gim089-copy.jpgThe Carolina RallySport team of driver Matthew Johnson and co-driver Jeremy Wimpey kept their Rally America Production GT national championship hopes alive with a convincing win at Rally Colorado. Conducted near the scenic ski town of Steamboat Springs on September 22 and 23, Rally Colorado was the eighth round of the 2007 Rally America championship. Johnson and Wimpey won the PGT class with an excellent run to sixth overall on the fast and tricky roads through the mountains.

It was not smooth sailing however, as a third gear was lost on the pre-rally press stage. Demonstrating the true spirit of rally and the camaraderie between rivals, repairs were made with the help of Johnson’s closest competitors. A new gearbox was located in Boulder, and was brought to Steamboat Springs by the Flatirons Tuning rally team. Crew members from the teams of both Patrick Moro and Tim Penasack helped make the repairs. It was a complete PGT effort to get the car ready for the rally on Saturday.

The first day was hot and dusty, and in contrast the second day was rainy and slippery. “I was still concerned with getting reacquainted with the PGT car,” says Johnson. “The rally started off well, we were trading seconds with Verdier. After the Day One re-seed we were a tenth of a second behind, but then we saw the Verdier pulled over on the Middle Cog Road with an apparent mechanical problem. I would like to once again thank Scott Crouch and the Flatirons Tuning rally team for both helping with the gearbox repair and handling the repairs from my Ojibwe roll.”

Going into the rally, Johnson and Wimpey were tied for second in the championship with the Flatirons Tuning Rally Team of Stephan Verdier and Scott Crouch. But while CarolinaRS would go on for the victory, the y-pipe failure left the Flatirons team to fade to fourth in class at the end of the rally. Going into the final round of the championship, Patrick Moro has 108 points, Matthew Johnson has 91, and Stephan Verdier has 81 points.

“We can still pull off the PGT championship if we win at LSPR and Pat Moro finishes third or lower,” explains Johnson. “If we win and they are second, we lose the championship by a couple points. If we win and they are third, we win the championship by a point. We are the only two who can win it, it’s all to play for.”

The next event for the Carolina RallySport team will be the season-ending Lake Superior Rally, based in Houghton on Michigan’s picturesque upper peninsula. The event will take place on October 26 and 27. Information about the event may be found at http://www.lsprorally.com.

About the team:
Matthew Johnson is an 8-year veteran of rally racing. His career began in a Group 2 Volkswagen Golf in 2000. He is currently a part-time automotive consultant, while fully focused on his rally career. Jeremy Wimpey started rallying five years ago, and has worked with many drivers, including co-driving for his twin brother, Josh. Jeremy is currently working on a PhD in Forestry at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

About the car:
The Carolina RallySport Subaru WRX runs in the Rally America Production GT class. Under class rules, the car is virtually stock, and only minimal modifications are allowed. It has approximately 227 horsepower, and a standard 5-speed transmission.

For more information on rallying, visit the Rally America website at http://www.Rally-America.com.

Results and information from the Rally Colorado can be found at http://www.rally-america.com or http://www.rallycolorado.org.

Carolina RallySport would like to thank the following sponsors for their support:

Hankook Tire Company – http://www.hankooktireusa.com – Providing a full line of passenger car and truck tires, as well as highly competitive rally tires and racing slicks for motorsports.
http://www.hankooktireusa.com/motorsports.asp

Subaru- http://www.Subaru.com – Subaru offers contingency support for all new model Subaru rally cars, and attends events with a huge support truck full of spare parts to keep Subaru drivers going. Thank you Subaru!

Elite Performance – http://www.elitepro1.com – ElitePro offers a large catalog of aftermarket performance parts for your car. Check them out the next time you’re ready to upgrade or replace parts on your car! Elite Performance provided much needed parts to rebuild the new rally car. Thank you Andrew and Dan at Elite Performance for all your hard work!

RalliSpec – http://www.rallispec.com – RalliSpec is the company of frequent rally competitor Dave Anton. His company provides a selection of rally parts and supplies for your Subaru, and is the North American RS&SP suspension dealer. Specializing in Subarus, RalliSpec has been an integral piece of keeping the Carolina RallySport WRX out on the stages.

PIAA – Professional lighting products available at http://www.piaa.com/

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