RALLY: ProRally: RealAutoSport and Widget Rally Team join for Lake Superior

Widget Rally Team and RealAutoSport Join Forces for Lake Superior Pro Rally Last Rally of the Season for VW Beetle, the Star of TV Ads Thousand Oaks, CA and Sand Springs, OK. RealAutoSport, LLC and the Widget Rally Team announced today that the...

Widget Rally Team and RealAutoSport Join Forces for Lake Superior Pro Rally
Last Rally of the Season for VW Beetle, the Star of TV Ads

Thousand Oaks, CA and Sand Springs, OK. RealAutoSport, LLC and the Widget Rally Team announced today that the two organizations would join forces to campaign a Volkswagen "New Beetle" in the last rally of the SCCA season, the Lake Superior Pro Rally headquartered in Houghton, Michigan. The New Beetle, featured in Volkswagen's "Cute Car" advertisements, has run six of the nine championship events this season. Mike Halley, driver/owner of the car, invited John Dillon of the Widget team to co-drive for him after learning that Dillon would be available for the race on Michigan's upper peninsula.

The Widget Rally Team has made its reputation as "partners in speed on the performance rally circuit," racing to victory in almost every class of rally car. The partnership with RealAutoSport, LLC is just another example of working together with other teams for shared success. "Mike is a welcome addition to the Widget team," noted Dillon. "Our team is focused on maximum performance in the race car while still having fun and Mike has a similar attitude."

For his part, Halley is tickled to become an honorary Widget. "These guys race hard, just like I do, with a serious and professional attitude, just like I have, and yet they do it with real enthusiasm, just like I do. It's natural for us to get together." Mechanical glitches have affected both teams throughout 2001, yet Halley still has a shot at third place in the Production championship, while Dillon goes into the final race second in PGT points.

The Widget Team normally campaigns a Mitsubishi Eclipse and recently won the PGT class at the Prescott Forest Rally in early October. Other commitments kept the car from racing in Michigan so regular team members Lauchlin O'Sullivan and John Dillon each took on co-driving roles for LSPR. O'Sullivan will be in the passenger seat of Rhys Millen's Mitsubishi Evo 6.5. He indicated "John and I are working on a lot of options for next year. I've never seen these roads before so racing with Rhys will give me some valuable experience for the 2002 season."

O'Sullivan will resume driving duties at the Treeline ClubRally in November, a final shakedown before the big Laughlin, Nevada-based Ramada Express International Rally in December. Last year O'Sullivan and Dillon won the PGT race and finished third overall despite racing a heavier car with much less power than their Open class competition.

"This is the final race for car number 61," noted Halley. "I'll be switching to number 86 next year. I was married in 1986, that was the year the Dodge Omni GLH I built for CMC Motorsports, Inc. won all the SCCA ProRally Production titles and that number places me between John Buffum (85) and Frank Sprongl (87) in the car number lists!"

"I've never raced in a Production car before," Dillon concluded. "It would be nice to add a Production class win to my resume!" Through the combined efforts and experience of RealAutoSport, LLC and the Widget Rally Team, a Production victory on Michigan's upper peninsula in the New Beetle certainly seems possible.

-RAS/WRT-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Automotive , SCCA
Drivers Rhys Millen , Mike Halley , Frank Sprongl , John Buffum