Team Hazard Rally – Part 1
Team Hazard to Challenge the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally
Known as STPR, this rally regularly draws the top rally teams from the United States, Canada and abroad who enjoy putting their skills to the extreme test of performance rally. Competitors from the worldwide professional rally community also attend this premier event. Performance rallying is an exciting and demanding motorsport. With its high percentage of stage miles and a course featuring some of the most challenging roads in the world, STPR is one of the America’s best-known rally events.
STPR 2012 marks the 36th anniversary of this event, making it the oldest, continuously running motorsports event in the state. This race will mark round four of the 2012 Rally America National Championship; the event will take place June 1-2 with headquarters at the Tioga County Fairgrounds.
Piloted by driver Jim Perrin alongside co-driver Lee McElhinny, Team Hazard Rally is currently fielding the only Jeep in the Rally America series and Warrior Products is proud to sponsor their 1994 XJ Cherokee Sport, dubbed “The Chief”. While this team is not new to the rally world, this car is. Debuting the car at last year’s STPR event, the entire season came to an abrupt end in the third special stage of the race when an impact into a large boulder broke several suspension components and left the team with a great deal of repairs to do. Warrior Products assisted the off-season rebuild process by donating new suspension parts to get the rig/race car back on stage. Warrior’s Heavy-Duty Upper and Lower Control Arms have now replaced the OEM sheet-metal control arms, two important pieces that failed at impact. These new arms are made from thick DOM steel and we do not anticipate problems with this area in the future. Additionally, Warrior sent one of their beefy Steering Box Braces. This brace prevents steering box movement that can cause failure of several components by bracing the output of the steering box to the opposing frame rail using a thick steel bar. Finally, a new set of Bilstein 5165 remote reservoir shocks were installed to bring the rally car to a higher level of handling, which should really help keep the truck on course this year.
A little history on “The Chief”: originally a $1000 purchase found on the popular classifieds website, Craigslist, this car is an all original 2 wheel-drive model with a 4.0L engine, backed with an AX15 5-speed manual transmission. With the exception of the shocks and Warrior Products new suspension pieces, everything else is stock, even the drivetrain. The interior has been removed, and replaced with a rally-spec roll-cage, racing seats and 5-point harnesses.
Team Hazard will be one of 30 2WD vehicles competing in the 2-day event, which covers over 117 miles of competitive stages held on closed public roads in the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon region. Below we share some great photos of the newly prepped car, and photos from past events with Team Hazard Rally.