Twin Victories in the Desert Team Wins Both Desert Storm Rallies Blythe, CA. Brian Scott (driver, Phoenix, AZ) and John Dillon (codriver, Thousand Oaks, CA) each took home twin first-place trophies at the Desert Storm Rally last weekend (23-24...
Twin Victories in the Desert
Team Wins Both Desert Storm Rallies
Blythe, CA. Brian Scott (driver, Phoenix, AZ) and John Dillon (codriver, Thousand Oaks, CA) each took home twin first-place trophies at the Desert Storm Rally last weekend (23-24 March 2007), racing a Subaru WRX STi prepared by Race Technik and sponsored by Scott Roofing Co and Perforce Software. These two victories were their first overall wins since the Treeline Rally seven months earlier, where they campaigned a 2WD Ford Focus. Headquartered in Blythe, CA, Desert Storm consisted of two separate events that took place on desert roads in La Paz County, AZ.
Scott observed, "These roads are very, very fast, but what makes them really stand out are the many jumps on the stages. I don't think I've ever seen so many jumps in one rally before. It was awesome!" One stage in particular, Sore Finger Road, featured 18 jumps in the last two and a half miles.
The team started the first event slowly, reaquainting themselves with the car and each other after a couple of months off. The driver explained, "We crashed at the last two rallies we entered, so our primary goal was to simply finish. Fixing the car can get expensive! Besides, we finished on the podium here last year so we knew we could do well if we were patient and allowed ourselves to come up to speed when the time was right."
Dillon added "We started on a conservative pace because we really wanted to bring the car home in one piece. I've got to give Brian a lot of credit. He's got this incredibly powerful Subaru, but instead of just mashing the pedal to the floor the whole time and getting into trouble, he drove with a level head all weekend. His driving was brilliant, absolutely brilliant -- very smart, very fast, and as the day wore on, very aggressive."
Though the car ran flawlessly all weekend, they took a hard landing on one of the jumps of the Harquahalla stage and broke the center differential. They had set fastest stage times all day and built up a two minute cushion over their nearest competition, so they played it safe and limped through the final stage, giving up 35 seconds but keeping their victory intact.
"We knew we had a solid, reliable car," reported Scott, "but we really hammered it hard on Harquahalla. The worst part was knowing that after the final stage we had another 60 miles of transit, so we had to make it all the way back to Blythe before we could truly know whether we won the event or not."
Though the competition took place in Arizona, the event was headquartered in California. The codriver pointed out "I lived in Blythe back in 1981. What I remember most is how friendly everyone was. Now I've returned after all these years and have once again enjoyed the great hospitality and friendly nature of the people in town."
"This is a satisfying victory for the team," concluded the driver. "Not only is it our first overall victory in the Subaru, it reaffirms that our level of commitment and car prep can help us win."
After a year and a half of hard charging, the Subaru will enjoy a little down time while receiving a thorough going-over by Race Technik in Phoenix. They expect to be back on course in July, perhaps in time for the New England Rally, a national championship event on the Rally America calendar. Meanwhile Dillon races again in less than a month, codriving for Ralph Kosmides at the next two Rally America national events (Oregon Trail and Olympus).