Las Vegas, NV. The championship-winning Widget Rally Team and 7-24 AirX, an on-demand full-service shipping company, announced today that they've renewed their partnership for the 2004 American rally season, including the SCCA ProRally series and other selected events. In addition, the team will expand to two cars, both of them Mitsubishi Evolutions prepared by Rhys Millen Motorsports. The new partnership will debut on Dec 12th at the Ramada Express International Rally, headquartered in Laughlin, Nevada.
"I had great time travelling with the team last year," reported Nick Korpal, owner of 7-24 AirX. "I decided it was time to get even closer to the action so I bought Leon's old Evo 6.5. Hey, sponsors can be race car drivers too!" Styles has purchased a newer Evo for the '04 season. Korpal used to rally in England where he grew up, and most recently campaigned a Mazda 323 GTX in local events. "This is a quite a big step up for me," reported the driver. "Though the engine is only 400 cc's bigger, the Evo was designed from the ground up to be a race car so it performs completely differently from anything I've ever driven before. I can't wait till our first event in Laughlin."
"Nick was a tremendous asset on the team last year," said Styles. "Not only did his company make sure our race car showed up at every event, he personally jumped in whenever needed to make sure we could achieve a good result. When we lost our engine in practice at Pikes Peak, I'd swear he had more oil on him than anyone else-- he and Frank Brown were up to their elbows in grease rebuilding the motor so we could make it to the top." (Thanks to the efforts of Korpal, Brown, the crew from Phil Long Mitsubishi, and the factory racing mechanics, the Widget Team finished in fifth place despite racing with an engine repaired with used parts, those being the only parts available on four hours notice.)
"It has been a pleasure working with Nick this past year," declared John Dillon, codriver for Styles. "He and his family are good people, generous and hard working folks. I'm looking forward to having them listed on the Widget banner. Strategically it's a good fit too--having a second car on a team always provides an extra level of performance because you can share ideas and resources more easily."
In addition to 7-24 AirX, major support for the team comes from Perforce Software (www.perforce.com), makers of fast software configuration management tools for professional developers, and Worr Games (www.worr.com), manufacturers of tournament-quality paintball guns. The team insists on brakes by Porterfield Enterprises (www.porterfield-brakes.com) and utilizes the web services of Shults Dot Com (www.shults.com) for its internet needs.
Additional rally sites: www.CaliforniaRallySeries.com www.wsrally.org www.scca.org www.carsrally.ca