Press Release

July 2, 2003
Contact: John Dillon
Creativity in Action
P.O. Box 1231
Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0231

Widget Team Successfully Scales Pike's Peak
Team Finishes Fifth Overall Despite Engine Failure

Colorado Springs, Colorado -- Leon Styles (Mission Viejo, CA) driver for the Tombstone Paintball Widget Rally Team, achieved his lifelong dream Saturday, 28 June 2003, when he and codriver John Dillon (Thousand Oaks, CA) raced to the top of Pike's Peak. By finishing fifth overall in the SCCA Open class, Dillon has moved up to third place in the codrivers championship, while Styles is now tied for fourth place in the drivers battle. The team lost their engine in practice on the preceeding Thursday, but thanks to help from the staff at Phil Long Mitsubishi, Nick Korpal of 7-24 AirX, Frank Brown of Rhys Millen Motorsports, and the factory Mitsubishi rally team, the engine was repaired enough that the Widget pair could compete in the 81st running of the "Race to the Clouds."

Dillon reports that "the entire service crew at Phil Long helped us get the engine out and affect repairs. We didn't have our regular crew chief with us, nor much in the way of spare parts, but we scavenged a used crank and bearings from an old Eclipse engine and cobbled together what we jokingly called a '12 minute motor.' That's all the time we needed it to last--just long enough to make it to the peak." As it turned out, the engine survived much longer than that, although it lost oil pressure about a mile into the 12 mile stage.

"We were determined to make it to the top," said Styles. "My heart skipped a beat when the oil pressure dropped, but I kept the throttle buried in the floor. We lost a lot of time because the engine wouldn't rev over 5000 RPM, but we made it. While we were shooting for a podium finish, but I'd say fifth place is a pretty good result considering the troubles we had to get there."

Korpal, who owns 7-24 AirX, the transportation company that delivers the team's Evo to rallies around the country, demonstrated his mechanical aptitude by diving into the service bay and turning wrenches with Brown and the Phil Long crew. The dealership's team included Kevin Hefner, Bob Downs, Charlie Wilkerson, Zach Olson, Duane Craig, and Claude Wilkerson in the service area, led by service manager John Zeitler, with Rick Williams, Phil Seay, and Byron Pincomb in the parts department. Additional support came from new car sales managers Nick Bergren and Doug Delano and general sales manager Vince Cimino.

Bergren served as the Widget Team's primary liaison throughout the weekend, even providing additional vehicles for the team to use for reconnaisance and equipment. Said Bergren, "It was a pleasure to be involved with the entire Widget Rally Team. Everyone really made me and the entire dealership feel like we were part of the team. We look forward to having them back next year."

Delano observed "The Widget Rally Team is a first class outfit. We have nothing but respect for them for letting nothing stand in the way of achieving their goals."

Chad DiMarco, owner of Sube Sports and the team's Technical Director, was on hand to coach Styles regarding car setup and tire selection. He provided special "rally slick" Michelin tires to use on the mountain. Styles was happy with the choice, reporting that the rubber had excellent grip on both the asphalt and gravel sections of the road.

Major support for the team comes from Perforce Software (, makers of fast software configuration management tools for professional developers, and Worr Games (, manufacturers of tournament-quality paintball guns. The race car is transported around the country by 7-24 AirX (, an on-demand full-service shipping company. The team insists on brakes by Porterfield Enterprises ( and utilizes the web services of Shults Dot Com ( for its internet needs.

"I've never been to Pike's Peak before," recounted Styles, "but it has always been my dream to race to the top. With the unexpected engine failure, we adjusted our goals to just finish the race. Next year our goal will be to win it!"

The team's next rally is the Oregon Trail Pro Rally July 11 and 12 in Hillsboro, OR. On Independence Day (July 4th) the team will be on hand at the El Cerrito Mitsubishi dealership to attend the official CalSLAM Launch party ( to meet the fans and display their Evolution to the crowd.

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