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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since it seems they forgot to call us up for our year end championship awards at the brunch, I would like to take this space on SpecialStage to publicly thank Mazda for all their support this year.

Thank you also to all the crewmembers who proudly put on a blue Mazdaspeed shirt and served to keep the wheels turning, especially Brian Burroughs, the most dedicated man I know.

Thanks to Cindy, my family, Chris and Mike and their families, Henry who served as mentor throughout the season, Chad Klungle whose cage kept us safe while on our heads, and Graham Wilcock of Autosport Engineering for helping squeeze more speed from the car.

This is a team sport.

Regards,
Eric Burmeister
Burmeister Rallysport
MAZDASPEED Rally Team USA
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Getting stuck on a starting line (after the starter gave us a "thumbs up" for our line choice) for 3 minutes is what cost us the championship. The hood didn't lose us an insurmountable amount of time. We rolled because we were pushing 100% after being stuck. Lost trailing arm bolt on SS1, hood on SS3, stuck on starting line on SS4, rolled on SS5. We still won 11 of the stages including every stage on Saturday. I hope we have enough money to race Dodge again next year. It was fun.

Henry was a guardian angel for us this weekend. He was (luckily) seeded right behind us and directed traffic until we were re-belted and on our way. He provided light for us until the end of the stage after we rolled. He gave up his whole rally for us. As Cindy said, "he has gone above and beyond not only the call of duty, but of marriage!"
 

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Lurch,

What's this starting line fiasco? I'm confused.

So the set-up was fast I take it? We were flying on stage 2 until the engine when Bang....followed by silence...and fire.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We pulled into the very soft start of SS4 and were looking for solid ground. We dropped the front wheels into a dip from the other cars and Dave Parps, the starter, came over and bent down to look where my wheels were with his light. He then looked back and smiled and gave me a thumbs-up as if to say "Good choice, mate!"

When the clock went down to zero, we just spun the tires and were high centered. They pushed and the car would not leave the line. Tried pushing forward and backward. Finally, I got out of the car, hooked up the tow rope to Henry's car and he yanked me backwards. I knew this amounted to "backing up in a control zone," but what was I to do? I asked for a new start time and Dave said, "No. You're out." I put my belts on and drove like Satan himself was reaching out for me.

Nice way to lose a championship, but I chose the starting position, and I accept full responsibility.

Eric
 

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Been there...

Having done that once, (10 years ago) it's now all I think about every time I start on sand. Having done it myself, and watching you do it friday night, (I was behind Henry) I'd have to say in both cases it was 100% driver error. Of course, at the time I complained about the control placement too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
RE: Been there...

Agreed. I made my share of errors this weekend. I still had fun, and I won't forget that.
 

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>I asked for a new start time and Dave said, "No. You're out."

Good move by the driver/co-driver. Gotta try everything. Too bad you had an experienced worker handling the start line and couldn't pull a fast one on him! On the other hand, great job by Dave in applying the rules correctly.

Tough way to lose a championship, but very cool story, Eric. Little consolation, I'm sure, but another demonstration of how unique this sport is.

- Christian

Bjorn Christian Edstrom
www.christianedstrom.com
 
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