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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I am thankful to Subaru of America for having a generous contingency program for privateers.
It's great that some of the private teams (AV Sport in particular) have done a really good job representing Subaru. Doug Havir and Ramana Lageman seem to have behaved well too.

But is it possible that some Prodrive folks didn't behave professionally in the last couple of events? Any recent examples (e.g. Milner)? "Pro" is more than just a label, it's a manner of conducting oneself and representing the sponsor.
 

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Branden -

Good comment. But don't over-react - Dave wasn't over-reacting or jumping on any bandwagons. Fortunately Dave did have good specific details from those of us who read the "inquiry" (signed by several top drivers who witnessed the dangerous driving and requested official action against Milner), worked a stage with a guy who saw it and had to jump off the road to avoid being hit, talked to the ProRally Series Manager (who made the exclusion based on Johnny Milner's own reaction to being questioned about the reported actions and the accident). Note that the initial penalty was "only" a 10-minute penalty, until Milner was "unprofessional", or, probably more correctly, "unsportsmanlike".

Thanks for your concern - there certainly are cases of attacking the innocent in ignorance on this forum, but this wasn't one of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I toned it down a little at B's request. I am truly thankful to Subaru of America for the support of privateers. Last week I cashed a check from them as a result of my 2nd place in Open class finish in the August ORV Park Rallysprint #2.

It does appear that Prodrive is having trouble hiring overseas drivers that can behave in a professional manner. Am I the only one with this impression?
 

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Yea.. you've gotta remember that most of these guys are paying Prodrive to service their cars, and not the other way around. I've never met Lovell or Lagemann, but they're the only drivers on the Subaru payroll as far as I know.

Prodrive and their 'buy it and drive it' rivals have had some problems with sportsmanship in the past. It's hard to speculate as to why they have these problems, but they do. Last yeat at Petit Le Mans (?) there was a Brookspeed Viper that tangled with one of the Panozes and was pretty much destroyed after it hit the wall. It was mostly the Panoz's fault, but lack of experience on the Viper's part also played some role in the accident.
 

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In Milners defence ..... I have worked/spectated at all BRC events this year and I know a few members of Jonnys BRC crew and I have never seen any behaviour that could be called 'unprofessional' on the part of Jonny himself or any of his crew. He is one of the 'gentlemen' of the sport. I am sure there will be a statement about this situation from the Milner camp outlining circumstances leading to the incident and what happened. But until then, please dont think that he is someone who acts in an unprofessional manner :) As with everything else, wait to hear both sides of the story :)
 

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I have met Jonny a few times on various British Rallies and seen him progress through the ranks, one thing that i have never thought was that he is unprofesional. I dont know anything about what has happened as getting info from LSPR is poor, but i think it's unfair to start a witch hunt on here.

Jonny just became the 2002 British Rally champion, you dont get the kind of backing that requires if you are not profesional.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All of us occasionally end-up doing and/or saying something inappropriate sometimes (especially in the heat of competition). I know I have. Jonny Milner is probably a really nice guy that had the misfortune of driving for a team manager that I have witnessed saying something like "if you see my drivers behaving badly, don't tell the organizers, just talk to me." Then he won't plead guilty to the infraction afterwards.
There's some history here. For example, one Prodrive navigator with initials S.T. has a reputation for being rude to organizers. The team seems to want to make the rules for the series and then appears to want to be above the rules.
This has all been compounded by inconsistent application of rules and penalties. Jonny just happened to make himself an obvious candidate for some overdue enforcement against a team that hasn't displayed an image professionalism in the past.
 

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RE: Unprofessional - anyone

Hello,

I will not get into a debate on Specialstage over this topic (or any other). However, I will make it very clear to the readers in this single posting that:

Anyone, whether a manufacturer, privateer, competitor, or non-competitor that jeopardizes our future of hosting the rally in actions such as, but not limited to, damaging civilian vehicles, driving in a reckless manner with spectators very close by, speaking profanely to our volunteers, repetitively not heeding our volunteers'/officials' directions, and talking through our thank-you's and award ceremony, is not welcomed back to our event...no matter who they are.

