PikaSports Driver Earns 2010 US Rally Championship in Production AWD

Prescott, AZ (October 2, 2010) -  Katianna Pihakari (Anaheim Hills, CA), a rookie driver competing in the United States Rally Championship (USRC) series, took home the national title in the Production All Wheel Drive category for nearly stock 4WD automobiles, by finishing second in her class at the Prescott Rally on 2 October 2010 in Arizona.  Her usual co-driver John Dillon (Thousand Oaks, CA) took home a third-place trophy, though it was Marie Boyd (Bishop, CA) who filled in for him at Prescott. "This championship is definitely a result of a great team effort," explained Katianna Pihakari during the USRC awards ceremony on the evening of Saturday October 2nd, 2010. "We needed all parts of the team to work together perfectly, and they did. On top of that, we needed a little luck to make this happen." Rally racing is a motorsport where nearly stock automobiles race at top speeds on closed roads in all conditions such as day, night, dust, rain, mud and snow. The teams compete against one another based on fastest stage times.  The sport is a team effort in which each member plays an equally important role. The driver strives to control the car speeding through the stages, the co-driver (navigator) is responsible for announcing the turns (read from a book) so the driver can respond, and the crew chief ensures that the vehicle is maintained for optimal performance and safety. "We entered the season expecting a good 'shake-down year' to optimize the car and our communication within the team, our teamwork," commented Katianna about the victory. "In addition to a new car, we had a novice driver. In the beginning of the season we agreed to allow time for me to get comfortable with this style of racing and the new vehicle before pushing harder. We did not expect to win a Championship quite yet, but we'll definitely take it!  We earned it with all our hard work, that's for sure." "It's amazing to see how rapidly we've progressed," Doug continued. "I was especially proud to see the ladies (Pihakari/Boyd) 'rally on' during Stage 7 (Witty Tom South) in Prescott when they hit a tree.  As soon as the car was extracted, they were determined to get the car back on the road and finish the race. That might have been the most thrilling moment of our season.  A lot of teams would have simply thrown in the towel." "We were a little surprised not to hear any friendly jokes about female drivers associated with the tree branch that was sticking through our left front fender at the end of the Prescott Rally", commented Marie after the awards ceremony. "I think this evening was amazing. Katianna was the first female driver ever to win a US Rally Championship. Furthermore, Erika Detota also won the Championship in her class, Open 2WD. What a season!” “I was definitely proud to finish the season with Katianna”, continues Marie. “We had such fun in the car. And we made sure we had the Championship winning nail polish on for the race,” laughs Marie. “It worked!” "I have been delighted to be in the car with Katianna," commented John Dillon. "She knows when to push hard and when to back off. If she gets uncomfortable she immediately slows down to regain control of the situation.  Since the creation of PikaSports, everyone has worked really hard to make this happen. It is great to see our dream come true." The year 2010 is the sixth season of the United States Rally Championship (USRC) events. USRC is operated and controlled by the United States Rally Inc. whose governing board includes each of the Championship events. This year included six events, three in the Pacific Division and three in the Atlantic Division. The 2010 final event was held in Prescott, AZ, on October 1-2. PikaSports campaigns a 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX built and prepared by Streetwise Motorsports (www.streetwiseparts.com).  Lights are provided by Anzo USA (www.anzousa.com). PikaSports functions under the umbrella of Widget Racing (www.widgetracing.com).

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