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12/28/2006 TPi RALLY TEAM WINS AT THE RALLYE DE PARIS

06/26/2006 TPi RALLY TEAM HOSTS FIA WORLD COUNCIL MEMBER

06/06/2006 TPi RALLY TEAM RETURNS FROM SIX YEAR SABBATICAL

11/27/99 TEAM TPi REMEMBERS (THE) "ALAMO" & "AIRS" OUT CAMP MAXEY

6/06/99 TEAM TPi'S HOPES FOR TOP TEN FINISH END..........

03/27/99 TEAM TPi COMPLETE MITSUBISHI 1-2 IN TWIN CLUB RALLIES

03/08/99 TEAM TPi RECEIVES SUPPORT FROM CASTROL

12/06/98 TEAM TPi DEFIES ODDS TO WIN THE PRODUCTION GT CLASS..........

11/23/98 TEAM TPi GETS DEALER SUPPORT

11/12/98 TEAM TPi ANNOUNCES NAVIGATOR FOR FIA SANCTIONED INTERNATIONAL EVENT

10/24/98 TEAM TPi DRIVER NAMED SCCA NATIONAL PRO RALLY ROOKIE OF THE YEAR ..........

10/04/98 TEAM TPi RALLYING SCORES FIRST NATIONAL PRO RALLY FINISH ..........

08/02/98 TEAM TPi RALLYING "DEPRIVED" OF FIRST NATIONAL PRO RALLY FINISH!

05/10/98 TEAM TPi RALLYING IN PROMISING FIRST RUN AT RIM

02/28/98 TEAM TPi ANNOUNCES 1998 RALLY PROGRAM

TPi RALLY TEAM WINS AT THE RALLYE DE PARIS

Paris, Texas, USA,  November 28, 2006 –  After a long 7 years away from the event the TPi Rally Team returned to the Rallye de Paris for a successful run.

             TPi Rally Team driver Jowi Odero-Jowi had the privilege and almost unfair advantage of having the 2006 Rally America Series Production GT National Champion navigator, Kim DeMotte, navigating for him. The team overcame a puncture plagued rally to take 2nd overall, 2nd in class in the Paris by Day Rally and 1st overall, 1st in class in the Paris by Night Rally.

            The pair started the Paris by Day Rally at a relatively subdued pace, taking a little time to get accustomed to each other. On the second stage they got two flat tires on the driver’s side of the car about half-way through the stage. They opted to drive through the stage to the finish on the flat tires instead of changing them. They lost about 1 minute. Changing the tires on stage would have cost them more time, besides which they only carry one spare in the car. The team had two more flat tires on the Paris by Day Rally. The tire sidewalls were not holding up to the abuse of normal rally conditions. The team tried to remedy the problem by increasing tire pressures, to no avail. Eventually, Jowi decided that he would have to drive cleaner lines and attack the corners less aggressively…go “in like a lamb and out like a lion”, a phrase and approach used by rallying legend John Buffum. The change in driving style helped. They did not have another flat for the rest of the Paris by Day Rally. By the last stages of the Paris by Day Rally Jowi and Kim were in sync. The delivery of the route note instructions and their execution were spot on. The pair looked forward to starting the Paris by Night Rally. The only concern was for the increasingly limited visibility caused by the dust. The Rallye de Paris is known for its dust factor. After all, the event did coin the phrase “Caution Fugitive Dust”! The dust gets really thick when there is no wind to clear it… more so after dark.

             For the Paris by Night Rally the event organizers decided to start the cars off in 2-minute intervals (instead of the regular 1-minute intervals) in an attempt to help with dust situation. They eventually changed to 3-minute start intervals. The lingering dust was still a problem to all except the first car on the road. Kim’s experience came through for the team. To counter the dust problem he changed the way he was calling the instructions, resorting to counting down each instruction, which enabled Jowi to drive faster in the low-visibility conditions. The team had yet another flat tire, but fortunately it happened close to the end of the last competitive stage and they were able to drive to the end of the stage on the flat without losing much time. The pair set fast times all night, eventually taking the win as their main competition succumbed to mechanical problems.

