FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2003
Contact: Jeff Burmeister
Web site: Tatomotorsports.com
Santa Clarita, California -- Italian Rally stars Alfredo De Dominicis and co-driver Danilo Fappani joined the TatoMotorsports Team for the their first attempt at a SCCA ProRally National event at the Wild West ProRally in Olympia Washington. The tandem of George Plsek Jr. and Jeff Burmeister moved down to the Team's like painted Group N Rally car for this event, allowing the much more powerful Open Class Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI to be piloted by the Italian Duo in their attempt to capture a podium finish.
Alfredo De Dominicis, who goes by the nickname "Dedo," is currently contesting the World Rally Production Cup in the World Rally Championships. Dedo's best result for this season is a fifth place finish at the WRC Argentina. This is his second visit to the U.S. but his first attempt at an SCCA ProRally.
Dedo's co-driver for this event, Danilo Fappani, is a well regarded World caliber navigator who has been contesting the World Rally Championships and the Italian National Championship series since 1993. Danilo's vast experience would be put to the test this weekend, as the team would have to translate the event supplied course notes from English to Italian on the fly.
The start of the event was shrouded in excitement for the TatoMotorsports Team, but it quickly turned to despair as the tandem of Dedo / Danilo pulled over on stage 2 at a spectator corner with an apparent engine failure. Leaving the Italian duo stranded in their first U.S. event with lets then 9 miles of racing under their belts. Adding insult to injury for the Italian duo, the Team's Management vehicle struck a rock and holed the oil pan while transporting them to a spectator location later in the day. Leaving them stranded once again in the woods of Olympia Washington.
With the Open class effort out of the event, the Group N effort soldiered on as George Plsek Jr. attempted to come to grips with the Team's Group N Mitsubishi Evolution VI. "The Group N has a completely different feel compared to the Open car. It took a few stages to figure it out. Then we would make up some time, but the condition and some mistakes caused us to lose that time again." Commented George Plsek on their Eighth place Overall finish, and Fifth in the extremely competitive FIA Group N classification. "But I am still happy with our end result."
Reflecting on the technical nature of the stages, Jeff Burmeister stated. "Okay, I was maybe a half second late on a note for a stay left over crest into a turn left 4 uphill that tightens. That little mistake caused us to miss a junction and sent us spinning down the road. Luckily we didn't damage the car, but I am sure I cost us at least one position overall, if not more."
The Team walks away from the Wild West ProRally with a sore taste in their mouths, but the TatoMotorsports Team will be back for the Granddaddy of all U.S. rally event, the Lake Superior ProRally (LSPR) in Houghton Michigan on October 17th-19th.
The TatoMotorsports is based in the Santa Clarita Valley just north of Los Angeles California. They offer a full line of Rental Rally vehicles for competitive teams as well as offering on-site event Service and Support for Rally Teams throughout North America.
For more info on TatoMotorsports http://www.tatomotorsports.com