Brianne Corn took her 2005 Subaru STi to Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2011 and came away with a historic class win in the AWD Time Attack class. She is only the 2nd woman in 83 years of PPIHC's running to win a class, and she did it on a shoestring budget. That was only one of many amazing driving feats she pulled off in 2011, which also included: a historic BMod open class win at the SCCA Solo National Championships (only the 3rd woman to ever win an open class), she was the Rally America Open Light Shootout Champion, raced in the support series at the WRC Mexico rally, and was named SCCA's Driver of the Year. Whew!
Brianne's boyfriend and race crew chief JasonM is one of our suspension guru's here at Vorshlag, and he does a lot of race preparation on the PPIHC Subaru as well as other cars she races - along with Brianne, who is an accomplished mechanic in her own right. Vorshlag was a small sponsor for this driver/car combo in 2011, but is stepping it up this year to do more, on a very compressed time schedule.
The 2011 race event was the last running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb that had dirt sections of the course, which was approximately 15% of the race route. Paving of the entire road up the mountain was completed in August, 2011, weeks after the 2011 PPIHC event. This means that 2012 is the first year that the entire 12.42 miles of Pike's Peak mountain road is paved. This massive change in surface has attracted a whole new crowd of hill climb and road racers to this historic event. 2012 had so many entrants that for the first time the organizers had to announce qualifying during the practice days, to weed down the field of entrants for race day. In 2013, the PPIHC event is being changed to a 2-day race format, to accommodate even more racers.
One other thing that changed was the merging of some classes. Since there's no longer a gravel element to this hill climb, the AWD and 2WD Time Attack classes were merged for 2012. This brings in some serious 2WD machinery to the new combined class (the old 2WD Time Attack record was 44 seconds faster than the AWD record!), such as Rhys Millen in the V8 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, a works Porsche GT2 911 with 700+ hp, among others. Brianne and Jason knew they'd have to step up the power, grip and the preparation level of the car for 2012 to have another shot at the win.
Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima next to Brianne Corn at the PPIHC event in 2011
To address the power department, AWD Tuning
in Flower Mound, TX built an all new motor, added a massive Perrin front mount intercooler kit, and a host of other horsepower upgrades. This all-new motor was built on very short notice. Since the event was delayed until mid August due to the wildfires in the Colorado area, there was some extra time to do more than just install some new shocks and camber plates, so we now have it at Vorshlag for various updates for roughly 3 weeks. Our sponsorship and labor commitment went from minor, to... a little more than that. We're jumping onto an existing, winning race car hoping to do a few upgrades that make sense in the short time window we were lucky enough to have.
Since Vorshlag specializes in suspension design and race preparation, we had originally hoped to concentrate on just upgrades to the suspension. Off come the Tein coilovers and top hats and on will go some AST dampers (We had a set of GD AST 4100s sitting on the shelf), Swift springs, and Vorshlag camber plates, front and rear. After seeing the skinny tires they ran and won on last year, I insisted
that we also add some of our Vorshlag/D-Force, 5x114.3 pattern, 18x10"
, lightweight 5-spoke wheels. On those wide wheels will go some 285/30/18 Hoosier R6 tires, in place of the old 245mm Hoosiers. Having +40mm of tire on each corner will improve grip tremendously, especially when there are 156 turns and 11+ minutes of abuse per lap.
Left: 18x10" wheels and custom flares on a 2-door Subaru Impreza. Right: 18x11" wheels and custom box flares on a BMW E30
To make those big tires fit this stock body chassis properly, at full bump travel and full steering lock, is no small feat. Luckily it is something Vorshlag has tackled many times in the past, on various chassis, including the two shown above. Essentially the shape of the factory front STi "box flares" will be enlarged and all new steel rear flares will be added. We will show that work in this build thread, as well as the other race preparation work we will attack.
Some substantial plumbing upgrades to many systems will also be performed, with parts/assistance/guidance from the hose and fitting wizards from Pirtek Plano South
, including the shop owner Ed (who is a friend of Vorshlag) and two more guys from his crew. Both Ed and Mike from Pirtek are die-hard racers and both have extensive knowledge of many areas of race preparation, above and beyond just plumbing. Making a race car that can finish the entire PPIHC event takes some serious attention in the plumbing department, as the cooling, oiling, and fuel systems are taxed to their maximum in this event. With Pirtek's help we hope to make the plumbing on this car bulletproof.
We're excited that Vorshlag have a chance to wrench on this already previously winning, fast hillclimb car, and we mostly hope we can improve the handling & grip (since that's our specialty). Stay tuned for more details on the work being performed here at Vorshlag over the next 3-4 weeks. We will cross-post this thread on SCCAForums, Corner-Carvers, NASIOC, RRAX, and the Vorshlag forum.
Terry Fair @ Vorshlag Motorsports