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28 Feb 2011 - For immediate release
For more information, contact: John Dillon
Widget Rally Team
P. O. Box 1231
Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0231
Phone: 805.906.7797
Widget web site: www.WidgetRacing.com
e-mail: John @ WidgetRacing.com

2011 Starts with Pair of Podium Finishes

A Successful Start for the New Year for the Widget Rally Team

Big splash picture Salem, MO. A pair of podium finishes rewarded the Widget Rally Team's return to action at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood Feb 25-26, 2011. Two regional rallies were run in conjunction with the RallyCar-sanctioned national event. Driver Brian Scott (Pine, AZ) and codriver John Dillon (Thousand Oaks, CA) finished second overall in Friday's "Trespassers Wil" event and third in Saturday's "100 Acre Wood" regional rally, racing a 2005 Subaru WRX STi. They also claimed 8th in class in the concurrent national event.

"I really wanted to finish this time," explained Scott, "because our last two rallies didn't go so well. In the 2009 Idaho Rally we led most of the day, but slid off the road on the final stage and knocked down a tree. The damage to the car meant we couldn't continue. Then in Prescott last October, a transmission problem meant we ran all day with only third gear. We still finished in third place overall on Friday, but the crew was unable to get the car fixed overnight so we had to add another DNF to the list—we couldn't start on Saturday."

The 100 Acre Wood rally didn't go perfectly for the team, however.

"We can't remember the last time we had to deal with water crossings," said crew chief Doug Chernis of RaceTechnik.com. "I'm not sure the Subie has ever had to deal with the crossings like the 'low water bridges' of Missouri. We had to solve a couple of problems where water was causing the engine to switch to 'limp home' mode."

They discovered the problem during the rally's practice stage on Friday morning. Chernis and crew member Nick Mahalak fashioned a special water shield to solve the issue. For the rest of the weekend, the car splashed through the water crossings just fine, though the inside footwells did get a bit soggy.

One more issue cropped up after the rally began. "On the second stage a loud clunking sound started up right under our feet," said Dillon. "Brian drove a bit more cautiously, but we really didn't want to stop completely unless we thought something would explode. A few stages later when we finally got to the service area, Doug found out that the grease in the half-shafts boots had dried and pulverized. He and Nick changed them out and the rest of our rally was incident-free... almost. Hot brakes and cold water can warp and crack disc rotors, but we made it through to the end anyway!"

"This rally ended the bad luck streak we were having," said Scott. "As you can tell, our results at 100 Acre Wood are really gratifying. Now we can move forward with our plans for the next rally, which will probably be Olympus at the end of April. I hope to have my Historic-class 240Z ready for that one!"

"As always, the neighborhoods around the rally welcomed us everywhere we went," said Dillon. "Saturday's Parc Exposé in Salem had hundreds of people checking out the cars, and the Steelville and Viburnum service areas and Potosi's Super Special Stages were just as crowded. Even in the middle of the night there were plenty of spectators out in the woods cheering us on! It's great to compete at places with such incredible community support."

Primary funding comes from Scott Roofing Company, providing roofing services for homes and businesses all across Arizona. RaceTechnik maintains the Subaru in Mesa, AZ. 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.

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