Service

1986 Nor’wester Pro Rally

In 1986 the Olympus gained World Rally Championship status and would be held in early December.  The Rallyweek Northwest organizers decided not to do a Rallyweek Northwest in April, but instead just ran the Nor’wester SCCA National Pro Rally in May as a shakedown for the Olympus.  As usual, the rally was based in Tumwater, WA and used the familiar stages in the nearby Capitol Forest.  However, there were no city street stages as in rallies past.

For some reason, I didn’t take many pictures at the rally, and the ones I did were not my best work.  Don’t remember my excuse, maybe I was experimenting with new film or something…

Doug Shepherd was running his Dodge Shelby in GT class.

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New Zealander Clive Smith was  running a Toyota in Group A.

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Group A Audi entered by Carter/Kingsley.  They DNF’d later.

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Dodge Shelby GLH of Landau/Landau running in the Production class.

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Guy Light had switched from his Oldsmobile Omega to a Golf GTI that he was running in Group A

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Another Dodge Omni GLH driven by the team of Crawford & Andreini.

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The Wantanabe brothers in their Group A Toyota.

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Shepherd and Reese at night.

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Another Dodge running in the GT class.

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The Gooches in their GT class Dodge.

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Local crew of Grant Whiting and Ray Damitio in their Mazda RX-3.  They were sponsored by Walt’s Radiator of Olympia.  I always liked the color scheme of this car.

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Local Gene McCullough in a Datsun 510.

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John Buffum’s stepson Paul Choiniere was running an Audi 80 in Production.

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Another Datsun. I can’t seem to find any information on the crew.

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Jon Woodner had finally gotten his Peugeot 205 T-16.  The car started as a street 205 built for Group B homologation.   Jon had it modified in the UK since the French wouldn’t sell him an ex-works car.  Here it is at night service probably in Shelton, WA.  After being housed in a collection by Jon’s widow for many years, the car was sold and is now in England and has been fitted with an Evolution 2 body kit and is active on the historic Group B rally circuit.

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John Buffum received the short wheelbase Sport Quattro that Michelle Mouton used on the 1985 Pikes Peak Hillclimb in order to compete with Rod Millen’s 4WD RX-7.  The Sport Quattro was fast and evidently hard to photograph at night…

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1985 Nor’wester Rally

In 1985 the Olympus received “prototype” status from the FIA as a prelude to possible inclusion in the World Rally Championship for 1986 and moved its date to July.  The Rally Week Northwest organizers decided to keep the Rally Week event in April and promoted the SCCA Regional Wild West Rally to National Pro Rally to start the week and then ended the following weekend with the Nor’Wester.  I took these photos at the Nor’Wester.

Rod Millen was back with his 4WD RX-7.  Parc Ferme for the event was held across from Sylveter Park in downtown Olympia.

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John Buffum was back with his A1 Quattro.  He would get an S1 Quattro Sport in July after Michele Mouton used it to set a record at Pikes Peak.

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The Stromberg/Reese Saab 99 Turbo running Group A.

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Crowd favorite Oldsmobile Omega of Guy Light.

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Clive Smith’s Toyota Corolla.

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Not sure who’s Toyota Starlet this was.  They were popular cars due to their RWD.

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They ran a stage at the Thurston County ORV park that included part of the motocross track stadium.  Here is JB in the stadium.

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Jon Woodner was switching from his RWD Peugeots to a 4WD 205T-16.  However, for the start of the 1985 season the car wasn’t ready, so he ran an ex-Millen 4WD RX-7 while he waited for the 205 to arrive from the UK (since the works team wouldn’t sell him one).  Here Jon takes a different line from Rod Millen and John Buffum.

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Bruno Kriebich and his older Quattro.  I think this is the ex-Buffum car that Mouton also won the Port Wine Rally in Portugal in.  John Buffum now owns that car in his private collection and has restored it back to the way it was when Michelle ran it.

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The cars then headed out into the Capital forest.  Here’s John Buffum in the Quattro.  Notice the hail on the ground.  I remember it pouring rain and hail while we waited for the cars on the stage.

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In the evening, the cars descended down a hill behind the ORV part to return to a service at the ORV park.

Rod Millen.

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John Buffum.

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Stromberg’s Saab.

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Kreibich/Bond Quattro

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I think this was the Clive Smith Toyota.

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Guy Light’s Olds Omega.

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I think this was a Saab 99 Turbo.  No idea who…

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A European Ford Escort Mk2.  It was entered by a local team.  I forget who they were.

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A Toyota that was interesting to me 30 years ago.  I have no idea why now…

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An Evening service was held in the ORV parking lot prior to the night stages.

Rod Millen’s Mazda is serviced.