            Service for the event was handled by a volunteer crew consisting of Dave Garland of Irving, Texas (formerly know as “Skippy”, now known as “Ajuoga” or “The Wizard” as of the past weekend) and Ronnie Ngure of Dallas, Texas.

             Jowi extends his gratitude to Kim DeMotte for an outstanding job in a partnership that came together at the last moment, to Dave “The Wizard” Garland and Ronnie Ngure for providing excellent service support and making sure the car made it to the finish, to “Mad Mike” Halley for loaning the team an intercom system, to the team sponsors, to friends and family for their support, and to the event organizers and volunteer workers.

TPi RALLY TEAM HOSTS FIA WORLD COUNCIL MEMBER

Hurst, TX, June 26, 2006 – Surinder Thatthi, FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile/International Automobile Federation) World Council member, took time out of his busy schedule to meet with Texas-based Rally America Championship rally driver Jowi Odero-Jowi and former Kenya National Rally Championship and Africa Rally Championship navigator Tom Muriuki. Thatthi, who is also the FIA Africa Region Coordinator/Chairman of the Confederation of African Countries in Motorsports (CACMS), Chairman of the FIA Africa Rally Championship, Director of the East African Safari Rally Classic and four time FIA Africa Rally Championship winning navigator, was in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area for a very brief period of time. He was on his way to Indianapolis, IN where he was to  perform race steward duties for the US Grand Prix Formula 1 race.

Over lunch at a local restaurant the trio spent time reminiscing about past experiences in the Kenya and Africa Rally Championship series and catching up on the whereabouts of mutual friends. They discussed the future of World Rallying in general, but more specifically the current state and future of rallying in Kenya and Africa(the FIA Africa Rally Championship). Thatthi showed a lot of interest in the format of rallying in the United States. He asked Jowi about his level of involvement, his current standing in the championship and his future plans/aspirations. Jowi informed him that his participation was minimal at best; he had just recently made a come back after a six year layoff from rallying. He told Thatthi that, with the right backing, he would like to contest one (or both) of the championship series in the U.S. and also has interest in contesting events in the Kenya National Rally Championships. Jowi also mentioned that, with the right backing, he would like to contest the FIA Africa Rally Championship and FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship series.

TPi RALLY TEAM RETURNS FROM SIX YEAR SABBATICAL

         Arlington, Texas, June 6, 2006 – TPi Rally Team driver, Jowi Odero-Jowi, returns from a six year sabbatical to an uneventful finish in the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally recently held in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. The team finished the event in 26th place out of 45 cars that started the National event. “It’s been almost six years since I last raced” Jowi commented, “I’m a little disappointed with our overall position, but all things considered, we did well just to finish.”

The 2006 Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally attracted one of the most competitive entry fields seen in the United States in the past decade, a host of talented rally drivers trying to qualify for two spots for the upcoming X Games Rally. The X Games Rally will have only 12 Open Class entries, 8 drivers have been nominated by a selection committee, 4 drivers have to qualify into the event. The 8 nominated drivers include former World Rally Champion Colin McRae, eight-time U.S. rally champion Paul Choiniere, 2005 Rally America champion Patrick Richard, 2005 North America rally champion Matt Iorio, motocross superstar and Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana, D.C. Shoes founder and Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block, 2005 Rally America Production GT champion and stunt driver Tanner Foust, and drifter/  stunt driver/rally driver Rhys Millen. Two drivers, former Mitsubishi Rally Team USA driver Lauchlin O’Sullivan and former British and Spanish Rally Championship contender, Australian Andrew Pinker, qualified into the X Games at the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally. Two qualifying spots remain, to be determined from the results of the upcoming Maine Forest Rally (July 21-22, 2006). 

