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Los Angeles – The 2013 Prescott Rally marked the finish of the 2013 California Rally Series (CRS) Championship. Twenty teams took the start of the two day event that covered over 110 stage miles on October 4-5. The stages located northeast of Prescott, AZ offered a stunning backdrop with red canyons and beautiful vistas.
The new to CRS team of Tingwu Song and Martin Brady, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution came into Prescott as the Open four-wheel drive class leaders thanks to overall wins at the Mendocino and Gorman rallies. The team started off the Friday night stages by trading stage times with Chris and Lori O’Driscoll in their Subaru. By the end of the night, the O’Driscolls had the advantage, winning Friday’s event by just 7 seconds over Song/Brady. Saturday’s stages marked a separate event in the championship, and Song/Brady started off by winning the first two stages. However, a flat on stage three cost Song/Brady over thirty seconds and the O’Driscolls moved back into the lead. Song/Brady charged back to win the last five stages and take the overall win, cementing their championship victory. Chris Psara came into Prescott second place in the championship, and nearly threw it all away when he and co-driver David Ault rolled their Subaru WRX STI on the third stage, but remarkably the car landed on its wheels and the team finished the stage with little more than a flat tire! The team took a conservative approach on Saturday and managed to finish the event and secure second place in the driver’s championship for Psara. James Riley and John Dillon drove a clean race in their Subaru WRX. Their solid finish earned Riley and Dillon enough points to finish third and second in the driver’s and co-driver’s championships, respectively. Rookie John Trucks and co-driver Chris Fine showed phenomenal improvement, finishing sixth in class on Friday, but managing an impressive third in class on Saturday’s stages, where they set consistently fast times on each stage.
The hotly contested small-displacement two-wheel drive CRS-2 class had three teams with a shot at the championship coming into the weekend. Husband and wife team Kris and Christine Marciniak threw down the gauntlet from the very first stage, setting times in their normally aspirated Dodge Neon that put them among the turbocharged Subarus and Mitsubishi!
Prescott veteran Brian Scott is used to running at the front of the pack in his Subaru, but showed up in a historic liveried Datsun 240Z. He teamed up with co-driver Michel Hoche-Mong, who happens to be last year’s CRS-2 driver champion. The Marciniaks took the win on Friday night, but Scott/Hoche-Mong got faster and faster all weekend, and wound up taking the win on Saturday, with the Marciniaks in second place. The finish yielded enough points to solidify the season victory for Kris and Christine in the driver and co-driver’s championships. Jason Lightner came into Prescott as the CRS-2 points leader, but battled brake issues in his Porsche. A fifth place on Friday and fourth place on Saturday meant he slipped to second place in the championship. Meanwhile, Markus and Alicia Saarinen showed impressive speed in their Mini, finishing third in class on both days. They were plagued by suspension issues earlier this season and seemed happy to have the car sorted out.
In the popular Performance Stock (P-Stock) class, the father and son team of Sarkis and Michael Mazmanian came in as the points leaders and their dominance continued through Friday, where they once again won the class. However, after dodging a bullet with a minor off that could have been much worse on the fourth stage on Saturday, bad luck struck them on the very last stage when they holed the fuel tank in their Acura Integra, forcing them to retire. Fortunately, the team had collected enough points to clinch the P-Stock driver and co-driver championships. Taking the class victory on Saturday after coming in second on Friday were Jen Imai and Terry Stonecipher in their Suzuki Swift. The finish left them in second place in the driver’s and co-driver’s class championships.
The normally aspirated four-wheel drive CRS Open Lite class had but one entry this weekend, but a solid and clean drive from newcomer Kurt Smith saw him earn enough points to tie for second in the championship with Daniel Rockrohr. Driver Ray Piloto did not make it out to Prescott, but he had previously earned enough points this season to clinch the driver’s championship.
The 26th Annual Prescott Rally took place on smooth dirt roads outside of Prescott, AZ on October 4-5, 2013. The rally is a favorite among CRS competitors for its flowing stages and breathtaking views. For more information on the Prescott Rally, visit http://www.prescottrally.com/.
The California Rally Series is the premier performance rally championship in the southwestern United States. The Series incorporates events from various sanctioning bodies in order to create a meaningful regional championship for its members. The Series celebrates more than 35 continuous years of performance rally, making it the longest running rally series in the United States. To learn more about the California Rally Series visit www.californiarallyseries.com and follow @crspress on twitter.
Final 2013 CRS Rally standings can be found here as well as the link above in the menu bar. Congratulations to our class winners!
1st place drivers:
Open 4wd: Tingwu Song
CRS-2: Kris Marciniak
CRS Open Lite: Ray Piloto
Performance Stock: Sarskis Mazmanian
CRS-5: Jeff Rados
1st place co-drivers:
Open 4wd: Martin Brady
CRS-2 Christine Marciniak
CRS Open Lite: Tyler Deal
Performance Stock: Michael Mazmanian
CRS-5: Guido Hamacher