Press Release

July 17, 2003
Contact: Matt Cleary
Phone: (317) 722-1838

Air Force Reserve Rally Car scores 2nd place at Oregon Trail ProRally race

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE. Georgia -- The Air Force Reserve Rally Car driven by Tim OíNeil and navigated by Alex Gelsomino finished second place overall in the Oregon Trail ProRally race, Oregon, in round five of nine in the 2003 SCCA ProRally Championship series. The second place finish is the best this season for the Air Force Reserve Rally Car. Its strong finish, however, was overshadowed by the tragic loss of Mark Lovell and Roger Freeman, who perished in an accident during the first stage of the rally.

"The result was good, but everything was secondary this weekend to what happened," said Gelsomino. "We kept driving for those guys, since we knew that was what they would have wanted. There is a lot of sadness, losing such incredible competitors who were ambassadors for the sport."

"I am happy with the way we are getting up to speed in the car, but like Alex said, that was really not important this weekend. You just had to put it out of your mind and go do the job we were there to do," said OíNeil. "It was difficult, but we are professionals, and that is what is required of us. Itís the same thing in the military--you have to go out and do what you are trained to do, knowing that there are risks involved, and knowing that if anything happens, you are still called upon to do your duty. We will keep racing for those guys." The Air Force Reserve Rally Car Team extends its deepest sympathies to the families of Lovell and Freeman.

The SCCA ProRally Championship is a flat-out race over closed sections of rural roads by modified production automobiles, with each car racing against the clock rather than directly against each other. OíNeil competed in the Group N Class in 2002 and has moved up to the Open Class in 2003 driving the Air Force Reserve Ford Focus.


U.S. Air Force Reserve
1000 Corporate Pointe, Warner Robins, GA 31088
Telephone: (478) 327-0655 Fax: (478) 327-0138 DSN Prefix: 497
Release No. 17-07-03 July 17, 2003

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