MaxAttack! raised the level of two wheel drive rally racing in the United States for the past few years. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsor during those years, Danza del Sol Winery in Temecula Valley, California, the Rallysports Group of America (RSGA) paid out a cash purse of $15,000 USD per year to be divided amongst the fastest teams competing in the MaxAttack! events.

Jan and Jody Zedril Win the MaxAttack! event at Lake Superior; Dillon Van Way and Jake Blattner Earn the Jake Himes Cup

22 two-wheel-drive rally cars battle for cash and glory at the season finale of the 2011 MaxAttack! Two Wheel Drive Series presented by Danza del Sol

Portland, OR (November 3, 2011) – The third and final round of the 2011 MaxAttack! Series, presented by the Danza del Sol winery, took place on October 15 and 16 in the copper country of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  This year the event returned to a traditional two-day format, and 22 teams faced 130 stage miles of the toughest and most challenging roads around the towns of Houghton, L'Anse, and Kenton.  The weather for the Lake Superior Rally is frequently a factor, and this year was no exception.  The rains pelted down on Friday night, and winds were blowing at 30mph with gusts over 50.  The Beacon Hill and Bob Lake stages were particularly treacherous, between diabolically slippery mud on the former and huge ruts on the latter.  Saturday was drier, but the winds continued to blow.

The winner of the MaxAttack! round at Lake Superior was the Mitsubishi Lancer of Canadians Jan and Jody Zedril.  The brothers scarcely put a wheel wrong all weekend, and were rewarded with a victory of almost two minutes.  Behind them, however, teams were challenged by the conditions.  The Ford Fiesta of Joseph Burke and Alex Kihurani could not get warm air to blow out of their defroster all weekend, and while many teams were reporting fogging windshields, the problem was substantially more acute for the Ford team.  They did persevere to claim the runner-up spot.  Third-place finishers Billy Mann and Mary Warren, in a Honda Civic, hit something so hard on the Far Point stage that it moved the right front wheel back several inches.  They installed a new control arm for Saturday's stages, but the Honda was still not handling properly.

The Himes brothers, Silas and Matt, had a good run in their Honda Civic for a fourth place finish.  Their drama for the weekend occurred on Stage 4, when they lost a wheel.  They lost over ten minutes to their closest competitors, but managed to claw back to just 16 seconds behind Mann and Warren.  The Volvo 240 of Chris Czyzio/Jeff Secor and the Nissan 240SX of Ian Seppanen and Daniel Clark both reported that rear-wheel-drive was a handful in the slop on Friday night, but the drier Saturday conditions were more to their liking and they finished fifth and sixth respectively.  Behind them came first-time ralliers Steve Brockelman and Dustin Masters in a GMC Sonoma, who managed to make it through the weekend and had big grins on their faces at every service.  The Ford Focus of Cameron Steely and Josh Buller survived brake, cooling and fogging issues, as well as an off, to survive the first night and ultimately finish the rally in eighth.

In true Press on Regardless fashion, the team of Daryn Chernick and Matthew Conte used great creativity to finish the event.  They were caught out, like a lot of teams, on a "Right 5 over Kick" instruction on the Arvon Towers stage, and they rolled their VW GTI and smashed the windshield.  Officials would not let the team continue with the car in that condition, so the team borrowed a windshield from Mitsubishi Evo driver Art Gruszka, and with copious quantities of duct tape were able to secure the Evo windshield to their VW and run the last five stages to record a ninth place finish.

Pre-event favorites Dillon Van Way and Jake Blattner, in a turbocharged Ford Fiesta, did not make it through Friday night.  They were plagued for a while with a slipping clutch, but by the end of the evening the clutch failed completely and they were not able to finish.  Transmission problems sidelined the VW Jetta of Matt and Andrew Bushore, and the Eagle Talon of Erik Hill and Oliver Cooper.  Motor problems took out the classic Datsun 510 of Jim Scray and Colin Vickman, as well as the Plymouth Neon of Chris Greenhouse and Brian Johnson and the VW GTI of Kristofer Yahner and Tony Benusa.  The crowd-favorite VW Beetle of brothers Mark and John Huebbe succumbed to distributor failure and was not able to finish.

