SCCA has issued an official press release regarding the accident:
HILLSBORO, Ore. (July 12, 2003) – Subaru Rally Team USA superstars Mark Lovell, 43, and Roger Freeman, 52, both of England, were fatally injured Saturday during the first special stage of the Oregon Trail SCCA ProRally event.
The first car away from the starting line, driver Lovell, and co-driver Freeman, left the prescribed course moments into the stage and struck a tree in their Subaru Impreza WRX. The two were pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical personnel. Details of the incident were held until the families were notified.
“This is a tragic day for the world of rallying and motorsports in general, “said Steve Johnson, SCCA President and CEO, who was in attendance at the event. “Mark Lovell and Roger Freeman were among the best crews in the world, but they were also great competitors as well. Our prayers go out to their families, Subaru Rally Team USA and all of their friends and supporters.”
The duo who had been rallying together for twenty years were competingin their third event together of 2003. They entered the Oregon Trail fresh from success winning the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb of June 27. The 2001 Overall Drivers Champion, Lovell is survived by his wife, Julia, and his children Oliver and Thomas. Roger Freeman is survived by his wife, Alison, and children Becky and John.
A decision was made to finish Day One of the rally while information regarding the accident was gathered and after rally organizershad consulted with SCCA national staff, national safety stewardsand at the request of Subaru Rally Team USA Manager and close personal friend of Lovell and Freeman, David Campion. The field then ran an abbreviated schedule of stages later in the day. The rally will continue with the completion of the final six stages on Sunday as scheduled.