FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2003
Contact: John Dillon
Creativity in Action
P.O. Box 1231
Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0231
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania -- The Tombstone Paintball Widget Rally Team successfully completed the Susquehannock Trail Pro Rally (STPR) despite losing an engine on a practice stage the day before the rally started. The team managed to rent a Mitsubishi Eclipse from a northeast competitor so they could make the race. The Eclipse, normally classified in the Production GT category, lacks the horsepower and handling of the team's modern Mitsubishi Evolution. "We refused to give up," declared driver Leon Styles of Mission Viejo, California. "Even though the older car is no match for the modern machinery of our competitors or our own Evo, we chose to race in the Open class in order to score valuable championship points. Besides, it's just not in our nature to throw in the towel."
Despite racing in underpowered equipment, the team finished seventh in class to take home six points towards the championship. They finished fifteenth overall out of 67 starters. The STPR field was rich with state-of-the-art Mitsubishi Evolutions, Subaru WRXs and other top-notch cars, making the Widget's success especially gratifying.
Thanks to their result, codriver John Dillon of Thousand Oaks, California, is now tied for third place in the championship while Styles has moved up to a fifth place tie.
Dillon pointed out that the weather conditions helped the team, especially in the early stages. "Most of the daytime racing happened in soggy conditions. On slippery roads horsepower isn't as much of an advantage so we reveled in the rain. Besides, Leon grew up racing on roads like this in the wet, so despite our disadvantaged car we knew we could challenge." Styles was raised on a family farm near Auckland, New Zealand. "We only wish the rain had continued into the night." Instead, they encountered fog and discovered the car's headlights were set too high to be of value. "We couldn't see a thing on much of the last stage," said Dillon. "We lost probably two positions because of the soup and bad lighting."
Though disappointed with the lost engine, Styles and Dillon take heart in knowing they gave it their all to compete and still managed to produce a respectable result. The engine repair and renting the Eclipse seriously damaged the team's budget but they remain optimistic about their 2003 season. Said Styles, "Our goal is to be the highest-finishing privateer effort of the year. It's going to be really tough, but if it were easy the rewards wouldn't mean as much."
Perforce Software is a major contributor to the Tombstone Paintball Widget Rally Team. Worr Games has joined Perforce in supporting the team. The race car is transported around the country by 7-24 AirX, an on-demand full-service shipping company. Brakes are provided by Porterfield Enterprises and web services by Shults Dot Com.
With STPR behind them, the next challenge is to compete in the world famous Pike's Peak Hill Climb in three weeks. The crew is racing to complete repairs in time. "It has always been my dream to race to the clouds at Pike's Peak, so I'm really looking forward to it. I know I can count on the team to get our car ready in time to make the climb," said Styles. Visitors to the Pike's Peak area can see the team's Evolution on display at Phil Long Mitsubishi in Colorado Springs. Be sure to stop by and say hello!