The Top 5 finishers in the final round of the 2011 MaxAttack! series, and prize money won, were:

1. Jan Zedril/Jody Zedril, Mitsubishi Lancer ($1500)
2. Joseph Burke/Alex Kihurani, Ford Fiesta ($1200)
3. Billy Mann/Mary Warren, Honda Civic ($1000)
4. Silas Himes/Matt Himes, Honda Civic ($800)
5. Chris Czyzio/Jeff Secor, Volvo 240 ($500).

The winners of the coveted Jake Himes Cup for 2011 were driver Dillon Van Way and co-driver Jake Blattner in their Ford Fiesta.  "They were really fun roads, really smooth, and the weather was great," said co-driver Jake Blattner.  He adds, "It's always great to get in the car, but the championship adds meaning to the competition and brings out the best.  I really think MaxAttack! is the best series out there right now."

The 2011 MaxAttack! Rookie Co-Driver of the Year, sponsored by Alex Gelsomino of the Monster World Rally Team, was awarded to Mary Warren, who finished third at Lake Superior with driver Billy Mann in a Honda Civic.  Alex generously donated the $500 cash prize that rewards the top-finishing MaxAttack! co-driver with five or fewer rally weekends of experience.

The Terra Firma Clothing Company awarded Max Improver awards to the two teams that improved the most from their starting position to their finishing position.  The second place team was the VW GTI of Daryn Chernick and Matthew Conte.  The winners were first-time ralliers Steve Brockelman and Dustin Masters in a GMC Sonoma, who started twenty-first but finished seventh.

The Rallysports Group of America would like to thank the organizers of the Lake Superior Performance Rally for their gracious assistance and support, all the volunteers, and Rally America.

The MaxAttack! Rally Series Presented by Danza del Sol consists of three events across the country, and each event features a $5,000 prize fund to be distributed among the top two-wheel-drive teams, as well as a season championship with the winners receiving coveted Jake Himes Cup.  For more information about the MaxAttack! Series and the Rallysports Group of America, please visit http://www.max-attack.com.

The three events that made up the 2011 MaxAttack! Rally Series Presented by Danza del Sol were:
• Olympus Rally, April 30-May 1, Ocean Shores, WA, http://www.olympusrally.com
• New England Forest Rally, July 15-16, Bethel, ME, http://www.newenglandforestrally.com
• Lake Superior Performance Rally, October 14-16, Houghton, MI, http://www.lsprorally.com
The Olympus Rally and the New England Forest Rally were the west and east coast Qualifying events, and the Lake Superior Performance Rally was the central Shootout event.

About Danza del Sol Winery
Nestled in the rolling hills of the beautiful Temecula Wine Valley, Danza Del Sol Winery is a thirty-five acre estate winery located in Southern California’s Wine Country.  While Danza Del Sol’s tasting room officially opened in February 2010, the winery itself already has a remarkable history. The estate was previously owned by Dr. William Filsinger and his late wife Katharine, who provided the Temecula Wine Valley with exceptional wines for nearly 30 years. Danza Del Sol is dedicated to producing a unique range of premium varietal and proprietary blended wines that are sure to exceed your expectations, at affordable prices.  For more information, please visit http://danzadelsol.com/.

About Rallysports Group of America
Rallysports Group of America, Inc. (RSGA) was formed as an organization in 2006 to advance the sport of performance stage rally in the United States. By providing education on performance driving, car preparation and safety, and by fostering the growth of meaningful competition, RSGA seeks to provide a sustainable and competitive arena for the advancement of North American performance rally that promotes increased value for rally competitors, organizers, and sponsors alike.  For more information, please visit http://www.max-attack.com.

About Rally America, Inc.
Based in Golden Valley, Minn., Rally America sanctions the premier performance rally series in the United States, the Rally America National Championship Series. In 2012, Rally America is conducting six National Championship events at venues across the country, from Seattle, Washington to Newry, Maine. Rally America competitors reach speeds of well over 100 mph in modified street cars on natural-terrain courses consisting of gravel, dirt or snow. More information about rally can be found at www.rally-america.com, and videos can viewed at www.youtube.com/rallyamericaseries.

Photo: WorldRallySport.com | Scott Rains

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Additional photos available upon request.
 

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