iorio-nefr.JPGPaladin Racing driver Matt Iorio will not compete in the remaining two rounds of the 2007 Rally America National Championship, the popular privateer has announced.

“We never like to miss races, but sometimes you have to take a moment to collect yourself and see what you need to do to move forward with the greatest advantage,” Iorio said. “This is one of those times. We are in the throes of developing a new car, and given our season of head gasket failures, we managed to sneak into fifth-place (overall) right behind the Subaru and RockStar teams after Maine.

“At this point, it makes more sense to push hard developing a car for 2008, rather than to continue racing in 2007. I’m always excited about building cars, no matter what they are.

Running a different car is a great opportunity to grow as a driver and a team.”

Iorio and co-driver Ole Holter competed in six Rally America events this season, with a top finish of fourth overall at the New England Forest Rally in July. A series of strong early-season performances resulted in an invitation to X Games 13, where the duo finished 11th.

“Rally is gaining such momentum after X Games 13, and it will continue to draw people in,” noted Iorio. “Auto manufacturers and brands that aren’t already involved will see that rally is where it’s at and want to get involved. I think everyone racing is excited about that.”

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