24 Sep 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
Steamboat Springs, CO. It was a cold, slippery rally in Colorado for Brian Scott (driver, Phoenix, AZ) and John Dillon (navigator, Thousand Oaks, CA), but the team successfully survived the treacherous stages to finish 5th in class (7th overall) at the Colorado Cog Rally on 23 September 2006. They elected to compete at Colorado in order to prepare for the Prescott Rally two weeks later since, like Prescott, Cog is run at high elevation with a lot of "exposure" (cliffs) to challenge the competitors.
"I'm satisfied with our result," said Scott, "since my primary goal to was get more 'seat time' in the car. We had a pretty good run in Tennessee, but I haven't had much time to race this car on gravel since Rim of the World last April. Although we won the Treeline Rally a couple of months ago, it was in my other car, a two-wheel-drive Ford Focus, which has a lot less power and handling. I really need to get comfortable in this Subaru if I'm going to make a run for the championship."
"We always goal-set to win," added his codriver, "but a key part of any rally is finishing the event. It's a cliché but it's true: 'to finish first you must first finish,' so we raced to be sure and finish Cog."
Because of the slippery conditions due to recent rain and snow storms, the team experienced a few close calls out on the stages, but each time they slipped off the road they were able to claw back up onto the stage and continue. "We tiptoed over the worst part of the mud, and even then the car was a handful," reported the driver. "I learned a lot about this car and how it handles in nasty conditions."
Another exciting moment came when they approached the finish of the Elkhead Flats stage. They plowed through a huge bog at the line when suddenly a fountain of mud filled the car. It turns out that the rubber boot around the shifter blew out under the pressure, filling the cabin with mud and coating driver and codriver both. Even the inside of the windows and roof were covered, making it difficult to see the road. Dillon showed his mud-streaked route book to the stage workers, joking about being a modern artist in the rally car.
"Andy Brown of Techsport Racing really helped us with car set up," reported the driver. "When you're racing this high up a mountain, the engine struggles to get enough air for horsepower. He knew how to map the engine so we could get as much performance as possible out of our Subaru."
Though they didn't finish in first place in the rally, they were the first team to show up for the press stage where selected teams give rides to the media. As a result, their Techsport-prepared Subaru was featured on the front page of the Steamboat Pilot newspaper, as well as the featured photograph "above the fold" of the sports page. "We're passionate about our sport, so we really appreciate any chance we get to explain what rally is all about to the media," explained Dillon. Even better, several members of the media corps had the opportunity to ride in the Techsport Subaru with Scott and get a first-hand feel of what it's like at speed in a rally car.
Brian closed with "Prescott is our next USRC rally and we're looking forward to it. This is my home event so I think we can close up the gap in the championship hunt."
Scott Roofing of Phoenix, AZ, provides significant backing to the Techsport/Widget partnership, while Perforce Software (www.perforce.com) also offers financial support. 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.
Photo © 2006 Lorne Trezise of Frozen Motion Photography
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