I will not sit silently in the wings and watch this disrespect of the whole picture happen at our events. I will engage in what I believe to be the proper channels of communication in order to make sure everyone knows the concerns.

Thank you for reading,
Lyn


Lyn L. Nelson
SCCA Lake Superior Region Executive
2002 LSPR Organizing Team Member
 

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Dave: I never doubted your credibility, just thought that those who are less in-the-Know could use a little background in the matter before the torches & pitchforks came out... ;-)

SRTUSA's season ended with a lot of controversy and I see it as a major concern for maunfacturer involvement in the future of "Pro" Rally in the U.S.

It seems the system/organization/enforcement of rules in the U.S. is rather unrefined compared to professional series' in Europe. But that is truly comparing apples to oranges. There is no true 'professional' series in the U.S. Should a separate series be built, or should the current system be adapted to better suit the business of rallying?...

For the Manufacturers to continue participating they will need a spectator-based venue to play in. Right now it's not happening.
 

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RE: Unprofessional Prodrive - Not so

- Actually, Dave Richards / PRODRIVE is the smartest dude out there and does ANYTHING to win.
1. Protest against Tommi Makinen/Mitsu at Africa when locals STOLE some parts of his car. Prodrive protest: "Outside help" - Exclusion.
2. Peugeot changed tires at Monte for pics. Prodrive informed FIA - "Exclusion".
3. A good try; Prodrive informed FIA at German WRC Citroen's Loeb drove "against the traffic" - Near exclusion
4. The last one: Prodrive informed FIA about Mitsu's Alister getting "outside help" to put pins on the hood - Alister was "withdrawn by the team"
- Do you think those in-board cameras are only for us? Hell no! They help PRODRIVE to see ALL competitors mistakes, calculate torque & HP of their engines, gear ration and so on. What ever goes on, Dave/Prodrive knows!
- He IS a smart man...but sometimes they catch even him for cheating; PRODRIVE made a million dollar mistake by mounting a "wrong type" gear box to their wonderful Ferrari 550M Maranello endurance racer. They didn't see it in the US Europeans kicked him out and forged to make an other gear box.
 

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RE: Unprofessional Prodrive - Yes So

Topi,

The shynannygans ProDrive does in Europe is unacceptable in the USA. It just gives rallying a bad public image and that's bad for business. Maybe we're a little hypocritical but that's how it is. Americans that "Buy on Monday" want their weekend motorsports heroes to play fair. A driver can have a bad-boy image, but he still has to be nice to others and play fair with his toys.

Rich Smith

Vive le "Pro-le-Ralliat"
 

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RE: Unprofessional - anyone

Lyn,

Just a few points about your post ........
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Anyone, whether a manufacturer, privateer, competitor, or non-competitor that jeopardizes our future of hosting the rally in actions such as, but not limited to, damaging civilian vehicles, driving in a reckless manner with spectators very close by, speaking profanely to our volunteers, repetitively not heeding our volunteers'/officials' directions
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I agree wholeheartedly with you on this one. But what exactly do you class as dangerous driving. What exactly did he do ?? We, over this side of the Atlantic, will hear his side of the story in the next few days but as they say, better to get both sides. A lot of things have been said but I have not yet seen an official statement from your side. So in fact !!! What did he do? Would I be right in saying that the marshall who dealt with Milner did in fact afterwards apologise to him??? Also has to be taken into consideration, WHO lodged an appeal and what would they gain by doing so ............. Rallying is a dog eat dog sport !!!!!



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and talking through our thank-you's and award ceremony, is not welcomed back to our event...no matter who they are.
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I think thats a bit harsh Lyn to say the least. These are grown men we are talking about here not children just out of kindergarten. I would not like to see your reaction at events/awards ceremonies run in Ireland or the U.K if that is what you think .......... I think that is just pushing the professional approach a little too far, we are all human beings after all.
 

