15th Aug2013

Track Car in the Making: Tommy’s WRX

by Trent

Track Car in the Making“Race car” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot these days. Most people start with the motor and then ask the questions later of why they went off course while understeering through a turn. It’s not always about power. Case in point is some of our past feature cars that race regularly and aren’t surpassing 600whp or even 300whp. But the right combination of parts can make a worthy contender.

WRX splitter and canardsTommy brought his Bugeye home one day with the sole intention of making it a streetable race car. It needed to take him to and from the track, but allow him to have fun once he got there. If you couldn’t tell from the first paragraph, he’s largely left the motor alone to make it reliable. Even his future plans are simple and comprised mostly of OEM parts. The only additional power-adders are an HKS Hi-Power Exhaust and custom catted down pipe. Most of the attention was turned to aerodynamics and suspension.

tommywrx-2Now if you ask what Tommy’s favorite part of the car is, he’ll be torn between the broadway mirror(to see those he just passed) or the Voltex rear wing. This was something he was looking forward to for some time. It stands tall to get some clean air as he heads into the high-speed sweepers at Miller Motorsports Park. Helping with the downforce up front is a set of FUNKtion Aero canards and front splitter underneath a Prodrive front lip. Clearing the air from underneath the car is a Voltex-replica rear diffuser.tommywrx-3 As the car gets forced down, it sticks to the line with a set of Enkei RPF1 17″ wheels wrapped in sticky Toyo Proxes R1R tires. Tires are part of the equation, but the suspension is handled by BC Racing BR coilovers and seemingly pointing at the Whiteline catalog and saying “I’ll take all of it”. This was actually planned out more thoroughly than that as his main sponsor Nip N’Tuck Performance went over what he needed. This includes a set of Whiteline Sway Bars front and rear, Whiteline Anti-Lift Race kit, and Whiteline endlinks. tommywrxThe interior is kept functional with a Momo steering wheel, Sparco Pro2000 seat and Takata harness, Autopower 6-point roll cage, and stripped out rear seats and sound deadening. Stopping is currently relegated to Hawk HPS brake pads, but will soon be upgraded. Putting together this car has made it solid on the few shakedown runs he’s made with the car. It will really be tested this upcoming month as he begins his NASA High Performance Driving Events to get a race license. Look for this car in our track coverage soon.

Race WRX panning

Tommy would like to thank:

Dustin for the friendship, sponsorship, and work on the car.

Jason for the long-term friendship, helpful tips and suggestions.

Adam for the advice and recommendations on suspension setup.

Words and Photos by Trent Bray

02nd Oct2012

The Black Pearl

by Trent

In the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, the Black Pearl is the fastest ship in the Caribbean and is “nigh uncatchable”. This 1996 Subaru Impreza coupe ruled the unlimited AWD class in Lap Battle, and for a while was battleship gray. The next season it returned in its black and gold trim, and was even quicker. And then it disappeared…

It wasn’t destroyed or taken off to rule other tracks, it just went into Zane’s garage. See, Zane sells cars and to really make a living doing that, you need to be there on Saturdays. Lap Battle happens once a month on a Saturday. Push came to shove, and Zane decided to sling cars, learn his family’s business and generally make a living instead of burn expensive gas and shred expensive tires. During this time the car sat in the garage, battery attached to a trickle charger, waiting to be unleashed.

Subaru Impreza GC8 Track toy

Pirate ships like the Black Pearl were small ships either bought or captured and then outfitted with arms. This Impreza is no different. The beating heart of the Pearl started with a Rallispec short block stuffed with Cosworth main and rod bearings, and 9.2-1 pistons on Manley H Beam rods. The heads are packed with Cosworth cams (274 intake and 278 exhaust), valves and high RPM springs and retainers.

A built motor like that NEEDS a proper turbo set up and fuel system to truly fly, and the Pearl is no exception. An Ultimate Racing GT3076 rotated turbo kit sits at the center of the setup, with a Tial 44mm wastegate hanging off of the turbo. That big turbo pushes air through a giant TurboXS front mount and into the engine. A Walbro in-tank fuel pump gets the fuel to the 850cc Deatschwerks fuel injectors, but when things get serious, the fuel in the Sard surge tank gets set to those injectors by a 280lph fuel pump.

After hearing that list you might be thinking this whole set up is run by AEM or MoTEC, but it isn’t. A Cobb ACCESSPort v2 runs this, and runs it well.

Backing this setup is a complete 2004 STi 6 speed drivetrain because it is rather stout. Other stout things are the Tein Super Racing coilovers, the Whitline swaybars and lateral links, and the APR extended wheel studs. The Michelin slicks are stout and meaty as are the StopTech 355x32mm ST40 brake kit in the front and the STi Brembos in the back, both of which are filled with Hawk DTC70 pads.

All of that is serious stuff, and you might be thinking the wheels are Volks or Weds Sports, but you’d be wrong. Those gold 18×10 wheels are Rota SVN-Rs. Yes, those cheap wheels you see blasted on forums for being fake and see destroyed in photos are on this 400+ horsepower race car. A car that laps the 3.08 mile outer course at Miller Motorsports Park in two minutes and 4.7 seconds!

