8 October 2017 - 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
Prescott, Arizona. Ernie Manansala, racing a Subaru Impreza, enlisted the aid of Widget codriver John Dillon for the 2017 edition of the Prescott Rally on October 6th and 7th. It was the driver's first attempt at this rough and rugged high-speed event so when his regular codriver Chong Pak couldn't make it, Manansala sought the experienced Dillon, who had competed here 18 times before. Together they finished third in the AWD class and eighth overall, a solid performance for a first-time driver in his rookie year. Their result also meant that Manansala completed a sweep for the season, achieving his goal of finishing every rally in the California Rally Series championship.
The rally began with a stage called "First View" that offers spectacular vistas and steep drops the first 4 miles. Manansala drove this intimidating stage at a conservative pace, playing it safe as he adapted to the many new variables: the Subaru's performance at high elevation, a new voice in his ears, and problems with dust and the setting sun sometimes blinding him.
"Ernie kept apologizing to me for his slow pace on the first stages of the night, while I kept thanking him for driving smart!" explained Dillon. "I told him I wasn't worried about his speed; it'll come. I wanted him to drive with our priorities in mind: safe, fun, finish, and fast, in that order. We met the first three conditions right out of the box, and the fourth when came on day two when Ernie really stepped up his pace."
In addition to those challenges, on Saturday the car experienced brake fade problems, perhaps due to the high-speed nature of this event. Later that afternoon an overheating problem developed which required that the Streetwise Motorsports crew, led by car chief Robbie Reed and assisted by Sean Campbell, Steve McNaughton and Michael, had to switch out the thermostat. They really had to hustle because this was a short service period but they rose to the task and put the team back on track with two stages to go.
"I've learned a lot more about rallying at this event," reported Manansala. "This sport frequently throws challenges at you but with teamwork and perseverance you can make it to the end. We encountered plenty of new (to me) experiences and difficulties, but we all pulled together with a common goal in mind and made it to the finish. All in all, a podium finish was a satisfying way to end the season."
Manansala's car is prepared by Streetwise Motorsports and supported by an array of sponsors, including: @seiboncarbon @motovicitydistribution @advancedclutch @fidanza_performance @bcracingna @hawkperformance @bajadesignsofficial @strassesport @volantperformance @sparcousa @ruggedradios @kooksheaders @braidusa @maxxistires @cobbtuning @specdtuning, with many thanks to the family @_debbiekh.
With the CRS season complete and work commitments keeping him from running any more rallies this year, he's mapping out a strategy for the 2018 season and may pursue a national championship. If invited by another driver, Dillon may compete in one or two more 2017 events but nothing is definite yet.
Photo © 2017 by Widget Rally Team and can be used by the media as needed. If you'd like really high resolution images, please let us know.
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