's hard to imagine Richard finishing very far back. Given his large points lead, top 5 finishes may suffice. Pat says his goal in the States this year is to win the Group N title, not the overall. He's too modest.

Let's hear some predictions. Who's going to win the SCCA overall championship this season?
 

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And where are all those people that said the Grp N cars weren't competitive with the Open cars? }>

The real question is can Pat win both SCCA & CARS titles?

Has anyone ever done that in the same year? If so, who?
 

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3/14=my 42nd rally anniversary
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Why the heck not Pat as champ? Shoot, we haven't had a Yank Champ since ... uhhhhh ... hmmmm, when WAS that anyway?

Oh yeah, Thumper - way back at the turn of the century ... ;-)

Why break the streak?

Halley ...
ProRally #86
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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Do note don't count out Leon Styles and John Dillon...they are moving up in the overall since not all of the competitors that competed at Oregon Trail were at Sno-Drift. They did very well at Oregon Trail to not push the car too much since we have to get ready in less than two weeks for Rim of the World.

I would say that Pat Richard, Doug Shepherd, Seamus Burke and Doug Havir and some others will make the battle this year for overall a very exciting one to watch. Good luck to all of the privateers!

Denise McMahon
Team Manager
Widget Rally Team
 

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straight at T
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>And where are all those people that said the Grp N cars
>weren't competitive with the Open cars? }>

Put a 34mm restrictor on an Open car and they are even
more competetive... :p

>The real question is can Pat win both SCCA & CARS titles?

It is possible.

>Has anyone ever done that in the same year? If so, who?

No. Only one person has won both titles, but they didn't
do it in the same year (and it wasn't Buffum!).

Adrian
 

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>Why the heck not Pat as champ? Shoot, we haven't had a Yank
>Champ since ... uhhhhh ... hmmmm, when WAS
>that anyway?
>
>Oh yeah, Thumper - way back at the turn of the century ...
>;-)
>
>Why break the streak?
>
>Halley ...
>ProRally #86
>http://www.realautosport.com

I think it will be interesting to see if JB shows up later in the year to keep Pat from running the table... Last time the Sprongle's were on pace to do that... JB showed up and stopped that... But I think our hero has finally showed that even the best of the best slow down eventually. I wouldn't be surprised to see him show up if Pat keeps winning.
 

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Agreed Trevor - The season still has a long way to go. Pat will have plenty of competition at his level, can't count out folks like Lagemann. The Sprongls are a bit more active this year it seems also... when the series comes back east I'd bet that we'll see them once or twice.

Should be fun!

Regards,
Ken Cole
ScoobySport / RP
 

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I believe the sprongls are concentrating on the canadian championship for 2004. They should make pat look like he's driving miss daisy.:)
 

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haven't been on the board since OT but anyhow, here's my take on the championship.

1) we have been fairly lucky to be where we are. Luck goes both ways (look at my season last year, for example).

2) despite no one believing me, we are serious about the Grp N title, anything else is gravy

3) given the car I am driving and our current budget for 2004, my assessment it that it is unrealistic to set as a goal for the team (or myself) the national title. the main reasons behind this are as follows:
a) with the Grp N title in my sights, we created our budget to only factor in that title, in terms of both car preperation and event attendance
b) the wins we have had have been 'specialist' in that at SnoDrift I think the ice experience from the canadian rallies downlplayed the car factor, and at OT it was Seamus' all the way until he broke. Podiums are possible perhaps in most events, but overall wins will be far and few between (i.e. Pikes Peak, STPR, LSPR, Maine, there is little chance of a Grp N winning any of those events)
c) the Grp N title is not 'in the bag'. I know what machinery and drivers we are up against and someone winning say 3 out of those 4 events listed puts us on equal terms for Grp N, let alone the national championship

4) As it is for me at this point, i doubt we will be able to make it to several rounds (as in like 3 or 4) of the championship. Although I would love to try and make a go of it, I dont think it is realistic. I need to do more marketing and promotion to make this not a 'how much am I willing to personally attempt to finance and for what reason' question for me, but a 'can I do it' question.

5) my goal is to be 1st in N, a podium is nice. If that can happen at all rounds I attend, great, but given that it probably wont, especially at the 'power' events (yes, I am talking about N here), winning overall is a not really in the frame.

6) should something happen between now and say the next 3 weeks, and we are able to acheive decent results in N and we do have a sponsor, then nothing will prevent us from doing the remaining rounds in an Open car. Its all about the $$ babay. Then I would say we have revised the goals.

7) yeah, sprongl bros will make me look like I'm driving miss daisy. Like at TP03 and PN04. whatever buddy :) That being said Frank is still my rally hero.

8) all that being said, i think that there are a lot of drivers capable of winning, and futhermore, that more competition and more closeness in the championship makes it THAT MUCH MORE INTERESTING to watch, from a television and spectator perspective, because you have to drive that much harder and so the action looks 10 times better. For example, in Canada this year, it's anybody's game and it is going to be REALLY CLOSE. I mean like 5 cars going for the win.

-Pat
 

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eating dust taking photos
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With keeping things how they are, what events are you guys looking at being able to attend? I am guessing Cog and PPIHC are both out for you not sure about which others would be on the list of likely budget cuts...


Anyway good luck at Rim and getting a sponsor so you can run the full season if you want to!
 

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>... the sprongls are concentrating on the canadian championship for 2004. They should make pat look like he's driving miss daisy...<:)

I don't agree with your statement. I think that Pat would probably be faster than Frank if they had eaqual cars and I have been a Sprongle fan since Frank drove his first rally in 510 with his dad as co-driver. I do not know Pat personaly and have never met him as I was out of the rally world before Pat came in, but from what I have seen in videos of both guys I think that Pat would come out on top every time given equal cars. Again I am a big fan of Frank Sprongl especily given his achievements on a privateers budget.
}> :p }> :p :+
 

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Having met Pat and had the chance to discuss the funding issue with him, it's nice to see someone looking at this from a business decision. Too often we see individuals come into our sport, make a big splash and are then gone as they have run out of money. Pat, from what I have seen and from a short conversation, takes the long term view and this can only prove to be the correct choice for the sport.

Long term vision is sadly lacking in both the US and here in Canada.Very few seem to take that view and as a result the sport suffers.

Too often competitors and some events are here today and gone tomorrow.
 

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>3 in a row. He's taking advantage of others misfortunes.
>Pete

I hope you're not implying its purely luck or something! They were smart drives and the pace was gauged just right. I have no doubt that Pat is the best rally driver to come out of North America for quite a while, and now that the "hired guns" are on hiatus he's come to the fore.

Great job Patrick we're all behind you!! Literally! I hope some sponsors step up and fund the rest of your ProRally season. The West Coast events are a fait accomplis, onwards and upwards :D

Skye
 

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Um ... that's actually 4 in a row. (Sno-Drift,PerceNeige, OT, Rim)

Next in line is the Rocky Mountain Rally where he will face some real competition for the podium positions, and mark only his 5th anniversary in performance rallying.

Hmmm 5 for 5 on the 5th weekend of the 5th month of his 5th year rallying ... Say it ain't so ;-)
(don't someone's cars carry a 555 logo in their livery?)
(could the car he's driving at Rocky be the 5th rally car he's significantly campaigned?)
 
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