   In an event that typically has a high level of attrition, a finish in a “new”, untested, car is an accomplishment in itself. The TPi Rally Team open class Eagle Talon TSi rally car ran flawlessly all day. The only problem encountered was a flat tire. The engine is making good, reliable power thanks to Web Cam competition camshafts and tuning by Alamo Autosports. The power is transmitted to the driveline through a Clutchnet full-race metallic clutch disc and pressure plate that performed without a glitch. The Team’s task was undoubtedly made easier by having veteran rally navigator Jimmy Brandt on board for the event. A group of volunteers provided service for the event - Brenton Moyer from Michigan, Chris Lowe, Chris and Caryn Griffin (“the three C’s” – a group of DSM enthusiasts) from Ohio. The TPi Rally Team owes them a great debt of gratitude!

TEAM TPi REMEMBERS (THE) "ALAMO" & "AIRS" OUT CAMP MAXEY

Paris, Texas, November 27, 1999 -- AIRS (Automated Information Retrieval Systems,             Dallas-Ft. Worth), one of Team TPi's sponsors, doubled up on their support of Team TPi Rallying for the Twin ClubRallies this weekend. Team TPi regular navigator Jim Hurley fell          sick a day before the rally and was unable to make the drive down from Knoxville,        Tennessee. AIRS co-partner/owner Steve Njenga was "recruited" for the job…..On his       rallying debut Steve's performance was impressive! He navigated TPi driver Jowi Odero-Jowi      to a win in the Paris by Night coefficient 3 ClubRally and third overall in the Wandrin' Star coefficient 2 ClubRally. The TPi Rallying Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX performed extremely well all     day. The car was set up with a fuel management system on loan from Steve Pak of Alamo Autosports, Arlington, Texas. The crew at Alamo Autosports dyno-tuned the car which    resulted in much improved engine response/turbocharger spool up, and increased torque in      the all so important mid-range. The car was a lot more "driveable" than it had been prior to   these changes, and a lot more of the potential of the Texas Rebuild hybrid turbocharger       was realized (still more remains to be tapped!) 

     Dust was a problem throughout the event. Team TPi had the advantage of running first       on the road for the Paris by Night rally, but still had to work hard for the win as                   Todd Jarvey and Rich Faber in an immaculately prepared Open class Mitsubishi Galant VR4     were setting fast times right behind them. Team TPi started the Wandrin' Star ClubRally         first on the road again, but soon lost this advantage after checking into an arrival time       control (after a "transit"/non-competitive section) two minutes late. This gave Jarvey and        navigator Faber the opportunity that they had patiently waited for. They started the     remaining stages first on the road and never looked back. Team TPi's crew chief for the       event asked if the team wanted to "shed" some weight by  removing the spare tire and         tools to enable them to "challenge" for a second win, but driver Odero-Jowi opted to just      keep the same pace to ensure a podium finish. He felt that the dust was bad enough that,    even though the cars were being started in two-minute intervals instead of one-, it would     have been dangerous to try to push any harder. Team TPi would have to wait and see if Jarvey/Faber would make a mistake….they didn't…..  Jarvey & Faber's patience and     persistence was rewarded with a win. Second place and first in the Production GT class        went to Mark Larson and Ashley Cox in an Eagle Talon. Team TPi finished third overall, second in Open class. The extremely quick team of Bill Morton/Mike Bussalachi in their Mitsubishi        Lancer Evolution were missed as was Team TPi regular navigator Jim Hurley.  

 

TEAM TPi'S HOPES FOR TOP TEN FINISH END ON DECEPTIVE CORNER
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, June 6, 1999 -- Team TPi had just broken into the top ten when their rally came to a premature end on a decreasing radius left-hander at the end of a downhill stretch. "Dust was not a factor…" explains driver Jowi Odero-Jowi, "…it was purely 'driver error'." At the end of a downhill stretch Jowi, driving the open class Team TPi Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, was carrying too much speed into an off-camber left-hand corner which tightened almost half-way through. The tail-end of the car clipped the bank on the outside of the turn which spun the car nose first into the bank. The car then rode half-way up the bank then slowly rolled over coming to rest on the roof. Jowi and navigator Jim Hurley emerged from the incident unscathed. They managed to get the car back on its wheels with help from some spectators. Vehicle body damage was minimal, but they were unable to continue due to a broken oil cooler and lower control arm. Up to that point the car had performed extremely well. This is the first event the team has run with a specially built hybrid turbocharger from Turbochargers.com (Texas Rebuild) and an upgrade intercooler and custom intercooler piping by Alamo Autosports of Arlington, Texas.

