I get full boost in first gear. I started getting full boost in first gear when I installed my APEXi AVC-R boost controller. I love that thing, I almost always hit my maximum boost pressure right on the nose. This month's sport compact car did a review of electronic boost controllers if you're interested. (it's the issue with the WRX STi on the cover)
I think it's BS that they raced an EVO versus the wimpy sport compact wrx project car. That project wrx sucks balls. My wrx could kick its ass and mine is hardly modded at all.