Biography Tim O'Neil
Franconia, New Hampshire
Tim O'Neil is a winner of five U.S. and North American Rally championships. As a privateer and factory driver for Volkswagen and Mitsubishi, he has broken records, and field-premiered new technology. Tim has earned a reputation of winning with underpowered cars.
Tim first got his hands dirty operating and repairing equipment for his family's logging business in Whitefield, New Hampshire. In 1977, he joined the United States Air Force and became a Fuel Systems Technician maintaining F-111s at Canon Air Force Base in New Mexico. It was this experience that laid the groundwork for future success. According to Tim, "Working in the Air Force taught me a great deal about work ethics, discipline and pride in one's work. It made me believe that I could achieve anything I set my mind to." In 1982, Tim returned to New Hampshire and worked at various car dealerships where he received factory training for a variety of makes. Shortly after, he opened the Franconia Service Center, a successful foreign car repair operation with 5 full-time employees.
Tim began his motorsport career in stock cars, winning rookie of the year honors in 1982. He began rallying in 1986, in a Saab 99 he built and prepared himself, and was crowned Canada's Novice of the Year. After winning the New England Division Championship in 1987, Tim was recruited by Volkswagen in 1988 to drive their Group A Golf GTI. He led the infamous Press On Regardless Rally for over two days before going off and getting stuck in a ditch on the last stage. His first overall victory came soon after at the Tall Pines Canadian National clinching the Canadian Group A title.
Team O'Neil Motorsport was formed in 1989 as Volkswagen moved to the hotly contested Production Class. Winning six of the first eight SCCA National Pro Rally Championship Events, O'Neil locked up both individual and manufacturer's championships by midseason. As North American Production Champion, he also became the first Production class driver to win overall at an SCCA national event.
In 1990, Tim drove Volkswagen's AWD Supercharged Rallye Golf prototype to three overall wins including the final US and Canadian Championship events of the season. He then became the first American in years to compete in Finland's 1000 Lakes Rally, a World Rally Championship Event.
Signed by Mitsubishi after Volkswagen withdrew from rally competition in 1992, Tim won the National GT Championship with five wins in a Mitsubishi Galant VR4.
Between 1993 and 1997, Tim worked with a number of major automotive manufacturers to teach advanced driving techniques and introduce new products. He instructed more than 3,000 students at driving schools in the United States, England, Scotland, and Wales, developed the nationally recognized O'Neil Winter Driving Technique, and coached two drivers to National Championships. His specialties included sport utility vehicle safety and survival programs.
In 1997, Tim opened the Team O'Neil Rally School and Car Control Center to teach rally and winter driving techniques. In addition to the courses taught at the facility in New Hampshire, he continues to provide offsite winter driving schools and road racing instruction for various car clubs. Tim leads every class and is supported by a group of instructors whose varied backgrounds serve to complement the learning experience.
Tim's success in rallying and professional experience provides a rich and solid resource for driving instruction and coaching.
For more information on the Team O'Neil Rally School: Team O'Neil Rally School
Tim can be reached at: