Making it through a rally from start to finish is never easy, and even though Matthew Johnson, Jeremy Wimpey, and the Scion Racing Rally xD team didn’t need a reminder, the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood provided one anyway. The event started about as smoothly as they could hope, with their pre-race testing sessions showing no immediate signs of trouble, and Matthew looking increasing comfortable in the driver’s seat of the Rally xD.
And, because the Rally xD’s high-horsepower build is ideally suited to take on fast stages and large jumps like those of the 100 Acre Wood Rally, the team was confident in their ability to get through the event without issue. While the event started off that way, things began turning in the other direction the deeper the team got into the race.
Issues with the Rally xD’s electrical system and transmission slowed down Matthew and Jeremy throughout the entirety of Day 1, though the pair did all they could to keep pressing forward in the face of the issues. Their efforts helped get the Scion Racing Rally xD to the end of the stages, though only just, which put the team in position to rebuild for a better shot at the following day.
Overnight, the team gave the car a full service, and even swapped out the transmission for a properly functioning unit. With everything seemingly ready to go, the team headed out to try their luck again on Day 2.
In spite of the fixes the team made during their overnight service, more issues began to rear their head in the form of both a damaged differential, as well as intermittent power steering issues. The car remained in drivable shape, similar to the Day 1, but put the team at a considerable disadvantage compared to their competitors.
The damaged diff would make keeping the car on the trail around corners difficult for almost any driver, but instead of merely staying on track, Matthew even managed to make up some of the ground lost during the first day of 100AW. His incredible effort reining in the damaged car not only earned the team their second straight podium to start the season, but also went a long way in building their lead in the 2WD Championship race.
We were thrilled to see Matthew, Jeremy, and the rest of the team not only finish, but finish strong in spite of the obstacles thrown their way. The team has earned an extended break with a month and a half left until the Oregon Trail Rally, but you can be sure they’ll be working hard to get the car back in championship form.
Until then, stay tuned for our video recap of 100AW in the coming weeks, and be sure to follow along for more news and info on all of our teams and drivers as our 2014 season begins ramping up!