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John Buffum has a quick rest before the night stages.

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Bruno’s service area in the foreground of the ORV parking lot service halt.

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The final stage was held on the taxiways of the Olympia Airport.  The cars went out in groups and it was odd to see more than one car on the stage at once doing laps.  They used to  have an SCCA Regional road race at the airport in April and the rally would sometimes be a part of it.

This was a local crew of Grant Whiting and Ray Damitio in an RX-3.  RX-2’s and RX-3’s used to be popular regional rally cars.

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Quattros!  John is about to pass Bruno.

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John Buffum went on to win the event by 1 minute over Rod Millen, and this shots film didn’t age so well.  Probably wasn’t the best idea to use cheap film in hindsight.

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1983 Olympus Rally

I went to my first SCCA Pro Rally in the fall of 1982, the Tour de Forest based in Tumwater, WA.  I had been reading about the Audi Quattro rally cars in Europe and specifically remember an article about SCCA Pro Rally in Road and Track, and when I noticed that a Pro Rally was being held near where I lived.  My brother and I decided to check it out.  After learning not to stand on the outside of a corner after Rod Millen sprayed us with gravel, we were hooked.

In 1983, the local Pro Rally organizers in Washington decided to become serious about getting one of their rallies included on the World Rally Championship calendar.  One of the first things they did was move the dates of the Norwester Rally and Olympus Rally to be consecutive weekends in April, titling it Rallyweek Northwest.  My brother and I went to both rallies in 1983.  My brother took the following shots on the Olympus Rally 1983.

The late Jon Woodner was first through the stage in his Peugeot 504.  This car was an Ex-Safari rally Peugeot factory team car, that is now part of a collection in Greece.  Remember when French cars were still for sale in the U.S.?  I think the stage was near Aberdeen, WA.

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Rod Millen was through next.  This year he was running a four wheel drive RX-7 he built in his Newport, CA shop to be able to compete with Buffum in the Quattro.

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John B was next through the stage.  John had just switched to an A1 Quattro, from the Group 4 Quattro that he ran in 1982.  The car had just arrived from Germany, and John won the previous weekend’s Nor’wester Rally with it.   This time at Olympus, John had a U.K. co driver on board, Steve Fellows.  Steve was writing a book on rally navigation.  I bought it when it came out and still have it.  John went wide on an earlier stage, hit a hidden stump and rolled the Quattro.  They lost a bit of time, as there were no spectators to help them back on the road.

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Gene Henderson was running what we called the “Grandfather of the Quattro”, an AMC Eagle SX/4.  It was an AMC hatchback, the Sprit to which AMC joined with a full time four wheel drive system based on the Ferguson Formula system.

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Guy Light’s Oldsmobile Omega.  It was a favorite with its bellowing V-6 and automatic transmission.

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JB on a night stage.  I seem to remember it being near Elma, WA.  Buffum had a bit of a hard time getting the long wheelbase Quattro around the nearly 180 degree junction.  You can see a sizeable dent in the door from his earlier roll.

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Guy Light almost missed the junction.

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Night service on Millen’s RX-7.  I don’t remember the location of the service area…

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JB and the slightly dog eared Quattro.

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Buffum and Bill Brooks.  Brooks was a local Olympia driver running a FWD Audi Coupe that year.  He later ran a Rabbit GTI sponsored by the local Olympia VW dealer.

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Sunday morning the second to the last stage was run on some roads near the Olympia airport.

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Prior to the last stage, the cars had a service and Parc Ferme at the South Sound Mall in Lacey, WA.

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You can get a good look at Buffum’s battered Quattro.

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The last stage was an autocross run in the parking lot of the South Sound Mall.  The cars were run in reverse order.

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Millen, the winner of the rally, really hooned it, doing some great pre-Ken Block Gymkhana drifts and slides for the small crowd.

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1985 Olympus Rally: Part 2

The next set of pics are from a stage in the Brooklyn area on HWY 101 between Montesano and Raymond.  I think it was the Raymond Ridge stage.  It was always a favorite as you could see the cars for quite a while.  For the ’85 Olympus they ran it in the reverse direction.

Mikkola in the S1 Quattro.

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JB in the A1 Quattro.

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Bruno Kreibich in his Group 4 Quattro.

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Rod Millen in the RX-7.

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The leading trio in another Raymond area stage.

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Dodge (Mistubishi) Colts were popular rally cars in the lower classes of SCCA PRO-RALLY.

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An RX-3.  I think it was sponsored by Walt’s Radiator in Olympia, WA and driven by Ray Damitio.  RX-2’s and RX-3’s were popular regional SCCA rally cars.  They made quite a noise in the forest.