The 1999 Susquehannock Trail ProRally turned out to be an unofficial North American Rally Championship showdown with entries from the five-time Canadian and three-time North American Rally champions Frank and Dan Sprongl in their potent Audi S2 Quattro, the defending Mexican National Rally champion Gabriel Marin-Ortiz navigated by Mark Williams in a Lance Smith prepared Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V and the seven-time US champion Paul Choiniere navigated by Jeff Becker in the factory all-wheel drive, turbocharged Hyundai Tiburon. Team TPi entered the event, their first National event running with the "big guns" in the open class. The TPi Mitsubishi Eclipse has not been built to its full open class potential; the team hopes to gradually develop the car as the finances become available.

The event lived up to it's reputation of being an extremely fast and unforgiving event. 78 cars started the event. Dust was a problem. Attrition ran high as mechanical problems and "off-road excursions" thinned out the field. Only 41 cars made it to the finish. Paul Choiniere and Jeff Becker won the event in their factory-backed Hyundai Tiburon closely follwed by teammates Noel Lawler and Charlie Bradley also in a Hyundai Tiburon. 

TEAM TPi COMPLETE MITSUBISHI 1-2 IN TWIN CLUB RALLIES

Paris, Texas, March 27, 1999 -- Team TPi driver Jowi Odero-Jowi and navigator Jim Hurley competing in a Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX took a second place podium finish in the Wandrin' Star and Paris by Night SCCA ClubRallies behind fellow Mitsubishi team of Bill Morton and Mike Busalacchi in a Open class Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV.

Team TPi chose to run in the Open class even though the car was still in Production GT trim (except for a modified front bumper cover). The choice was made because the car is being converted into an Open class car for the rest of the season. Team TPi has not been able to secure sufficient funding or sponsorship to enable them to contest enough events in the series to vie for the Production GT class championship. Jowi feels that by running in Open class the team stands a better chance of finishing higher up in the overall standings in the events that they will contest, a feat he hopes will be to the team's advantage in terms of publicity/media coverage and help to attract potential sponsors.

The team announced two new sponsors at the event:

  • Castrol North America, Inc. is providing the team with synthetic lubricants and hydraulic fluids for the season

  • Victorian Inns of Paris, Texas provided the team with accomodation with "Country Comfort and Charm". The Victorian Inns also has an establishment in Waco, Texas.

At the awards ceremony Team TPi presented gifts to the event organizers and workers courtesy of Big Billy Barrett Mitsubishi of Mesquite, Texas.

TEAM TPi RECEIVES SUPPORT FROM CASTROL

Ft. Worth, Texas, March 8, 1999 -- TPi Rallying announces the receipt of product support from Castrol, North America, Inc. On receiving Team TPi's support package from Felts Oil Sales, a Castrol distributor, team driver Jowi Odero-Jowi commented: "It is an honor and privilege to be supported by Castrol who has been partners with World Rally Championship level teams such as Toyota Team Europe."                                                                 

Castrol, the primary company of the lubricants division of the Burmah Castrol Group, is one of the world's leading international lubricants companies and is committed to premium quality, high performance and leading edge technology.

Motorsport has always played an important role in the company's long history and Castrol's commitment to competition remains undiminished. Castrol International has extensive sponsorship interests in motorsports. It is the title sponsor of the Toyota Castrol World Rally Team, partners in the Williams Grand Prix team and the Honda World Superbike team.

TEAM TPi DEFIES ODDS TO WIN THE PRODUCTION GT CLASS ON FIRST FIA SANCTIONED RALLY

Laughlin, Nevada, December 6, 1998 -- Team TPi driver Jowi Odero-Jowi and navigatorJames Hurley display the "Press on Regardless" rally spirit as they overcome the odds to win the Production GT class in the FIA sanctioned Ramada Express International Rally.

