FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2002
Contact: John Dillon
Creativity in Action
P.O. Box 1231
Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0231
Hillsboro, OREGON -- Driver Leon Styles (Mission Viejo, CA) and navigator John Dillon (Thousand Oaks, CA) finished on the podium in their first rally together, the Oregon Trail ClubRally on April 20th, taking home first place trophies for the Northwest Region's Class 1 championship and claiming second place in the Open class. The Northwest championships are based on driver experience rather than car classification--Class 1 is reserved for the most seasoned drivers. As a result of the podium result, Styles improved his seeding number just in time for the Rim of the World Rally May 3rd and 4th in Palmdale, California.
Racing an Audi Quattro S2 for George Plsek's Tato Motorsports of Santa Clarita, the Widget team drove conservatively. "This was our first rally in George's Audi, our first time racing together, and our first time using stage notes, so we had a lot of things to learn all at once," noted the driver. "In addition, we started off with used tires so traction was a problem."
"Leon demonstrated excellent car control," said Dillon. "Some of these roads are quite narrow and the Audi has a ton of horsepower, so he had to carefully thread the car between the trees." Styles started driving on rally roads at the age of 9 in New Zealand so he has plenty of experience to draw from.
The team started 27th but moved up to 12th overall at the end of the first day. Partway through day 2 the team mounted new tires on the car, improving their stage times dramatically. Unfortunately the engine's oil pump failed near the end of the next-to-last stage, leaving the car stranded at the side of the road and dashing their hopes for a repeat victory on Sunday.
"Naturally we're disappointed," declared the driver, "but we set several objectives for this event and met most of them. I'd say it was a successful weekend." Dillon elaborated, saying "We raced a hundred hard stage miles in the last two days. We've improved our seeding, learned how to work together, become comfortable with stage notes, and discovered just how powerful George's car can be."
Lauchlin O'Sullivan, a Widget driver now racing for Team Mitsubishi in a Group 2 Lancer, finished second in his class. His podium finish moved him into the Group 2 championship lead as well as put him at the top of the Woodner Cup points standings. The Woodner Cup is awarded to the season's fastest driver in a two wheel drive car.
The Widget Rally Team, sponsored by Tombstone Paintball Park (www.TombstonePaintball.com) and Porterfield Enterprises (www.porterfieldbrakes.com) is racing for George Plsek's Tato Motorsports in selected western events. The team's goal is to win the 2002 California Rally Series championship. Next on the schedule is Rim of the World ProRally (www.RimOfTheWorldRally.com) May 3rd and 4th.