Another Top Five Finish for Widget Rally Team Championships Look More Secure after Maine Summer Rally Rumford, ME. Winners of the 2004 Pikes Peak Hill Climb and Rally, Leon Styles (Mission Viejo, CA) and John Dillon (Thousand Oaks, CA) raced...
Another Top Five Finish for Widget Rally Team
Championships Look More Secure after Maine Summer Rally
Rumford, ME. Winners of the 2004 Pikes Peak Hill Climb and Rally, Leon Styles (Mission Viejo, CA) and John Dillon (Thousand Oaks, CA) raced to another top five finish on the national ProRally circuit at the Maine Forest Rally on July 31st. It was the first time Styles had ever seen the rough but fast roads in the woods north of Rumford. They finished fifth overall, extending their points lead in the Open class. The result also moves them with striking distance of the overall points leaders and positions Widget for a shootout for the Woolf and Whitaker trophies at the end of the season.
"I'm driving in championship mode," noted the driver, "so I didn't push so hard that I'd risk the car." The team faced another challenge when they got caught in the dust of Seamus Burke's car. Burke had stopped to change a tire on the stage and reentered the road right in front of the Widget car. Styles described the result: "We were stuck in Seamus's dust for 18 miles, which cost us at least a minute of time. Ultimately that minute meant we lost one position overall."
Nick and LeeAnn Korpal, owners of 7-24 AirX, the trucking company that transports the race car all around the country, insured the team's Mitsubishi arrived on time. "They went the extra mile and skipped their wedding anniversary to make sure we could race," observed Dillon. "That really is going above and beyond the call of duty! Leon told them we could forego Maine and race in Minnesota instead, but they replied that they honor their commitments to the team."
The team races a Mitsubishi Evolution, the same brand of car that won the 2003 national championship. "Frank Brown and John Tuner from Rhys Millen Racing gave us a solid car both days," said Styles. "We had only one mechanical issue all weekend, an anti-lag hose that failed at the start of the final stage."
With the points gap widening, thus making their championships more secure, Styles has opted to conserve resources and skip the next race, the Ojibwe Forest Rally, before returning to race in Colorado in September. On the other hand, Dillon hopes to hook up with another driver for the Bemidji, Minnesota-based event.