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RE: Unprofessional Prodrive - Yes So

If everyone is so upset with SCCA and the manufacturers teams why not do what Rim of the World did and NOT HOST A NATIONAL?

Run the event as a club rally only. Nobody get's paid to organize and such so if you don't like the way things are then, change it.

Race in Canada, run Club-only events, etc.......

Brian
 

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RE: Unprofessional Prodrive - indeed.

first off... RIM OF THE WORLD... is back on the Pro
Calendar for 2003, as of yesterday....

and I have to say i LOVE this... fantastic statement!!!!
""Anyone, whether a manufacturer, privateer, competitor, or non-competitor that jeopardizes our future of hosting the rally in actions such as, but not limited to, damaging civilian vehicles, driving in a reckless manner with spectators very close by, speaking profanely to our volunteers, repetitively not heeding our volunteers'/officials' directions, and talking through our thank-you's and award ceremony, is not welcomed back to our event...no matter who they are.""

The FACTS are that Mr Milner did some things that indeed were not professional and indeed earned him a quick trip to the exit door. Perhaps he'll reconsider next time a similar situation comes up, perhaps he wont - all that aside... personally, I agree with the organizers decisions based on eye witness reports.... I'm not devulging details as I didn't see it with my own eyes, but those that did (that I have spoken with) all sing the same song, and i hope that Mr Milner has learned a method of self control for future events here stateside.


I do not think however, that Prodrive/Subaru's name needs to be drug through the mud this. Prodrive/Team USA didn't commit any violations - Johnny Milner did. And as was stated previously, ANYONE can HIRE Prodrive to work on/service their car - it's all about $$$..... nobody should be blaming what is essentially the service crew for something one of their "clients" did...

Jamie
www.subiegalracing.com
www.subiegal.com
 

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RE: Unprofessional - anyone

>I agree wholeheartedly with you on this one. But what
>exactly do you class as dangerous driving. What exactly did
>he do ??



I was waiting in line at the ATC when Milner came in. This was a straight road with many sharp crests. The end of the line of cars was just over one of the sharpest crests. We were second from the end of the line. I would estimate his speed at about 60 MPH when he cleared the crest. Thankfully, he was able to take evasive action and not collide with the line of rally cars waiting to check into the ATC. He did collide (albeit barely) with two worker vehicles and left minor damage on those worker vehicles. I am thankful for his driving ability as I am confident many of us would not have been able to avoid a major accident. However, the result does not reduce the severity of his actions.

I did not witness any of the interaction between he and the workers but I can tell you that exclusion from the rally was appropriate in my opinion. The fact that nobody was injured is wonderful and extrodinarily lucky. He was driving in a manner that endangered others in the sport. He knew where the ATC was and he knew he was very close to being at the open control line. I know as competitors, we all will try to make up time if we are late but his actions that close to the ATC were far from appropriate. You asked what exactly was dangerous, THAT was!


>I think thats a bit harsh Lyn to say the least. These are
>grown men we are talking about here not children just out of
>kindergarten. I would not like to see your reaction at
>events/awards ceremonies run in Ireland or the U.K if that
>is what you think .......... I think that is just pushing
>the professional approach a little too far, we are all human
>beings after all.

Sorry, you were not there. You do not know what happened. At an extemely somber moment in the proceedings, when the Chairperson of the rally was honoring a long time contributor to the sport that had passed away weeks prior to the event, certain members of the Hyundia and Subaru teams were laughing, drinking and talking louder than ever. I wonder how they would feel if we held a party 30 feet from their mother's memorial service?

Sincerely,
Mark Utecht
Driver Car 83
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
RE: Unprofessional Prodrive - indeed.

Jamie,
Jem-Sport PR quoted Milner before the rally as saying: "As part of Subaru Rally Team USA, we'll be there to make sure that Subaru gets as many championship manufacturer points as humanly possible."
I think that statement makes him more than just a client. He was an embarassment to Subaru. Don't worry, nobody thinks it's the mechanics' fault.
Dave
 
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