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Old 08-23-2007, 10:21 PM   #1
ruski
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Default Calculated Risk's Time Attack STi

The Beginning:
I know how everyone likes good long write-up on projects, especially ones for motorsports cars. Well here is my story.

Just over a year and a half ago I had graduated college and was very interested in acquiring a 2005 STi. With lots of lots of looking and a bit of patience I came across and STi on Nasioc that was being sold for a decent price. The seller informed me that the car had a salvage title, so before purchasing I had the car checked out by a mechanic and nothing appeared wrong. Soon afterwards I had a shiny “new” STi with 8500 miles on it sitting in my driveway.
(picture)
A number of years ago, I was not a “car” guy. I basically thought it was stupid and a waste of time. However I was given a gift certificate to a track day school at Thunderhill Raceway here in California with the SCCA. At the time I had no idea what I was getting into and showed up with my 1991 Isuzu Trooper. Although it was a bit embarrassing showing up with that car at a track day, nonetheless I had a fantastic day. After this outing I was hooked on the world of motorsports. I became an avid rally fan, and the obvious choice for me was the Subaru Impreza WRX STi. Here is a very short clip from that day.
http://s197.photobucket.com/albums/a...erTrackDay.flv

Soon after having my new car I was able to get it tuned and add sway bars and an anti-lift kit. I decided on getting the car tuned as the gas here in California is bad, and can cause problems with the factory tune. I had Mike Warfield, who is the tuner at GST Motorsports, tune my car. He was able to extract 260whp and 300tq out of my car with a safe tune that would work well both on and off of the track. (For reference a stock STi on his dyno will do around 220whp/220tq, give or take a few, on 91oct.) I will get to this a little more later, but I can’t give Warfield enough credit on the tune. It has been unbelievable, and the engine has held up through over 3000 miles of heavy duty track use with plenty more to come.

Now that I had my tune and a few parts I decided it was time to get back to the track. This would be my first time back in 3 years. I decided to sign up with NASA. While they are slightly more expensive than the other groups I have found they are the most fun, and they provide the best environment for increasing your driving skill. The track day was a blast, but at the end of the first day I had a boost leak on the aftermarket blow-off valve that came with the car. After I got the car home I purchased a stock blow-off valve and new gasket and everything was perfect.

I continued to do track days and purchase suspension parts. I decided to focus on the suspension as in the end it would be better for me as a driver to learn to drive the car, rather than “power though” any of my deficiencies. Through my time at the track, and a mutual friend, I was introduced to the Locks. For those of you who do not know, the Locks are the owners and drivers of GOTO racing. They raced a Subaru WRX in USTCC, and are currently racing a Subaru Legacy GT in the GrandAM Koni Challenge ST series. As I continued going to track events the Locks provided me with advice that supplemented the skills I was learning on the track. However, Chris Lock told me that he would continue to help me, but would no longer ride along in the car after I entered group 3 unless I had a roll bar in the car. He told me that the speeds were just too great, and a mistake could lead to a very serious accident.

I could have progressed very fast through the NASA ranks, but I decided to take my time. In the lower run groups you get instructors for FREE, so I decided to milk that for all it was worth. When I finally arrived in the upper run groups I found that my extra time with instructors was paying off ten fold. After my first event in group three I decided that I did need to get some roll over protection as I didn’t want my hobby coming back and biting me.

Decision to move to a dedicated track car:
The Lock brothers, Brian and Mike, built roll cages and their work was exceptional. I decided on getting a roll bar put into the car. The name of their business is CalculatedRISK: Racing Fabrication. After talking longer to Brian he convinced me that putting in a full cage was a far better decision, especially if I knew I was going to be taking the car to the track as much as I did. At this point in I was really only driving the car on a few weekends; mostly only for track days. I said, “What the hell - build me a full cage.”

The Cage:
They built the cage in two stages. The first stage is what is considered a NASA minimum roll cage without the door bars. I chose not to do the door bars to begin with as I still had stock seats and wanted to keep as much of the interior intact as possible. After I talked more with Brian I also decided to have an extra bar welded in to help with reinforcement and bracing.

A week later I had a cage by CalculatedRISK for my car. The cage was flawless, and everything fit together very well. It was necessary to remove some of the interior, but most of that was in the rear, where no one would be able to sit because of the cage.





After they installed the cage I immediately felt a difference in the stiffness of the car, even on the street. The car felt like it was more stable. Soon afterwards I went to some more track days, and the cage made an even larger difference on the track. You also really do feel safer being surrounded by large metal bars rather than just the car shell. Spending money on my safety is probably the most intelligent investment that I could have made.

I continued doing tracks days and progressing in my driving ability. Earlier this year I decided to turn the car into a 100% dedicated track car and finish the rest of the cage. At this same time the Lock brothers decided to open up a brand new shop in Cameron Park that would specialize in racecar maintenance, installations, fabrication, and aerodynamic design work. The Locks also wanted to sponsor a car at the race track to help promote the new shop, primarily the fabrication portion. Since I was going to the track so much, and the Lock brothers had already worked on the cage in my car, they approached me and asked if I was interested in a sponsorship. The brothers talked with me about reinforcing the cage, adding door bars, and fabricating a diffuser and splitter. In return, after a graphic design was completed, I would put vinyl on the car with their shop logo. I agreed and a date to start the work was set. We decided to do the aerodynamic work first.

