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The Crazy Finn Retires at Shitepoke ClubRally

Portland, OR, June 18, 2002 - 2 days of rough and dusty conditions saw many competitors retire, and among them was The Crazy Finn. One of the leading factors of the large amount of attrition was the almost 28 mile long first stage. Setting a blistering pace through SS1 until 21miles in The Crazy Finn Team found themselves high-centered on the outside embankment of a 90-degree right hand turn. Upon attempting to exit the vehicle, driver Mika Lepisto encountered nothing but air below the driver's side of the car. "It was quite a moment - opening the door and not finding anything to step on, or anything under the tires," he explains.

After a pull from Scott Koch, another competitor, the team was on the way again for a whopping almost 58 minute stage time, with no chance for charging back for a trophy finish.

Day two began with more complication, with the power steering pump failing intermittently. "We didn't have a spare belt to by-pass the pump, so we had to leave the failing pump on, hoping it wouldn't seize and destroy the belt. As a consequence, we had unpredictable steering thru ought the second day." Stage 4, the same long stage as the beginning of the rally, was flowing smoothly until the end of a long, wide straight. "At about 100mph, the engine started to die. We were loosing RPM and boost, and everything looked in good order. After the straight we set up for a very tight right-hander, and there was no power to drive off from the corner. We quickly pulled off the road, and walked back to the radio personnel at the corner to notify the timing control that we were unable to continue" said Mika. "It was very disappointing to be out from a mechanical failure, later found to be a blown turbo seal, since we had were running very fast and were 'in the groove'."

The Crazy Finn Rally Team is based in Portland, OR and competes in SCCA ClubRally events in the Pacific Northwest with a 2002 Subaru WRX. More information about the team and events can be found at www.thecrazyfinn.com.

Mika Lepisto
[email protected]
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