Johnson/DeMotte wrap up the PGT Championship at Lake Superior With their fifth win of the season this weekend at the Lake Superior Pro Rally, the duo of Matthew Johnson and Kim DeMotte wrapped up the Rally-America PGT Championship in style....
Johnson/DeMotte wrap up the PGT Championship at Lake Superior
With their fifth win of the season this weekend at the Lake Superior Pro Rally, the duo of Matthew Johnson and Kim DeMotte wrapped up the Rally-America PGT Championship in style. Their fan favorite #46 orange Hankook Tire Subaru WRX turned consistent top five times on the 15 stages of America's "Oldest, Toughest, Meanest Rally" to finish the event in fifth place overall.
The weekend was not without it's drama however. On the infamous Brockway Mountain tarmac stage, Johnson took a jump a little "aggressively" and landed nose down and hard. He continued however and his service crew could find no damage at the next service area. But when the team prepared to pull out of service, the starter would not engage. They discovered the rough landing on Brockway had stripped the mounting bolts out of the starter. With no time to work on it, the crew push started the car and Johnson went back out to run Brockway again. If the first jump pulled out the mounting bolts, what would the second one do?
"Cooling it", is not something Johnson does easily, however he hit the jumps a little more conservatively and 2 seconds were still shaved off the Stage time from the first run through. Back in service, repairs were made to the starter and the team headed for the final three stages.
"I was really surprised when I turned the key and nothing happened" Johnson said, "but the crew just took stock of the situation and told me they'd handle it when I came back in. They've been amazing all season."
The overall finish puts PGT Champion Johnson in Fourth place overall in the U.S. standings behind Subaru Team drivers, Travis Pastrana and Ken Block, and privateer Matt Iorio in their Open Class cars.
"Racing PGT cars among Open class cars is a little like racing a Vespa scooter in a MotoCross," Co-Driver Kim DeMotte said. "Open Class cars are purpose built highly modified race cars, while PGT cars are production cars with only limited modifications. For Matthew to turn these competitive times consistently all season in this WRX just points out what a talented driver he is." The team has finished in the top five overall four times this season.
The Rally-America (www.rally-america.com <http://www.rally-america.com/>) series wraps up at Wild West in Olympia, WA the first weekend of December....and there's not much of an off-season as the 2007 Series opens at the Sno*Drift Rally in Atlanta, Michigan in January.
Matthew Johnson is an 8 --year veteran of Rally Racing having started in a Group 2 Volkswagen Golf. He sells Uninterruptible Power Supplies to the Information Technology Industry for a living which allows him the freedom to pursue his life's passion of driving "hammer-down" on rally roads.
Kim DeMotte is a 35 year Rally Racing veteran who has been a driver, a National Rally Organizer (the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood) and co-driver. During the week, DeMotte is a sales process consultant. Being self-employed allows DeMotte to also pursue his passions...going fast and mentoring younger rallyists.
Rally Car: The Carolina RallySport Subaru WRX runs in the Production-GT class. Under the rules the car is virtually stock and only minimal modifications are allowed. It has approximately 220 horsepower and a standard 5 speed transmission.