1 April 2006 - 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
Brian Scott (driver, Phoenix, AZ) and John Dillon (codriver, Thousand Oaks, CA) used the Desert Storm Rally on 25 March 2006 to test their new race car. They were rewarded with a third place finish at the end of the event. The car, a Subaru WRX STi built by Andy Brown of Tech Sport Racing, proved its strength by taking all the pounding that the rough washes of Desert Storm could offer. In addition to third overall, they finished second in the Open class. The race was held on roads near Ehrenberg, Arizona.
"This was our first time out in the new car," said Scott. "I wasn't quite sure what to expect in the full heat of competition, so we took a conservative approach at the start. I focused on different aspects of driving throughout the day, working first on my braking points. Desert Storm has a lot of really fast sections of road, but we crossed several really rough washes, which gave the suspension components a workout. There were times when we'd plow into a gully and have rocks the size of softballs flying over the hood, but the car took the punishment without a problem."
As the day progressed, the team's pace improved and they scored highly competitive stage times. Indeed, they set fastest time on the final stage of the rally, closing to within one second of second place. "Andy gave us an awesome car this weekend, and Brian drove brilliantly," gushed Dillon. "We really got a feel for how it handles in the rough stuff, the speed it can deliver on the fast stuff, and the reliability it provides regardless of terrain."
The Subaru turned a lot of heads over the weekend, as everyone marveled at the craftsmanship of the work done by Tech Sport Racing. "This is a beautiful car, and Andy paid a lot of attention to detail," noted the driver. "I know when I get behind the wheel that it's going to work perfectly and, if it gets damaged at all, it'll be fixed professionally and quickly. It's quite a thrill to be racing a piece of machinery like this."
The team's original plans were to debut the car at the Cherokee Trails International Rally, then use Brian's old Ford Focus at Desert Storm. Cherokee was supposed to be the first event on the USRC (United States Rally Championship series) calendar. Unfortunately, the Tennessee-based rally had to be cancelled by the organizers, who cited a lack of entries as the cause. Since the team wanted to get seat time before heading to Rally New York in April, they decided to leave the Focus behind and race the Subaru instead.
Former Widget driver Leon Styles won Desert Storm racing the Mitsubishi Evolution he raced back in 2003, with Don Shreyer codriving. (You may recall that Dillon codrove for Shreyer at Desert Storm a year ago, but mechanical problems left them on the sidelines after just one stage.) Don agreed to codrive when Styles's scheduled navigator called a few hours before the race start to cancel. "We couldn't let Leon not race," said Shreyer, "so I borrowed a helmet and John's old driving suit and climbed into the Evo." It was the first time the two worked together. Curiously, when Dillon first started racing, he did so wearing a suit and helmet he'd borrowed from Shreyer!
Meanwhile, Dillon and Scott debuted their new suits while racing to the Desert Storm podium. "When you spend so many hours in a race car, you need to be comfortable, so we bought the most comfortable suits we could afford," reported Dillon. "It's amazing what a difference that makes at the end of the day. Oh, yeah, it's cool that they match too. When Leon and I were on the way to our 2004 Open championships, my wife used to joke that we looked like 'the Clampetts go rally racing' up on the podium!"
As far as Desert Storm was concerned, Scott concluded by pointing out "We accomplished our goals and achieved a good result this weekend I think we'll be ready for the remaining events in the championship. Next up, our first tarmac rally of the year, Rally New York in early April."
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. For the USRC, competitors race nearly "blind," navigating from a route book provided just hours before to the event, with no practice and only a single reconnaisance run allowed on the stage roads prior to the start. Cars can easily reach speeds above 100 MPH as they snake between trees and along the edges of cliffs in this extreme sport of strength and stamina.
About the Team
The Widget Rally Team, that "serious team with a whimsical name," races a Subaru WRX STi prepared by Andy Brown of Tech Sport Racing. is supported by Perforce Software (www.perforce.com), makers of high performance software for computer professionals. 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 Communications.
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