Press Release

October 28, 2000
For more information, contact: John Dillon
Creativity in Action
P.O. Box 1231
Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0231

O'Sullivan and Dillon Team Up for Treeline and Laughlin Rallies

San Francisco, California -- California residents Lauchlin O'Sullivan, San Francisco, and John Dillon, Thousand Oaks, announced today that they would team up again for the Treeline and Ramada Express rallies. Their car, a 1994 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX sponsored by CTX Mortgage, races in the Production GT (PGT) class, and is supported by crew chief Tom Laeng and M&M Motorsports team manager John Moore. PGT class rules do not allow any major modifications to the car--only safety equipment and minor suspension changes are allowed. Even though these cars don't have the same performance potential as Open-class cars, O'Sullivan has proven he can wrestle his way to the top. He is, by the way, defending his Treeline victory of a year ago.

Performance rally is a sport where teams race across desert paths, logging trails, and other unimproved roads in cars licensed for street use. The team consists of a driver and co-driver, the latter calling instructions from a route book provided by the rally organizers just prior to the start of the event. They are not allowed to pre-run the course.

O'Sullivan and Dillon raced together once before at the 1999 Ojibwe Forest ProRally in Bemidji Minnesota, finishing second in the Production GT (PGT) class despite campaigning a car with less horsepower than the competition. They challenged for the class win in a rented Mazda 323 GTX against Eclipses and Talons with much bigger engines. O'Sullivan went on to win the California Rally Series overall championship, while Dillon finished his rookie National season second in the PGT co-driver's championship, as well as earning the Southern Pacific divisional PGT co-driving crown.

"I'm excited to be racing with Lauchlin again," said Dillon. "We had a great time together at Ojibwe and he's an incredibly talented driver." O'Sullivan echoed these sentiments. "John proved very adaptable at Ojibwe. He showed why his services are in such demand on the rally circuit. We worked together to keep the Mazda running at its limits the whole weekend."

The two had discussed campaigning the full 2000 season together, but sponsorship commitments kept it from happening--until now. "When I joined up with M&M Motorsports early this year, we discussed putting John in the co-driver's seat," noted O'Sullivan, "but the team had already made other commitments and John went on to race with Mark [Nelson] in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV instead." Late in the National season, Nelson and Dillon buried the car in the trees at the Wild West Rally in Washington State, ending to their championship hopes. Meanwhile, the co-driver's seat at M&M Motorsports had opened up, freeing the racing buddies to team up again.

"We had some teething problems with the car early in the year," commented John Moore, the team's manager. "At the Gorman Ridge Rally, we finally pulled all the pieces together and proved we could field a reliable car." O'Sullivan, racing with sister Fariņa, finished second overall, once again racing an underpowered car against an Open-class Mitsubishi Galant. Ironically, Dillon was racing against O'Sullivan at this rally, co-driving for Anton Musev in an Open-classed Audi, the same type of car that O'Sullivan had raced a year earlier.

The M&M duo will race at the Treeline ClubRally on November 18th, based in Monrovia. "Treeline will serve as a warm-up for the Ramada Express rally," said O'Sullivan. "We expect to collect a big chunk of Mitsubishi's prize money in Laughlin!" O'Sullivan won the Treeline rally in 1999 in his old car, an Audi Quattro, and finished third overall in Laughlin last year.

"Perhaps the biggest vote of confidence for a driver is the endorsement of the co-driver's wife," laughed Dillon. "Donna is as excited as I am about my partnership with Lauchlin and M&M Motorsports. We spent our honeymoon at two rallies this year," added the newlywed, "so she has a strong appreciation for Lauchlin's smooth, fast driving style."

While plans for the 2001 season are not yet finalized, it's entirely possible that success at these next two races will solidify the team and provide new opportunities in the coming year. Additional sponsors like Direct Signs, Ben's Transmissions, and Fleet Glass are already on board, with others potentially in the wings. If the team can pull it all together, they hope to challenge for the 2001 National championship. Even if Treeline and Laughlin prove to be only a temporary partnership, it's certain that both competitors will enjoy their time in the car as they race towards victory.

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