Widget Rally Team Prepares for Ramada Express Rally Fillmore, CA. The Widget Rally Team took both race cars out for rally testing at a private facility on Saturday, 22 November 2003, in preparation for the Ramada Express International Rally.
Widget Rally Team Prepares for Ramada Express Rally
Fillmore, CA. The Widget Rally Team took both race cars out for rally testing at a private facility on Saturday, 22 November 2003, in preparation for the Ramada Express International Rally. The rally, promoted the the American Rally Sport Group and headquartered in Laughlin, Nevada, features hundreds of miles of racing in and around the Grand Canyon. The rally takes place from December 12th to 14th this year and will be broadcast on national television early in 2004.
The testing session, organized with the help of Winning Makes (a car preparation shop in Santa Barbara), gave team members Leon Styles, Nick Korpal and codriver John Dillon a chance to get familiar with their new Mitsubishi Evolution race cars.
Ann Johansson, whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and on AP news feeds around the world, photographed the competitors in action. She also posed the group for promotional portraits to be used by Perforce Software, a major supporter of the Widget Rally Team.
Korpal, who races the team's second car (the same car that Styles campaigned across the country throughout 2003), was pleased with the day. "This Evo is dramatically more powerful than my old Mazda. There's no substitute for seat time so this session was invaluable. Plus, Leon gave me some good pointers from his experiences in the car."
"I haven't had a chance to drive the new Evo until now," reported Styles. "This car is quite different from Nick's Evo 6.5. Now that I've had a chance to get behind the wheel I feel a lot more confident about our next rally."
Dillon codrove for Styles and Korpal throughout the day. "It's not only the drivers that need to get comfortable in a new car," he reported. "Our new Evo offers a dramatically different seating position and the instrumentation is different, so I'm happy to be able to familiarize myself in the new machine." He also described the thrill of racing at the Ramada Express Rally. "I think this rally is the best in the country. On one stage we start at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and race to the top. How cool is that?!"
With testing complete, all the teams can do now is wait--at least for this rally. Planning is already underway for running the full 2004 SCCA ProRally series, including the Rim of the World Rally and Pikes Peak.