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A regular 2WD RX-7, probably running in a production class.

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The next service halt was in Raymond in the evening.  An Opel Ascona rolls into downtown Raymond.  It was crewed by a local team.  We always wondered how they got it into the country as Opels hadn’t been sold in the US since the 70’s.

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The S1 E2 Quattro gets service while Hannu talks to some interested specators.

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Buffum’s Quattro is serviced while John looks on.  The guy with the red shirt and glasses is noted rally photographer Hugh Bishop.

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Rod Millen’s car is serviced while Rod has another Gatorade.

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Bruno’s Quattro.

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Guy Light’s Oldsmobile Omega.  If I remember right it even ran an automatic transmission.

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Parc Ferme in Raymond.  You can see the Toyota provided MR-2 course cars at the left of the shot.  Also note the Rover in the background.

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The next stage after the halt was a paved stage in Raymond near a lumber mill.  It wasn’t quite dark yet, so my anemic flash didn’t do so badly.

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The rally finish was at the State Capitol in Olympia.  John Buffum receives the second place trophy from rally organizer, the late John Nagel.

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Hannu Mikkola and Arne Hertz receive the first place trophy from John Nagel.  I read a while back in Octane that the S1 in the Olympus caught fire and burned to the ground.  Here’s proof it didn’t.  I think they are confusing it with an event in 1982 where Hannu did have a Quattro burn to the ground.

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Hannu with some Toyota exec.  I think he was head of Toyota Motorsport in the USA.

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1985 Olympus Rally: Part 1

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.

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John Buffum was next in his A1 Quattro.

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Bruno Kreibich in his ex-Buffum Group 4 Quattro.  I think this is the one that Mouton won the ’82 Port Wine Rally in.

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Kiwi Alan Carter in a Saab.

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Rod Millen in his AWD RX-7, built in his Newport, CA shop.

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These next few shots of the leading trio of Mikkola, Buffum and Millen are from the Taylor Town stage just outside of Shelton, WA.

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Jon Woodner was at the Olympus with a new Peugeot 505 to replace his aged 504.  Here he is on the Taylor Town stage.

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Another RX-7 on the long straight on Taylor Town.

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I forget the specifics of this stage.  It’s a typical Capitol Forest stage though.

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Another Capitol Forest stage.  Check out the Jeepster in the background.  The Jeep club was working crowd control and radio at this stage.

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Rod Millen rolled his Rx-7.  You can see the surround around the rear oil cooler is missing.

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As you can tell, summer rallies in the PNW are dusty…

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The first service halt was in Elma, WA.

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Hannu Mikkola.

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John Buffum.

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The S1 E2 getting service from the works Audi team.

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John Buffum’s long time mechanic “Salty” Sottolano at work on the Quattro.

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Bruno Kreibich’s Quattro.

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You can see the extent of the damage on Rod Millen’s RX-7 after his roll.

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Rod needed a drink after that.

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Jon Woodner did a better job at rolling his Peugeot, but was able to make it to service.

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1986 Olympus Rally Part 4: Brooklyn Stages

Saturday was composed of classic Olympus Rally stages in the Brooklyn area of Grays Harbor County between Cosmopolis and Raymond.  The weather was dryer than Friday’s wet stages, with a bit of fog early and then a little sun to end the day.

Kankunnen and Alen were still locked in their own battle for the driver’s title.  Kankunnen had a technical problem with the 205 and Alen was now leading.

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This is one of my favorite shots.  I had it enlarged and it still hangs in my garage to this day.

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JB powering the Quattro over a crest.

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Waldegaard in the Toyota.  I climbed onto a stump to get this.

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The Allesandrini’s head off into the gloom.

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A service stop was held in Raymond.  I got a few good shots of the leading drivers.

John Buffum.

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Juha Kankunnen.

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Mr. Maximum Attack:  Markku Alen

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Allen’s Delta S4.  Notice that the teams were using rental trucks for support vehicles.  After the rally, we used to see rental trucks around the area with their factory Lancia or Peugeot stickers on the side.

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JB’s Sport Quattro.

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This stage is my favorite Olympus stage.  We always used to go to this one.  You can stand on a bank and watch the cars come down a hill into a dip and then a slight crest, then they turn in front of you and head down another hill before they go out of sight.  On this stage we were standing next to the Duke Video crew from the UK.  I should buy the DVD someday…

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There was a washed out area of the road due to some flooding in the area prior to the rally.  We were able to get some good close shots as the cars slowed to go by.  The road was little wider than the cars and the ravine/wash out went down about 20 or 30 feet..

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The sun actually came out for this last stage we went to.

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JB’s co driver must have mis-read a note..

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The future of Group A rallying, a few years early…

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