On Friday the team started off a little slow, but were on the pace by stage 4. Stage 5 was going well for the team. The team was lying 4th overall in points until they got a flat tire on the left rear of the car. Jowi did not realize that the tire was flat (one disadvantage of all-wheel drive - it is hard to tell when you have a flat tire, especially if it is on the rear of the car), he was caught going into a tight right-hand turn, the car did not respond…. The car ended up off the course about 30ft down a ravine! It took about one and a half hours of digging, jacking up the car and clearing bushes to extricate the vehicle. The team "limped" through the rest of the stage with a badly bent lower control arm and tie-rod. The control arm was replaced in service (the part was at hand thanks to Big Billy Barrett Mitsubishi, Mesquite, Texas). Mike Welch of Road Race Engineering walked over and offered a replacement tie-rod assembly. Because they were pressed for time the team opted to straighten the tie-rod rather than replace it which would have taken more time. Repairs were effected with some assistance from Roger Hull (Mercury Motorsports) and a few other friends. Stages 6, 7 and 8 were completed without further incidents at a slightly subdued pace. When Friday's results were posted Team TPi was at the end of the field, far behind the all ladies team of Karen Burrows and Farina O'Sullivan who were leading the Production GT class in a Mitsubishi Galant VR4.…..("Girls kick butt"!!).

The "Super Special" stages run on Saturday proved to be quite a handful for Jowi. The power-steering pump failed as a result of the off road "excursion" on Friday. With no spare power-steering pump available (even the local Mitsubishi dealers did not stock the part) the team struggled through the day on the tight and twisty stages. In the Saturday evening service the team installed a power-steering pump that was very generously loaned to them by Tony "Vu" from the Road Race Engineering team (the pump was pulled off Tony's personal car which was driven back to California early the next morning without power-steering!). From Saturday night's results Team TPi were approximately 16 minutes behind the Production GT class leaders. Jowi and Jim started to devise a plan of attack. They knew the PGT leaders were too smart and experienced to do anything to jeopardize their lead (all they had to do was drive conservatively and coast to victory). How could Team TPi make up 16minutes in approximately 70 stage miles?? (more than 13 seconds per mile!). They would have to put on an all out assault for the remaining stages!

Sunday morning Team TPi received reports of snow in the Grand Canyon/Hualapai Indian Reservation area. The team did not have snow tires, but had some softer compound Michelin L30 rally tires. The L30s were installed in place of the harder compound tires and the team set off to the start of stage 12. They knew the weather conditions would be the deciding factor for the PGT class win. Jowi started the "assault" on stage 12 too fast, and quickly realized that snow rallying required a somewhat different approach compared to the gravel road rallying that he is accustomed to. Jim helped pace him and helped him find and maintain the fine line that would keep them fast enough to make up time on the PGT leaders while remaining in control. By the major service break after stage 14 the tables were turned, and Team TPi was leading the PGT field by approximately 20 minutes with three competitive stages left to go. Stage 16 was cancelled because the roads were icy and too dangerous to run. With a sufficient buffer between Team TPi and the next PGT competitor the team decided to back way off the pace and cruise to the finish. Team TPi finished the rally in 19th place overall; 1st in Production GT. The event was won by the 1998 Canadian National Rally Champions Frank and Dan Sprongl in an open class Audi Quattro. Second place went to the 1998 New Zealand National Rally Champions Goeff Argyle and Raymond Bennett in an open class Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV.

TEAM TPi GETS DEALER SUPPORT

Mesquite, Texas, November 23, 1998 -- Big Billy Barrett Mitsubishi of Mesquite, Texas has put together a support program for Dallas-Ft. Worth based TPi Rally Team for the Ramada Express-Casino International Rally scheduled to be held on November 4-6, 1998 in Laughlin, Nevada.(The team will drive a Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX in the Production GT class). This event is an international event sanctioned by FIA (Federation International de L'Automobile) the world governing body for motorsports. The last FIA rally held in the US was the Olympus Rally held in Washington state in 1986. The event was part of the 1986 World Rally Championship Series. The decision for Big Billy Barrett to sponsor the team was a bold one, as they are moving into an area that they have not ventured into before.

