|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
May 13, 1999
|For more information, contact: John Dillon|
Creativity in Action
P.O. Box 1231
Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0231
Web site: http://www.teamleconte.com
Palmdale, California -- Kendall Russell, Knoxville TN, and co-driver John Dillon, Thousand Oaks, CA, racers for Team LeConte, returned to the podium in their second race of the Michelin SCCA ProRally season. Despite losing several minutes to a flat tire in the middle of stage 2 on Friday night, the team earned 3rd place in the Production GT category. Lee Shadboldt and Claire Chisma won ahead of 2nd place finishers Gail Truess and Pattie Hughes.
Russell remarked, "Of all the rallys I have driven, Rim is characterized by the most difficult roads. This race is more than a test of endurance, it is a test of driver concentration, co-driver skills, and car preparation. It is a rally where a missed call from the co-driver or a lapse in concentration can put you over a cliff or into a mountainside. Once again my co-driver, John Dillon, performed with outstanding precision allowing me to be confident driving the roads while Crew Chief Lincoln Woodard kept the car well prepared for the rough conditions".
Team LeConte was assisted by Team Manager John K. Shirley and coached by 1998 Group 2 Champion Dave White. "John and Dave helped me take my driving to the next level," the driver added. Dillon agreed, saying, "Kendall continues to pick up the pace. She goes faster every stage. More importantly, we still had a race car at the finish despite the best pounding the Rim roads had to offer." Last year the Dodge Shadow took a serious beating that required a month of overhaul before the following event. This year, the toughest part of car preparation is in getting it across the country in time for the Susquehannock Trail ProRally!
Of course going faster also means that the mistakes are bigger. "We managed to launch the Shadow pretty good over a yump on Stage 2," said Russell. It cost the team valuable time after they landed on a big rock and were high-centered. "I opened the door to get out and push," laughed Dillon, "and the shift in weight was enough to give some traction to the drive wheels--we dashed off, the door still hanging open!" It was later in the same stage, with about four miles to go, that the left front tire was punctured. The team chose to "drive it out", thus losing less time than if they'd changed it on the stage, but it still cost them several precious minutes.
Team LeConte's web site sponsor Shults Dot Com arrived in force to support their racers. John Shults helped Woodard and Shirley in servicing the vehicle while MaryAnne and the kids took care of "crew management," providing food and water during the service breaks. You could tell by their smiles how much they enjoyed being a part of the action.
Russell and Dillon were thrilled with the level of support they received. Noted the driver, "The enthusiasm and spirit that the members of Team LeConte have is contagious! Our sponsors and their families, friends, and local race fans were encouraging and supporting of Team LeConte throughout the race. John and I could hear them shouting words of encouragement at every spectator area. Their support made a difference by encouraging me to drive to the best of my ability."
She closed by saying, "Rim is a difficult but great rally. A finish at Rim is always a hard earned victory and we definitely earned this one!"
Keep your eyes on Team LeConte -- you're watching future champions!