FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2001
Contact: John Dillon
Creativity in Action
P.O. Box 1231
Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0231
Houghton, Michigan -- Lauchlin O'Sullivan, normally driving for the Widget Rally Team, and John Dillon, the team's co-driver, each navigated to class victories at the Lake Superior Pro Rally in Houghton, Michigan. Dillon, who partnered with driver Mike Halley in the famous Volkswagen New Beetle, helped Halley finish second in the Production class despite two broken shocks and a hard contact with a boulder on Stage 8 Friday night. The finish helped Halley move from fifth to third in the national Production championship.
O'Sullivan co-drove for Mitsubishi star Rhys Millen in an Evo VI on Michigan's upper peninsula, the same car Millen raced to victory at Pike's Peak last summer. The two finished second overall, only three seconds behind race winner Mark Lovell, and second in the Open class. Millen and O'Sullivan shared the podium together in a different way last December. Millen and Ken Cassidy won the Ramada Express International Rally outright while O'Sullivan and Dillon finished third overall despite racing in a heavier, lower-horsepower PGT car.
"Rhys and I talked about teaming up last August, but this was the first time that our schedules allowed us to hook up," commented O'Sullivan. "It's especially gratifying for us to do so well together--each of our teams has endured more than our fair share of mechanical problems this year."
"I had pretty much secured second place in the PGT national title hunt and couldn't catch first place," Dillon added, "so I encouraged Lauchlin to work with Rhys at LSPR. Plus, it left me free to try racing in a Volkswagen, something I'd never done before though I have owned seven of them over the years!"
Mike Halley, driver/owner of the RealAutoSport, LLC New Beetle, expressed his delight in finishing so well at LSPR. "With the Prescott Rally only two weeks previous I didn't have a chance to check out the car before coming up north, so I didn't realize we had two broken shocks. We ran the first exhibition stage and lost a spring because of the broken shocks and I thought our day was done."
Halley's co-driver jumped in to say, "Our rally would have been done after just three tenths of a mile if it hadn't been for Lee and Lee McElhinny, a father and son team who volunteered to be our service crew just a half hour before the rally started." Halley added "these guys really saved our bacon this weekend--I can't thank them enough." Together Halley and the McElhinnys were able to bolt, weld, and wire together enough rear suspension to last the entire rally despite the event's reputation as "the oldest, meanest, toughest" rally in the U.S.
Lake Superior is the last rally of the 2001 SCCA ProRally circuit and Halley is making plans for the 2002 season. Meanwhile, Millen, O'Sullivan and Dillon are preparing for the last big event of the year, the Ramada Express International Rally in Laughlin, Nevada, December 14th through 16th. Millen hopes to repeat his overall victory while O'Sullivan and Dillon will do all they can to climb to the top of the podium. Expect a lot of action in the next couple of months, even while both the Widget Rally Team and Team Mitsubishi make plans for the 2002 season.