|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
October 13, 1999
|For more information, contact: John Dillon|
Creativity in Action
P.O. Box 1231
Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0231
Thousand Oaks, California -- Widget co-driver John Dillon announced that he has accepted an offer from FLX Racing to co-drive for Paul Dubinsky at the Lake Superior ProRally October 23rd and 24th. It will be the first time the two have worked together and their first time racing in Michigan. It's also their first full season of National competition. "My son, Yvon, is my usual co-driver, but he's also a student at Rochester Institute of Technology and is unavailable for LSPR," said Dubinsky. "That presented me, a newcomer to the sport, with an opportunity to work with an experienced co-driver like John. I'm hoping his talent and experience will spill across the car to the driver's seat and raise my level of driving."
Dillon, who currently leads the Production GT co-driver's championship race, is excited about the ride as well. "Even though this is Paul's first season of rallying, he's been a road racer for years so he understands how to read the car," noted the co-driver. "Plus, his road racing skill will be a plus in Michigan with its famous Brockway tarmac stage." He hopes that the experience he's learned racing with Lauchlin O'Sullivan, Mark Tabor, Fred Ronn and others will make it easier for Paul to focus on the part Paul does best--drive the race car.
Dubinsky drives a turbo-charged all wheel drive Eagle Talon. The car's 190 horsepower will be put to good use at LSPR, an event known for its fast roads and sweeping curves. "The great thing about ProRally compared to road racing is that the obstacles are stationary. The trees can hurt but at least they don't accelerate before impact!" said the driver. "Of course, we don't plan to hit any trees!" laughed Dillon.
FLX Racing is fortunate to have an experienced crew to keep the car in top condition. "My crew, Dale Cooke and Phillip Taylor, and I go back a lot of years in professional road racing and we've never met a group of racing people who were nicer and more helpful than Rally people. It seems that the more competitive it gets the more everyone tries to help everyone else."
Both teammates have a healthy appreciation for the people behind the scenes that make it all happen. "I just can't get over how much effort the workers and the fans put into rally. The workers always have a smile and a great attitude," said Dubinsky. He heaped praise on the fans as well. "You have to love anyone who would hike for miles through the rain just to watch a group of maniacs at high speed on some god-forsaken, off-camber, decreasing radius, slippery forest road turn." Dillon's appreciation shows at every checkpoint, where he gives bags of candy to the volunteers. The workers reciprocated at the Prescott Forest Rally when they selected the Widget Team of Dillon and Mark Tabor to receive the inaugural Carl Merrill Sportsmanship Award. This award proved especially meaningful for the pair, both of whom help event organizers when they're not in a race car.
The Production GT co-drivers points race is down to the wire, and LSPR is the last National rally of the season. Dillon leads by only 0.2 points over Claire Chizma, and Pattie Hughes and Eric Carlson could claim the title as well. "The points race is another reason Paul's offer was so attractive. He's a fast driver, in a fast car, on a fast road--just the combination we need to win the championship."
First and foremost, however, rallying is about fun. Regardless of the final standings, the Widget and FLX Racing teams will leave Michigan's upper peninsula with big smiles on their faces. "ProRally is the most fun we have had in years," said Paul. "You can't go wrong with a group that posts the start time for the beer party in the official event schedule!"