The Impreza coupes are the lightest Imprezas ever brought to the U.S. This one has been lightened slightly. EVERYTHING was ripped out, and eight things went back in. A Sparco Circuit seat, harness, and steering wheel went in. An STi dash and cluster replaced the old ones, and DEFI gauges went in the dash. A Beatrush division panel sits where the back seat used to be and an Autopower six point roll cage provides moar safe.

Much like the ship it gets its name from, this car is purpose built for speed. There aren’t any frills outside, unless you consider that huge APR GTC300 wing a frill. The Seibon carbon fiber doors, hood, trunk lid and front lip shed weight. The 22b widebody kit and rear fender flares allow for the fitment of those massive wheels and meaty slicks. The custom front canards and rear diffuser help channel air in the right direction to allow this car to run as fast as possible.

At the end of this week this car shall make its return to competition. It shall rise from the depths of the garages of Miller, but Zane doesn’t need to make a pact with a dead man to do so. All he has to do is open the garage door, fire her up and take her out.

The Black Pearl Track Pirate

 


 

Words by Michael Chandler, Photos by Michael Chandler and Trent Bray, Video filmed and edited by Trent Bray

*Article, photos and video are copyright of CAMautoMag.com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.com

12th Jul2012

Less is More: Track Day STi

by Trent

 

Subaru WRX STi track car feature on CAMautoMag from CAMautoMag on Vimeo.

 

 

“Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”

-Sir Colin Chapman

 

Colin Chapman founded a small car company based around this philosophy. They made street and racing cars following this mantra, and most of the time it worked brilliantly and didn’t kill anyone. People (not necessarily the people who are running his company) still subscribe to his now legendary philosophy. Greg Valdez is one of those people.

Starting with an already modified 2005 STi, Greg did what Sir Chapman would approve of: he proceeded to rip heavy things out of it. All of the doors have been gutted. The glass windows in the rear doors have been replaced by acrylic, and the front windows are non existent. There is a, singular, Prodrive by Sparco racing seat (from his old race car) and a matching red Corbeau 5 point harness. A 353mm black suede Sparco steering wheel replaces the stock unit (and its pesky, heavy airbag), and a Splash short hub adapter and a WORKS Bell quick release make the wheel work. The interior is so spartan the controls for the center differential have been left hanging out next to the Kart Boy short throw shifter.

The car was already fairly modified when Greg bought it. The cage was already in there, the Stoptech ST60 big brake kit was already installed along with the Hawk DTC-70 pads in the front and the Pagid RS 14 pads in the rear. The APR extended wheel studs and Kics lug nuts were there too; however, the massive 18×10.5 Enkei RPF1’s and Pirelli race slicks were additions made by Greg. They fit under the Karlton fender flares rather nicely, and the flares accentuate the Cusco lip.

 

This car was known for it’s track ready suspension setup. A setup that never saw any real track time. The car has TEIN Super Racing coilovers at all 4 corners, with 16k spring rate springs in the front and 14k in the rear. Theres a GT Spec subframe brace, and a Carbing front strut tower bar and a tow hook up there too. The tow hook doesn’t work too well, so Greg added the pair in the front and another in the rear. There is also a mess of Cusco parts, including: a center brace, T brace, H brace, 22mm front AND rear sway bars, rear subframe brace, trailing arms and lateral links. Kartboy front and rear endlinks replace the OEM units. The roll center adjuster comes from Whiteline as does a racing version of their anti-lift kit. All of this does wonders, but is pushed aside when you notice the 30 POINT WRC SPEC ROLL CAGE. Let me say that again: A 30 POINT WRC SPEC ROLL CAGE. Serious really doesn’t begin to describe the cage. Most of the bushings have been replaced: Kart Boy shifter, transmission, and rear crossmember, TIC rear differential, and Beatrush propeller shaft bushings all occupy the places the old bushings.

 

The interior is non-existent, and the suspension is beyond serious. The motor has to be some crazy stroked out, big turbo monster right? Nope! Ladies and gentlemen, the very fast white Subaru is powered by what is essentially a COBB stage two tuned motor. It has a full turbo back Turbo XS exhaust, a COBB version 1 Accessport, a SPT short ram intake (with a very clever, homemade NACA duct feeding it), an APS equal length Ti header (that has been wrapped), a Koyo aluminum radiator and a 13 row Mocal oil cooler. This thing runs on 91 octane pump gas for crying out loud!

 

This combination of weight reduction (the car weighs just over 3000lbs with Greg in it, while a stock ’05 STi weighs just shy of 3300lbs WITHOUT a driver), heavy suspension modification and tuning (courtesy of the guys at Innovative Garage) and light power additions (that idiot kid who ALWAYS wants to race you in his STi? Stage 2 crew) have turned this “could be” track day terror into a car that laps the 2.2 mile East Course at Miller Motorsports Park in the mid 1:40’s. Less truly is more

Words and Photos by Michael Chandler, Video by Trent Bray

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com