23 Aug 2007 - 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
Frazier Park, CA. In the roughest event of the year so far, Scott Harvey (Menifee, CA) and John Dillon (Thousand Oaks, CA) teamed up for the first time and went on to claim second place in the Production GT class at the Gorman Ridge Rally on 18 Aug 2007. The event, sanctioned by NASA, was constrained entirely to the Hungry Valley Off Road Park this year, and featured slow, twisty, boulder-strewn roads throughout the day and evening.
The team almost withdrew before the event even started. While loading the trailer the day before, Scott Harvey wrenched his shoulder so badly he couldn't shift gears. He spent the night recovering with a heat pad, but when he took the car out for a spin the next morning, he realized he'd be able to make it after all.
"This year the organizers, in an effort to keep costs down, gave competitors a chance to do 'recce,'" reported Dillon, "so we were able to go out and write our own pace notes for the roads. Man, when you do 'em at low speeds like this, you realize just how rough the stages really are! I think they're the worst I've ever seen, with the possible exception of the 'El Niño Edition' of Rim of the World!"
Harvey, who has been rallying since 1958 and is the first ever U.S. National champion (back in 1973), proved once again that he still knows how to wrestle a rally car around tight corners. A retired Chrysler engineer, at one time he drove factory-backed equipment in rallies around the world. These days he works on the car himself, and his only crew member is usually his wife June.
"I had a lot of fun racing with Scott and June this weekend," declared Dillon. "They both have plenty of great stories to tell, and it's fascinating to hear about some of the legends of the sport from people who were right there competing against them!" The codriver added, "Mike Cunningham came up to lend us a hand this weekend. He's a friend of mine from work and it was great to have him on the team. Fortunately, this rally was a 'gas and glass' weekend for us—nothing but fuel and windows—but it was reassuring to know that he and June were ready in case we needed help."
The rally started off slowly for the team while they got used to how the car would handle over the big rocks and nasty jumps, but they pushed on at a steady pace, occasionally passing other cars that had broken down in their haste to win. "The hardest part about racing in these conditions is knowing how much to slow down when it gets particularly rough, and yet recognizing too that on some sections the road actually feels smoother at higher speeds," explained Dillon. "Scott has great car control but he's used to the smooth roads back east, so he really had to work this weekend. I think he did a phenomenal job. It was a pleasure to codrive for him."
Perforce Software (www.perforce.com) provides financial support to the Widget Rally Team. Widget 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 © 2007 Ronnie Arnold
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