I arrived at their shop and was amazed. There wasn’t anything special about the shop, except that it was totally clean. I’ve never been to a shop that looked this clean. Even my basement where I work on my car projects doesn’t look anywhere near as clean, but I digress. We decided that we were going to work on the diffuser first. The diffuser work went slowly, and we kept deciding to go larger and larger. In the end we came up with what is called “The Bat Wing”. Below is shown the progression of the creation of the diffuser.





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Old 08-23-2007, 10:21 PM   #2
ruski
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Next we decided to do the splitter.







Finally the cage was set to be finished. The door bars were to be finished and integrated into the B-pillars. A floor bar was put in and integrated with the tunnel, an integrated rear strut bar, and two diagonal bars in the rear were added as well. At this point the cage is completed and is a sight to behold in person. While the pictures do show a lot it just isn’t quite the same as looking upon this jungle of metal with your own eyes.




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Old 08-23-2007, 10:22 PM   #3
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Completed Car:





The future:
The aftermath has been incredible. The car no longer gets light during high speed turns and drops. It is absolutely glued to the track. Sponsorship or not, the diffuser and splitter have increased my confidence in the car, feel, and pure outright grip. I can never see driving the car without them again.

I’ve done two NASA weekends since the work has been completed and the car feels fantastic. It still needs some suspension tweaking, but the car is almost set up perfectly. At Infineon raceway Brian Lock and I took turns driving the car. I was in Group 4 and he was running it in Time Trials. I was able to run a 1:55.9 lap and Brian was able to run a 1:52.9 lap, not bad considering the difference in our experience levels. This is also with not all the weight taken out of the car and including a passenger as well. Pulling these lap times with a car weighing nearly 3700lbs is an impressive feat. Brian and I took turns being passengers with each other and frankly, it’s scary as f***. When you get to the point where you can feel everything the car is doing: the slip-angle, the lateral grip, the braking ability, and you know how close the car is to the edge, it becomes a different experience to be a passenger. I now understand why the Locks aren’t always thrilled to come on rides with me anymore. At least I know I am picking up some speed.

For now the car is set up very well. A larger turbo may be in my future, but I still need at least another year to fully master the power that I already have. When I decide to go that route I will be consulting heavily with GST Motorsports to make sure the route I decide on will give my car both strength and reliability.

Later this year I will be running in the Redline TimeAttack series, street class at Laguna Seca. Depending on what I decide next year I may run in the WORKS endurance series racing events here in Northern California. The possibilities are endless and all will be fun.

Brakes:
One thing I have learned with the STi is that its brakes are not all they are cracked up to be, at least if you drive the car to the edge. While the stock Brembos hold up well they can not take the heat generated by R-composition tires and heavy duty racing brake pads. This last event at Thunderhill one of the pistons on the right front caliper partially seized and caused the caliper to get so hot it started to bubble and burn the paint covering it. Mike Warfield, from GST Motorsports was up at Thunderhill helping with the tuning and setup of the GoTo: Racing Legacy. After talk with Brian and Mike, Mike decided to help me out with my brake problems. He recommended a set of Stasis Alcon 4 piston calipers with 340mm rotors. While my fun was over at Thunderhill, within 48hours of leaving the track my car has the new Alcons installed and was ready to go again. A track day on the Wednesday of that week at Thunderhill showed that the Alcons were up to the task of the braking challenges that I am going to send their way.

A huge thanks to all from Calculated Risk whose fabrication keeps my car more stable and my body safe at the track, and a huge thanks to GST Motorsports and Mike Warfield for working with me to get all I can out of my car safely.

www.calc-risk.com
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:32 PM   #4
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Car looks really nice...Especially the fabrication work with the cage, Rear diffusor, & front splitter...

Damn nice work and car looks really sick...

Matt
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:10 PM   #5
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looking real nice! thats a wicked big rear diffuser


Justin
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:33 PM   #6
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what kind of material did you use for the splitter?
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Old 08-24-2007, 05:20 AM   #7
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Wow thats one mean looking STi, amazing look!
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruski View Post
Pulling these lap times with a car weighing nearly 3700lbs is an impressive feat.
I know the cage, front splitter and rear diffuser add weight, but with a gutted interior your car weighs 3,700?! Even if that weight includes a 200lb driver, that's still a lot...
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:24 AM   #9
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That does seem a bit much..
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:50 AM   #10
ruski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiketkd View Post
I know the cage, front splitter and rear diffuser add weight, but with a gutted interior your car weighs 3,700?! Even if that weight includes a 200lb driver, that's still a lot...
I said nearly 3700. Car as it sits with no passengers and a full tank of fuel comes in at 3250. Add two passengers and your in the range of 3600-3700lbs. Nearly every time I drive the car I have passengers.

