4 Aug '9 - 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
Linden, TN. Brad Morris (Charlotte, NC) and co-driver Doug Nagy (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA), in only their second rally together, won their class at Rally Tennessee on 23rd and 24th of May 2009 in soggy conditions. As in years past, the NASA-sanctioned tarmac event took place on the lovely and sweeping roads in and around the town of Linden in Perry County. Along the way they set or tied fastest-in-class stage times on 7 of the 28 stages. The victory lists them as the M1 winners in the Atlantic Rally Championship and first in 2 Wheel Drive in the United States Rally Championship. The result moves them up to second in USRC for the season.
"This makes it two for two!" said Nagy. "We won our class at the Mad March Stages Rally in Florida a couple of months ago, our first time racing together." They used the Floridian event as a warm-up for Tennessee in order to learn how they could best work together and get up to speed with pace notes.
The driver reported that "This was our first real tarmac rally. Our goal was to get up to speed on Saturday without giving up too much time to the competition, then see what Sunday brought." Clearly the strategy proved successful. Morris added: "We had a good run from the very beginning and finished the first day third in class, less than 30 seconds behind the leader."
Saturday was not without incident however. Explained the driver, "We had a 'moment' with a high speed spin on Owl Hollow, then a low speed spin in the same place going the other way on Owl Hollow Reverse." The codriver pointed out that it happened in a "loose section" of pavement in the middle of the stage where the asphalt was "marbly."
He continued, saying "Sunday was great racing. We were able to lay down some fast times early before the weather changed. Racing in the pouring rain was a first for me. It made the stages very exciting!"
"Brad did an excellent job of driving and really made up the difference as our car is down on power to the other cars, which are mostly turbocharged, in our class," observed the codriver. (Due to multiplication factors, the Mitsubishi Lancer with its 2.4 liter four valve engine is classified in M1 in NASA, but it's a Group 2 car under Rally America's rulebook.) "Neither of us have much wet weather rally experience, but the car had a surprising amount of grip on the wet roads. The rain really ended up being no drama at all. As a matter of fact stages 19 and 20 were the wet ones and they were two of the ones we won."
It was their first time at Rally Tennessee. "The roads were fantastic: all you could ask for, and more. They featured smooth, fast, rolling terrain, and the host community really made us feel welcome."
On Stage 22 (Treefarm) the team felt like it was their best run yet on the repeated stage, but when they came up on the rolled Subaru of Patrick Brennan/Eamon Sweeney, they stopped to render assistance. Fortunately, the rules grants a time adjustment under just such an emergency situation, so it didn't affect their final results.
"Doug was 'on the money' all weekend with the notes," praised Morris. "I'm looking forward to our next rally together, Rally West Virginia in August."
Morris thanked his sponsors, pointing out "We couldn't compete without the valuable support from Promotional Management Group, StreetWiseParts.com, Larry J Mitsubishi in Charlotte, and Carquest Auto Parts. In addition, we received some great brake pads from Performance Friction that really made a difference in the changing conditions."
The 2002 Lancer is prepared by the Morris Motorsports Group in North Carolina, with engineering support, performance parts, and west coast preparation by Streetwise Motorsports.
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