21 June 2004 - For immediate release
For more information, contact: John Dillon
Widget Rally Team
P. O. Box 1231
Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0231
Widget web site: www.WidgetRacing.com
e-mail: John @ WidgetRacing.com
"While we didn't do as well as we'd hoped at this event, we managed to widen the gap between us and Seamus and Charlie," said team driver Leon Styles. "All in all we're satisfied with our fifth-in-class finish."
The team was beset with problems from the outset. Windshield fogging made the first few stages difficult. "I couldn't see out the left side of the window so I had to lean over to the middle of the car to drive," reported Styles. "Man, is my neck sore!" Several times on the transit stages Styles had to ask his codriver John Dillon to let him know whether the road was clear on left hand corners.
On the third stage, a particularly slippery piece of road at the finish line left them banging into a tree, but fortunately the damage was mostly cosmetic. "We clobbered John's door pretty good and lost a headlight and some sheet metal, but nothing vital was broken," said the driver.
"After the crash, Leon decided to save the car and drive a bit less aggressively," explained Dillon. "Driving for a championship is a little different from racing for the win. With Pikes Peak just three weeks away we couldn't afford to risk destroying the car, so Leon backed off and brought the car home safely."
Though they raced at a more conservative pace, their problems continued as the turbo gradually lost boost. More critically, the rear differential failed, making the car handle unpredictably on the narrow roads of the Pennsylvania forest. As a result, they dropped to eleventh overall after starting second on the road.
Nick Korpal, who races the team's second Mitsubishi Evolution, couldn't compete at STPR as the car is being prepared for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Nonetheless his company, 7-24 AirX, transported the Widget's race car across the country just as they've done all season long. "If it weren't for Nick's company, we couldn't afford to run the full national season," observed Dillon. "They've proven that 7-24 AirX always meets their delivery promises, an admirable quality in a trucking and air freight company."
The team looks forward to Pikes Peak, the next race on the calendar, despite its grueling schedule. The team will stay at the Le Baron Hotel in Colorado Springs this year, thanks to the efforts of team manager Denise McMahon. "The Le Baron staff has been very helpful and friendly," she notes. "I know the guys are going to be able to relax there at the end of the day."
About the Sport
Rallying is the ultimate team motorsport where street-licensed cars are raced at high speed on dirt trails with two people in the car, a driver behind the wheel and a codriver describing every bend in the road. Competitors are not allowed to pre-run the roads so they are racing "blind," navigating from a route book provided just hours prior to the event. Cars can easily reach speeds above 100 MPH as they snake between trees and along the edges of cliffs in this sport of strength and stamina.
About the Team
The Widget Rally Team, that "serious team with a whimsical name," is supported by Perforce Software (www.perforce.com), makers of high performance software for computer professionals; 7-24 AirX, a domestic and international trucking and air cargo company; Worr Games (www.worr.com), manufacturers of tournament-quality paintball guns; and Tombstone Paintball Park. The team insists on brakes by Porterfield Enterprises (www.porterfield-brakes.com) and utilizes the web services of Shults Dot Com (www.shults.com) for its internet needs. Satellite phones are provided by WCC Global Satellite Communications (www.wcclp.com).
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