tg08pre.jpgThe Tommy Gun Rally team, comprised of driver Eli Gilbert and co-driver Mindy DeLodder, is roaring into 2008 and have their sights set on NASA RallySport's United States Rally Championship (USRC) in the Open Class!

In addition to the NASA USRC, the team will also try to compete in other select events to help accrue points towards a California Rally Series title. Performance rallying can be easily described as racing as fast as possible down forest and desert roads in modified street cars, in all conditions.

A team is made up of a driver and co-driver; the co-driver calls out the distance and severity of upcoming terrain.Though 2008 will be their first full season together in their Open Class Subaru WRX, Eli and Mindy competed heavily in rally, rallycross and track events in 2007 and in rallycross and autocross events in years prior. Eli clinched his third California Rally Series (CRS) Rallycross Championship in 2007 after sitting on the podium at nearly every rallycross in the southwest over the last 4 years.

Eli has also been a valued instructor at the CRS Rally Driving School for 2 years. Before rallycrossing, Eli was heavily involved in the San Diego Region SCCA Solo2 autocross championship. Driver Eli Gilbert remarked, "I'm very excited to start the 2008 season with the goal of attaining a valuable NASA national championship. It's long been my dream to be paired with an excellent co-driver and strong car that could very well put us at the top at the end of 08'! NASA RallySport really has a good thing going with it's east/west/final championship format and we're happy to be a part of it.

NASA RallySport's events are well-tailored to our operation and we think they are headed in the right direction."Mindy DeLodder, the Tommy Gun Rally Team's co-driver, shares this sentiment with Eli. "It's really awesome that we have the support of our friends, families, and sponsoring businesses, who have all stepped up to get us into the position we are today" said Mindy. "We put so much work into our rally effort in the last year, it'll be great to see some real results once we get out on stage!"The team had a very exciting year in 2007, running select stage rally and rallycross events in California and also getting some track time under their belt at the 24 Hours of Lemons endurance race in Altamont, California. "Lemons was incredible because we took a car that cost $350 and raced it for two days – and finished!" said Mindy, who helped drive the General Li – a modified Acura Integra painted in Dukes of Hazzard livery – to a 19th-place overall in a field of over 90 cars!

Back in the dirt, the team plans to run NASA United States Rally Championship events in 2008, which will take them to dusty stages throughout the southwest. From the formidable roads of the Gorman Ridge Rally to the expansive stages of Idaho, down to the grueling Prescott Forest Rally in Arizona, the team has been training in the off season, both in the car and out of the car. "In addition to testing off-road, we've really been working on our car preparation together – this will help us to better diagnose potential issues in the car once out on stage" says Eli.

"We've learned so much about this car in past months, I'm confident that any DNFs will not be the result of mechanical failure, but more likely because I screwed up!"Look for the team's debut at the Imperial Stages Rally in Holtville, California in April, 2008. The first championship round will be the Idaho Rally on June 12-13, 2008, and the Team plans to attend select rallycross events where they hope to further shake down the car and hone their in-car communication.

The Tommy Gun Rally Team is based in San Diego, California and more information will be found on their upcoming website – There, you can find detailed team bios, sponsor information, gear – including our newest T-shirts – photographs, and results. The team is proudly sponsored by GrimmSpeed Performance (, Kartboy Kustoms (, Aerosim Research (, Dirty (, RumbleSoft Racing (, and Clarence Brown Alignment.



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