The car still has all the AC equipment in, the front rubber sound deadening and a host of other little things. Soon we hope to take out another 200lbs+ from the car.
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiketkd View Post
I know the cage, front splitter and rear diffuser add weight, but with a gutted interior your car weighs 3,700?! Even if that weight includes a 200lb driver, that's still a lot...
I think that that weight included driver AND passenger. Thats how I read it at least.

Great build...I'd love to continue following the build progress so keep us updated. You are living the dream and I am jealous!
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruski View Post
I said nearly 3700. Car as it sits with no passengers and a full tank of fuel comes in at 3250. Add two passengers and your in the range of 3600-3700lbs. Nearly every time I drive the car I have passengers.

The car still has all the AC equipment in, the front rubber sound deadening and a host of other little things. Soon we hope to take out another 200lbs+ from the car.
Gotcha. When I think of a Time Attack car I never think that a passenger's weight would be involved. If another 200lbs+ of weight will be coming out of the car, then it sounds like you're on the right track for weight reduction.

What turbo and hp/tq target are you shooting for with this car?
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiketkd View Post
Gotcha. When I think of a Time Attack car I never think that a passenger's weight would be involved. If another 200lbs+ of weight will be coming out of the car, then it sounds like you're on the right track for weight reduction.

What turbo and hp/tq target are you shooting for with this car?
Right now the budget for the car has gone into its suspension and setup. Power wise it would really be considered a stage 2ish car. This weekend i'm getting a retune for 100oct and should pickup about 40whp and 70wtq.

Though after everything is said and done I might be looking at something like a Green. From what I found, that midrange torque and response make a huge difference on the track compared to lots of top end power. Its also just more fun do drive, however that decision is still a ways off.
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Old 08-24-2007, 02:18 PM   #14
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Very nice write up. Good luck with the racing.
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Old 08-24-2007, 03:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Top_Dog View Post
what kind of material did you use for the splitter?
For that splitter we used HDPE (high density polyetholyne).

-Brian
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Old 08-24-2007, 04:19 PM   #16
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Looks Cool
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:03 PM   #17
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So f**king sick.
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:43 PM   #18
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Update:

I had brought the car to the dyno to receive a return for 100oct gas. The car gets setup and starts the initial pulls. We put in some 100oct gas and start the new pulls. Shortly their after Mike Warfield comes out with this stern look on his face, "Turbo is blown"



However it wasn't as bad as I had initially thought. While "blown" the turbo wasn't dead. It was not able to hold more than 19psi and it would drop to 13psi at redline. According to Mike the VF39 has a casting design flaw which sometimes will cause cracks at the waste-gate and prevent the turbo from holding boost pressure. The car still runs very strong but doesn't pull hard at all up in the RPM range. With this info in mind I am going to complete the setup of the car and then this winter try and remove the turbo to fix it or just outright replace it.

Evan
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:55 PM   #19
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^ wow, that sucks, sorry to hear that
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:38 AM   #20
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that splitter is sick. love the design.
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:17 PM   #21
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Default Update: Flatbottom Completed

After the last track, event we decided that the car really needed to have the flat bottom completed and we had to do something about the gold wheels that now looked totally out of place on the car.

Calculated Risk has been extremely busy, but the day before the event they were able to complete the full flatbottom on the car. Having never driven a car with a flatbottom I was not sure what to expect, though after the first high speed corner I knew it was entirely worth it. We decided to leave a small gap in the under tray to make sure we were able to vent the engine bay properly. In the future we may decide to find another way to vent the engine bay and seal up the entire under tray. Really the flatbottom in 90% complete. We are going to be adding naca ducts to the rear diff, and come rear brake rotor/hub coolers. We will mostly likely be adding a transmission cooler with its own naca duct as well.

In slow speed corners you would be hard pressed to tell a difference, but in medium to high speed corners you can feel the difference on the car. The faster I went the more of a difference the flatbottom made. You could feel the car becoming more planted as you increased speed, it was fantastic.

Here are some pictures of the belly:






Rota was also kind enough to send of two sets of Torque wheels in a 17"x9" rim with a 30 offset. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of them at the moment as we are trying to work out fender clearance, but I will get them up shortly. The wheels give the car a much more aggressive stance, and the dark silver color works with the cars scheme.

Last edited by ruski; 10-18-2007 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:45 PM   #22
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Looking good, they seem to do nice work. Any times at certain tracks so we get an idea of what the car is capable of?
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:51 PM   #23
ruski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue blurr View Post
Looking good, they seem to do nice work. Any times at certain tracks so we get an idea of what the car is capable of?
These are times with a passenger, professional driver, car still weighing to much:

Infineon Raceway: 1:53.8 (225 Nitto NT-01 Tires, no flatbottom) (+3.1 seconds when I was driving)
Thunderhill Raceway (Reverse): 2:03.4 (245 NT-01 Tires, flatbottom, turbo not holding any boost up top) (+4.5 seconds when I was driving)

The vf39 has cracked a little. It is no longer holding all the boost I need up top. That is fine for a street car, but for a race car it hurts a little.
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:34 AM   #24
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is the flat bottom riveted straight into the car floor panel?
Do the screws/rivets/whatever poke through?
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:49 AM   #25
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if you could make brackets for the flat bottom.. alot of sti guys might be looking into purchasing one.
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