Press Release

August 22, 2007
For more information, Contact:
Matthew Johnson

Carolina RallySport Returns to PGT Championship at the Ojibwe Forests Rally in Minnesota
Despite the loss of Production GT points, Matthew Johnson runs strong Open class bid
to qualify for X Games 13 at the New England Forest Rally in July

Apex, North Carolina -- The Carolina RS team of driver Matthew Johnson and co-driver Jeremy Wimpey took a one-event break from their 2007 Production GT championship campaign in a last-ditch effort to qualify for X Games 13. The New England Forest Rally, based in Bethel, Maine, took place on July 13 and 14. The top finishing team that had not already qualified for X Games would be extended an invitation to participate in the world’s top showcase of extreme sports. Johnson and Wimpey parked their Production GT class championship contending Hankook Tire Subaru in favor of an Open class Subaru for the rally, in the hopes that the higher performance Open class car would increase their chances of a better overall finish.

An excellent seventh place overall was the result, but it was not enough as talented Canadian driver Antoine L’Estage won the coveted trip to Los Angeles with a spirited drive to second overall.

It was Johnson’s first rally in an Open class car, and he was philosophical about the result. “Naturally I’m disappointed that I was not able to participate in X Games,” said Johnson. “I knew going into the event that Antoine would be tough competition, and his years of Open class experience definitely paid dividends. X Games concerns aside, this was a hugely successful event for us. We proved we have the speed to make the jump into Open class, we brought the car home in good condition, and we had an absolute blast in the process.”

The time in the Open class car was particularly valuable, as Johnson intends to challenge for the 2008 Rally America championship in an Open class car.

In the meantime, the Ojibwe Forests Rally will see Johnson and Wimpey return to their familiar Hankook Tire Production GT Subaru WRX in an effort to make up lost ground in the Production GT season championship. Patrick Moro, of Dublin, Ohio, leads the championship with 81 points. Despite missing out on possible class points from the New England Forest Rally, Johnson is tied for second in the championship with speedy Californian Stephan Verdier at 68 points.

The Ojibwe Forests Rally will be based in Bemidji, Minnesota on August 24 and 25. An excellent field of 45 of the top drivers in North America will do battle over the twisty, sandy roads of the northern Minnesota forests. They are roads that the Carolina RallySport team loves, and they are excited about resuming the championship hunt this weekend.

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

Results and information from the Ojibwe Forests Rally can be found at or


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

Hankook Tire Company - - Providing a full line of passenger car and truck tires, as well as highly competitive rally tires and racing slicks for motorsports.

Subaru- - 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 - - 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 - - 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

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