Around 1982 or 1983 the organizers of the Olympus rally decided to work toward getting the rally included as a round in the World Rally Championship. In 1983 and 1984 they moved the Norwester and Olympus to consecutive weekends in April as Rally Week Northwest. In 1985 the Olympus Rally moved to the 4th of July weekend as an FIA observed WRC prototype event with the possibility of becoming a round of the WRC in a subsequent year. That year the Olympus ran to WRC rules, however SCCA open class cars were also allowed to compete.
The works Audi team, Audi Sport sent a brand new Quattro S1 to make its competition debut with Hannu Mikkola and Arne Hertz. No doubt shaking it down prior to its WRC debut on Rally Argentina. Plus Audi and Mikkola/Hertz could gain some early knowledge of the event prior to inclusion on the calendar and already have some pace notes that have been run at speed.
The first stage of the Olympus had traditionally been held in downtown Olympia for the past two years.
Mikkola/Hertz in the spectacular S1 Quattro.
John Buffum was next in his A1 Quattro.
Bruno Kreibich in his ex-Buffum Group 4 Quattro. I think this is the one that Mouton won the ’82 Port Wine Rally in.
Kiwi Alan Carter in a Saab.
Rod Millen in his AWD RX-7, built in his Newport, CA shop.
These next few shots of the leading trio of Mikkola, Buffum and Millen are from the Taylor Town stage just outside of Shelton, WA.
Jon Woodner was at the Olympus with a new Peugeot 505 to replace his aged 504. Here he is on the Taylor Town stage.
Another RX-7 on the long straight on Taylor Town.
I forget the specifics of this stage. It’s a typical Capitol Forest stage though.
Another Capitol Forest stage. Check out the Jeepster in the background. The Jeep club was working crowd control and radio at this stage.
Rod Millen rolled his Rx-7. You can see the surround around the rear oil cooler is missing.
As you can tell, summer rallies in the PNW are dusty…
The first service halt was in Elma, WA.
The S1 E2 getting service from the works Audi team.
John Buffum’s long time mechanic “Salty” Sottolano at work on the Quattro.
Bruno Kreibich’s Quattro.
You can see the extent of the damage on Rod Millen’s RX-7 after his roll.
Rod needed a drink after that.
Jon Woodner did a better job at rolling his Peugeot, but was able to make it to service.