2010 HyperMeet at Tsukuba - Evo vs. STI
Let's get this out of the way first. See that thing that Ross's daughter is holding up? That's right, a podium finish in the 5 lap battle (3rd place), and we were the fastest Impreza in that as well. And, I think, the fastest Impreza of the day. Yes, it was a good 2010 Hypermeet.
It got down to good driving, and better preparation. We were a bit faster out of the corners, and had a bit more power. Just another 70+ hp.... Under the hood was the same Cosworth built 2.5-liter that we started with 4 years ago. That's right, it's still plugging along, running like an absolute champ even after 4 years of track usage. It hasn't been opened up once since we got it, and if that isn't a testament to Cosworth's engine building talents, I don't know what is. It hasn't been running a light load either. Up till our race in December we've been running about 520hp, and for this event we bumped up the odds by running nearly 600hp.
How? Part of that was our new AVO600 v2 single scroll. This bolt-in turbocharger is the next level up from the AVO550, providing more power and torque overall. However, due to the large housings, if you are to bolt it into the stock location, you have to grind the block a little bit. The dyno tells the story - peak torque (554ft/lbs) was reached at 3800rpm, and thanks to the breathing capacity of the engine and the turbo, peak hp was reached around 6300rpm. With little sign of any end in sight as it steam trained to redline. More like a bullet train, actually. Helping us out was the latest LINK G4 standalone, which is working very well now. Nothing beats a good standalone for making outrageous power, and a great standalone helps even better.
On the track, the diet regimen that dropped about 60kg off the weight of the car (132lbs) helped the performance in the corners. Adding a lot more power didn't hurt as well. The suspension was better sorted this time around, with a bigger bar on the front, and some work to the dampers. The suspension does still need some work, the car still had understeer issues coming out of the corners. The DBA brakes have been in for a while now, and the rotors still don't like they are wearing - DBA knows how to make some strong rotors! Braking still hasn't been an issue thanks to them. And we needed that braking - our top speed in the short back straight was up 3km/h, to 205km/h. On such a short track, that's booking it.
Yokohama 050S were the same tires that we used in December - didn't have the budget for brand new rubber, and due to the global downturn, we couldn't find any tire sponsors this year. Once we do, we'll pick up some more speed in the corners.
There was a 20 minute practice session in the morning, where we hit a 59.9. The driver is quite good, and matched that time in the 5 lap battle as well. We haven't beat our best time yet, but that's purely due to slightly old tires and our continuing battle to get the suspension settings just right. We set up the suspension during the practice session, when it was much colder. It got hot very quick though, and by the time we ran in the early afternoon, the track was very hot. So our setup was not quite spot on, and while we didn't actually go any slower, we could have gone a bit faster with the suspension tweaked for the hotter track.
Could we have done better? For certain, we could have taken another second out with a bigger budget for rubber and more time with the suspension. Are we unhappy? Not at all, we competed with the very best of Japan, and still came out in the top three. And next time we will do even better.