Team TPi has run a limited schedule in 1998. Driver Jowi Odero-Jowi won the SCCA National PRO Rally Rookie of the Year award. The team plans to run the whole PRO Rally Championship series in 1999, depending on sponsorship. Big Billy Barrett Mitsubishi will continue their support of the team next year.

TEAM TPi ANNOUNCES NAVIGATOR FOR FIA SANCTIONED INTERNATIONAL EVENT

Arlington, Texas, November 12, 1998 -- James Hurley of Knoxville, Tennessee will navigate for Jowi Odero-Jowi in the Ramada Express-Casino International Rally scheduled to be held in Laughlin, Nevada on December 4-6, 1998. Hurley and Odero-Jowi have driven together in the past, and have been successful as a team. The last event they ran together was the 1995 Divisional run-off in Paris, Texas. They placed 7th overall; 2nd in U2 (under 2-liter class) driving a Toyota Corolla.

The Ramada Express-Casino International Rally is truly an international event drawing entries from as far as New Zealand. Geoff Argyle, the reigning New Zealand national rally champion and Frank Sprongl, the Canadian national rally champion, will join a strong field of Canadian and US-based competitors to vie for victory in the rally.

This will be Team TPi's first time competing in a FIA sanctioned event. Jowi aspires to compete at the World Rally Championship level, consequently he feels that it is important to compete in the event for the international media exposure. Team TPi would like to compete in more international events in the future and eventually compete in World Rally Championship events.

TEAM TPi DRIVER NAMED SCCA NATIONAL PRO RALLY ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Houghton, Michigan, October 24, 1998 -- Team TPi went to the Lake Superior PRO rally with two main objectives. First, to finish the National rally in a position high enough to give navigator Lynn Dillon enough points to finish 2nd overall in the Production GT category for 1998, and second, for driver Jowi Odero-Jowi to gain valuable experience that could come in handy if Team TPi can come up with the finances to enable them to contest the whole SCCA PRO Rally Championship in 1999. Both objectives seemed to be reasonably attainable, especially after Team TPi's strong finish in the Prescott Forest Rally. Driver Jowi Odero-Jowi had been informed that the attrition rate would be high on Friday, so all he had to do was to pace himself and make it through the night. Easier said than done…the "attrition monster" reared its ugly head and struck the Team TPi Mitsubishi Eclipse. The transaxle failed on the transit from the Dee Stadium (Houghton) to the start of the first competitive stage! The center differential failed, a piece broke off and found its way through the transaxle case into daylight! Lynn Dillon's hopes for a 2nd place finish in the PGT navigators championship were lost with the failed transaxle…The transaxle was replaced on Friday night and the team anxiously waited to start the Keweenaw Challenge Divisional Rally on Saturday morning.

Team TPi started the Divisional rally at a relatively slow pace while the driver and navigator got accustomed to each other. By the third stage (stage 13 of the National event) the rapport was good. On stage 14 (the second run through Brockway Mountain - a tarmac/asphalt stage) Team TPi set a good stage time which would have made them 5th fastest if they were running in the National event. At this point driver Jowi Odero-Jowi decided that it was time for a "Maximum Attack" (using one of Markku Alen's popular phrases). Navigator Lynn Dillon did an excellent job on the notes, letting Jowi concentrate on increasing the pace while keeping clean lines through the corners. The team set some respectable times on the last two stages, but there wasn't enough rally left to make up for the slow start. Team TPi finished 4th overall in the Keweenaw Challenge Divisional Rally; 3rd in the divisional O4 (open 4-wheel drive) category.

