A look at this week’s highlights on Wellsboro Home Page.
Happy Weekend, Tioga County! It’s time once again to take a look at what happened the past week. The Weekly Highlights are a great way to catch up, but don’t forget that you can always watch the full stories from either our front page or the archives section.
This past weekend, Tioga County was pumped with adrenaline and a need for speed as drivers and spectators came into Wellsboro for the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally.
Drivers came to Wellsboro from various areas around the world – including places like the UK, Ireland, and even Tioga County! Exposés were held in The Green of downtown Wellsboro on Friday and Saturday morning – giving fans and competitors a chance to meet. The action took place on Friday and Saturday afternoon and evening as the drivers flew through the woods and across the Fair Grounds stages.
Wellsboro Home Page had the pleasure of interviewing local driver Jeremy Keck and co-driver James Quattro. Keck shared with us his determination for finishing the rally. His devotion to his fans was made clear in the Winter Rally earlier this year, as he fought to complete the event even after experiencing damage to his car. Keck also stated he has sponsorship openings available, with many affordable options.
This past weekend’s racing event – the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally – brought together many determined drivers. Today’s feature focuses on local driver Antonio Esposito (of Tony’s Italian Cuisine) and his co-driver, Philip Barnes.
Both drivers stated they were happy with their expose’ turnout. They enjoyed the wonderful weather and meeting the spectators and other drivers. However, Friday first stage brought unexpected trouble as they lost their transmission, forcing them to complete the remained four stages in second gear.
Despite the hardship, the team refused to throw in the towel. “We stayed up until three in the morning putting another used transmission in,” said Esposito. “We hoped it was just hold up.” The transmission pulled through, launching them back on the Saturday stages with five working gears. “We did well today, we had a lot of fun,” Barnes commented. “Tony was driving well today. I was happy.”
Ultimately, their perseverance paid off as the team finished the rally, placing 2nd in the Open Light Class.
We continued our STPR coverage with one of the women’s teams that participated in the weekend event. We followed Amanda Skelly and co-driver Elizabeth Cordara from the beginning to the end. Amanda told us her crew team is named after Matthew Noble Marker – a friend who passed away while doing what he loved most – rallying.
The women faced many difficulties on the forest stages, including dust, engine failure, and exhaust malfunctions. Near the end of the final stages, the Noble Star Rally team car was unable to continue without assistance. It was at this time they experienced the incredible camaraderie that makes rallying a “noble” sport. Fellow competitors Brian McNamara & Amber Stacy towed their vehicle for about twenty six miles, accepting penalty time on himself in exchange to help. The Noble Star Rally crew assisted Amanda and Liz in push-starting the car so they could continue down the hill to cross the finish line!
Our fourth and final feature from the 2014 STPR focuses on a few of the unique vehicles and drivers that participated.
One of the reasons STPR draws such is a crowd is because of the variety of cars that enter the event. From a 2014 Subaru WRX STI to a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle – you never know what you’ll see at the rally.
Home Page met with Charlie Tameris and Tony Zanni, along with their 1987 Porsche 944. Their team had a great start, but encountered a major problem on Friday night, requiring them to rebuild the engine and travel 2-hours to pick up a new head gasket. Their overnight repair paid off, as they were able to continue racing on Saturday.
Driver Jeff Carl gave us an overview of his 1981 Mazda RX-7, a car he’d wanted ever since spying it at a rallycross event. After making a few modifications to enter the Group 2 class, Jeff was pumped and ready to go.
Finally, we met with Gary DeMaris and Matt James who introduced us to their V8-powered 1985 Ford Ranger GT50. Gary has previously worked as a sweeper for the STPR, but this year was his first time entering as a competitor. He also explained that in 2010 he had a major stroke. DeMaris worked on the Ranger as part of his rehabilitation and an effort to get back in shape.
Starting today and continuing through the rest of this summer is a new event called First Friday. First Fridays are a way of bringing the community together through retail and entertainment in Wellsboro. Every first Friday of each of the summer months, retailers will stay open until 8:00 pm. During that time, different types of entertainment will take place on Main Street. These events will be free of charge and may include music, face painting, caricatures and scavenger hunts. Each retailer may also have a special sale for the evening.
First Fridays will take place regardless of rain or shine. The dates for these events are June 6, July 4, and August 1. For more information, and to find out what retailers are taking part, you can visit the event Facebook page here.