|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||Contact: TEAM TPi|
Tel: (817) 472-8310
Fax: (817) 472-8310
Houghton, Michigan, Ocotber 24, 1998 -- Team TPi went to the Lake Superior PRO Rally with two main objectives. First, to finish the National rally in a position high enough to give navigator Lynn Dillon enough points to finish 2nd overall in the Production GT category for 1998, and second, for driver Jowi Odero-Jowi to gain valuable experience that could come in handy if Team TPi can come up with the finances to enable them to contest the whole Michelin SCCA PRO Rally Championship in 1999. Both objectives seemed to be reasonably attainable, especially after Team TPi's strong finish in the Prescott Forest Rally.
Driver Jowi Odero-Jowi had been informed that the attrition rate would be high on Friday, so all he had to do was to pace himself and make it through the night. Easier said than done...the attrition "monster" reared its ugly head and struck the Team TPi Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX. The transaxle failed on the transit from the Dee Stadium (Houghton) to the start of the first competitive stage! The center differential failed; a piece broke off and found its way through the transaxle case into daylight. Lynn Dillon's hopes for a 2nd place finish in the PGT Navigator's Championship were lost with the failed transaxle. The transaxle was replaced on Friday night and the team anxiously waited to start the Keewenaw Challenge Divisional Rally on Saturday morning.
Team TPi started the Divisional rally at a relatively slow pace while the driver and navigator got accustomed to each other. By the third stage (stage 13 of the National event) the rapport was good. On stage 14, the second run through Brockway Mountain (a tarmac/asphalt stage), Team TPi set a good stage time which would have made them 5th fastest if they were running in the National event. At this point driver Jowi Odero-Jowi decided that it was time for a "Maximum Attack" (using one of Markku Alen's popular phrases). Navigator Lynn Dillon did an excellent job on the notes, letting Jowi concentrate on increasing the pace while keeping clean lines through the corners. The team set some respectable times on the last two stages, but there wasn't enough rally left to make up for the slow start. Team TPi finished 4th overall in the Keewenaw Challenge Divisional Rally; 3rd in the Divisional O4 (open 4-wheel drive) category.
The SCCA PRO Rally year-end banquet was held on Saturday evening in Houghton. Lynn Dillon was awarded the 3rd place overall Production GT navigator. Jowi won the National PRO Rally Rookie of the Year Award, which he says he shares in spirit with his friend and fellow competitor Garen Shrader. "Garen and I have shared a frustrating rookie year throughout which he has always shown the spirit of competition, been a gentleman and a friend. Best wishes to Garen in 1999!"
Jowi thanks his sponsors (Alamo Autosports of Arlington, Texas, Thermal Research & Development, GAB, Automated Information Retrieval Systems/AIRS, Front Wheel Drive Supply of Hurst, Texas, Earls, Dave Thomas of Waxahachie, Texas), his crew man Charles Muinde, and the experienced navigators that he has been privileged to drive with this year:
Team TPi congratulates David Summerbell, Michael Fennell and TAD Motorsports on a fine championship season. Praise to Henry Joy who helped make it possible for them with a selfless gesture. Congratulations to all event and class winners, and to Kendall Russell (the only person to finish all National rallies in 1998). Thanks to the Sports Car Club of America, Michelin, Doug Plummer and Replica Productions, ESPN, Jerry Bernardo and Motoworld/Rev it Up, all organizers, workers, fans and the entire rally community. Last but not least, a great thanks goes to Andy Schupack to whom the rally community owes a great debt.
Visit Team TPI's Website at www.re-airs.com/tpi/
For more information please contact Jowi Odero-Jowi:
Tel: (817) 472-8310
Fax: (817) 472-8310