The SCCA PRO Rally year-end banquet was held on Saturday evening in Houghton. Lynn Dillon was awarded the 3rd place overall Production GT navigator. Jowi won the National PRO Rally Rookie of the Year award, which he says he shares in spirit with his friend and fellow competitor Garen Shrader. "Garen and I have shared a frustrating rookie year throughout which he has always shown the spirit of competition, been a gentleman and a friend….Best wishes to Garen in 1999!" Jowi thanks his sponsors (Alamo Autosports of Arlington, Texas, Thermal Research & Development, GAB, Automated Information Retrieval Systems/AIRS, Front Wheel Drive Supply of Hurst, Texas, Earls, Dave Thomas of Waxahachie, Texas), his crew man Charles Muinde, and the experienced navigators that he has been privileged to drive with this year:

     -Farina O'Sullivan navigated for Jowi at the Rim of the World Rally, his first National rally, and guided him to his first National rally finish at the Prescott Forest Rally, where they also won the Production GT category.

     -Ben Bradley navigated for Jowi at the Maine Forest Rally.

     -Lynn Dillon navigated at the Lake Superior Rally.

Team TPi congratulates David Summerbell, Michael Fennell and TAD Motorsports on a fine championship season. Praise to Henry Joy who helped make it possible for them with a selfless gesture. Congratulations to all event and class winners, and to Kendall Russell (the only person to finish all National rallies in 1998). Thanks to the Sports Car Club of America, Michelin, Doug Plummer and Replica Productions, ESPN, Jerry Bernardo and Motoworld/Rev it Up, all organizers, workers, fans and the entire rally community. Last but not least, a great thanks goes to Andy Schupack to whom the rally community owes a great debt.

TEAM TPi RALLYING SCORES FIRST NATIONAL PRO RALLY FINISH AND WIN THE PRODUCTION GT CLASS!

Prescott, Arizona, October 4, 1998 -- Navigator Farina O'Sullivan leads TEAM TPi driver Jowi Odero-Jowi to first National PRO Rally finish and Production GT class win.

The XI Prescott Forest Rally started off on a very low key. National competitor Carl Merrill suffered from a cardiac arrest on the first stage of the rally on Friday night. He was airlifted to a local hospital where his condition was reported as "critical, but stable". The four competitive stages scheduled to be run on Friday night were cancelled; the organizers chose to wait until Saturday morning to decide whether the rally should go on or not. Saturday morning the devastating news was received…Carl Merrill had passed away…. Word was later received from the Merrill family that the rally should go on, as they felt that Carl would have wanted it that way. Team TPi decided to continue the rally in honor of Carl.

Roger Hull/Sean Gallagher in an Eagle Talon ('97 Prescott Forest Rally Production GT winners) dropped out early in the rally with mechanical problems. That left Steve Gingras ('97 Production GT Champion) with navigator Eric Carlson in an Eagle Talon, and Lee Shadbolt/Paul Eklund in a Subaru Impreza (current Production GT points leaders) as the major contenders for an outright win in the GT category. Kendall Russell/Lynn Dillon in a Dodge Shadow are very consistent and have finished all National rallies entered this year. They were poised to strike if the Production GT front-runners succumbed to the fierce pace of the competition and the rough conditions. That left the TPi Rallying team of Jowi Odero-Jowi/Farina O'Sullivan in the TPi prepared Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX as the dark horse in the GT category.

For the first three stages run on Saturday (stages 5,6 and 7) Gingras/Carlson were leading the PGT field with the Odero-Jowi/O'Sullivan Mitsubishi Eclipse in a surprising second position. The rally was running later than scheduled. By the time the cars were ready to start stage 8, which was the return run of a turnaround stage, it was dark. Team TPi heard that Gingras had electrical problems and as a result only had regular headlights. Shadbolt had not anticipated the rally running late and did not have his auxiliary lights mounted. Odero-Jowi realized that he had the upper hand in the situation, and would have to drive hard to gain time and put a buffer between himself and Gingras; At the end of stage 8 there was a service break…he knew Gingras and Shadbolt would be able to rectify their problems and the advantage would be gone. Team TPi finished the stage 1min 38s ahead of Gingras/Carlson, with Shadbolt/Eklund an additional 42s behind Gingras. The last two stages were tight, twisty and very rough…no room for error! Odero-Jowi knew that on the remaining stages Gingras would drive "all out" to try and regain the lead, and so was forced to push harder than he normally would have on stages like these ones. Gingras gained 5s on stage 9 and 7s on stage 10…not enough to overcome the deficit from stage 8.

