FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2003
Contact: John Dillon
Creativity in Action
P.O. Box 1231
Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0231
Palmdale, California -- The Tombstone Paintball Widget Rally Team rewarded their new sponsor Perforce Software with a dominant pair of ClubRally victories at the 2003 Rim of the World Rally. Indeed, on Saturday they finished several minutes ahead of their nearest competitor. Even more remarkably, the privateer team finished fourth overall in the concurrent Pro Rally behind a trio of factory-backed cars. Driver Leon Styles (Mission Viejo, CA) and codriver John Dillon (Thousand Oaks, CA) campaign a Mitsubishi Evolution prepared by Tato Motorsports of Santa Clarita.
The rally, held on May 3rd and 4th in Palmdale, CA, was raced under difficult conditions. Mother Nature dished out torrential rains and sleet to turn the dirt roads of the Angeles Forest into mud bogs scattered with huge rocks tumbling from the sides of the mountains.
Despite the weather, Styles reported that the rally went even better than planned. "Our strategy was to finish Friday around 6th or 7th place, then strike more aggressively on Saturday," he said. "When we realized we'd moved all the way up to fourth place the first night, just behind the high-dollar teams we knew we were in a good position should something happen to the factory cars." The duo started the day 15th on the road.
The abysmal conditions for the 20th annual Rim of the World complicated matters for the Widget team. Sliding sideways through the mud cast a huge spray over the hood of the car and sometimes left the team completely blind until the windshield wipers could remove the thick muck from the glass. Window fogging also proved to be a serious issue, as did headlight problems the first night. The terrible conditions forced event organizers to eliminate several of Saturday's stages for safety reasons.
Perhaps the toughest challenge proved to be physical. The team's codriver lost his voice part way through the first night. "I was able to croak out the notes for the special stages," Dillon laughed, "but the rest of the time I just pointed or whispered." The pair coordinated special hand signals just in case they were needed on the competition stages, but Dillon was able to keep the calls coming via the intercom throughout both days.
"Leon put in a solid performance this weekend," noted the team's Technical Director Chad DiMarco of Sube Sports in Huntington Beach. "When you run that high up in the order it's easy to lose your concentration or push beyond the limits and throw it all away. Instead he kept a level head and let the rally come to him."
Perforce Software is a major sponsor for the Tombstone Paintball Widget Rally Team. The team's race cars and service vehicles are transported around the country by 7-24 AirX, an on-demand full-service shipping company. Brakes are provided by Porterfield Enterprises, web services by Shults Dot Com, and communications gear by Sampson Communications.
The prime time broadcast of the Rim of the World Rally will be shown May 22nd on The Speed Channel (www.speedtv.com). The team's next race is the Susquehannock Trail Pro Rally in Wellsboro, PA on June 7th.
Porterfield Brakes web site: www.porterfield-brakes.com
Shults Dot Com web site: www.shults.com