Team TPi won the Production GT class on their first National rally finish, an encouraging result after two frustrating DNFs. This one is dedicated to the memory of Carl Merrill…he will always be with us!

TEAM TPI RALLYING "DEPRIVED" OF FIRST NATIONAL PRO RALLY FINISH

Rumford, Maine, August 2, 1998 -- Two weeks prior to the 1998 Maine Summer Rally Team TPi Rallying announced the addition of Alamo Autosports of Arlington, Texas to its growing list of product support sponsors. Alamo Autosports presented Team TPi with a developmental clutch set from Clutch Masters.

With the confidence of having a competition clutch capable of holding up to 350hp (as opposed to the stock clutch run previously), and with the very able Ben Bradley as navigator, driver Jowi Odero-Jowi felt very confident of scoring his first National PRO Rally finish in the TEAM TPI Production GT class Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX. After a conservative drive on their second National PRO Rally, Team TPi Rallying completed the course of the 1998 Maine Summer Rally with a cumulative time of 1:52:47. Due to an error made by the event scoring crew, the team's result was listed as a DNF (did not finish). Team TPi failed to catch this error while the results were still provisional, during which time they would have been able to make an appeal and have gotten the situation rectified. The scores were made official 30 minutes after the provisional results were posted. Once the results are official they cannot be changed for any reason…Team TPi was left without a National PRO Rally finish to their credit. With the cumulative time Team TPi had at the end of the course they would have finished in 17th position overall, 5th in the Production GT class. This was a hard learned lesson for Team TPi, which will definitely serve as a wake up call. Team TPi finished 4th overall in the Divisional PRO Rally held in conjunction with the National event.

TEAM TPi RALLYING IN PROMISING FIRST RUN AT RIM

Palmdale, California, May 10, 1998 -- After two no starts due to delays in vehicle preparation (at the DOO WOP III & IV and the Wild West PRO Rally) Team TPi Rallying finally made its National PRO Rally debut at the Rim of the World Rally, an event that lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest in the Michelin-SCCA PRO Rally Series. The team also announced its' latest sponsor - Front Wheel Drive Supply, Inc. of Hurst, Texas. Driver Jowi Odero-Jowi and navigator Farina O'Sullivan were lying second overall in the Production GT class and were poised to take the lead when they were forced to retire when the engine overheated and blew the cylinder head gasket as a result of an intermittently inoperative auxiliary radiator cooling fan.

The event started off slow for the team as the car did not have the optimum lighting setup for the dense fog on the first competitive stage. Team TPi set the fastest stage time in the Production GT class on two stages, and the second fastest time on one out of the five stages they completed.

Team TPi considers its debut a success despite not finishing the event. The car ran welland was competitive in the Production GT class until the intermittent electrical problems set in. The engine response and performance was exceptional for a production class vehicle, thanks to the Thermal Research & Development 3" free-flowing, mandrel bent exhaust system. The GAB suspension system performed flawlessly, as did the Front Wheel Drive Supply quality remanufactured drive axles.

Jowi attributes the team's good showing to the talent and experience of navigator Farina O'Sullivan. "As a first-time National Rally driver I was very fortunate to have such a talented navigator. Farina's national rally experience and local knowledge served us well. She paced me and kept me out of trouble…Thanks Farina!"

TEAM TPi ANNOUNCES 1998 RALLY PROGRAM

Arlington, Texas, Feb. 28, 1998 -- Team TPi announces its intention to compete in the 1998 SCCA/MICHELIN PRO Rally Series. Driving a production GT class 1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, Jowi Odero-Jowi and navigator (TBA) will compete in as many National and select Divisional events as the teams' limited budget allows. The team makes its debut at the Wild West National PRO Rally in Olympia, Washington in April.

Team TPI will be making its debut under trying conditions on the "El Nino" affected West Coast, driving a "new" car that has never seen a rally special stage. Jowi plans to drive conservatively to finish the rally and hopes that the car will not have too many "teething" problems.

 

 

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