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Old 05-29-2009, 01:35 PM   #1
UFOpilot
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Default Any folks in F Prepared ?

I will start by stating that auto-x is not what I am building my car for. Until I reach the point where the spool leaves auto-x range I am auto-xing as much as I can. I have been focusing on suspension setup and chassis stiffening for a while and I have some changes I am making to that system. I have one more engine phase before I go after the transmission, differentials, clutch and assorted related bits. I don't care about being competitive in my class, I'm only concerned with sorting out my setup and working on me as a driver, and not in that order.

I see the narrow margin where our chunky, unbalanced cars are competitive and I see the cars in the other classes. I understand why very few people would want to venture into territory where they are not competitive. I would like to hear from others that are relegated to the F Prepared class due to suspension geometry changes and the like.

Travis
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Old 05-29-2009, 02:07 PM   #2
Storm
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Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: SAUL'S Motorsports
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96L Most Over-
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My car will likely end up there or XP at some point. Yes, the uphill battle is enormous considering the competition, but the payoff for most people in these classes is the process of getting there. Building it is half the fun! Relocating the pickup points is paramount to correcting the flaws (compromises) of the stock design. All that "rally bred heritage" has to go out the window in order to make the car work on tarmac (at the needed rideheights). Luckily, prices on decent shells are getting lower....so finding a good base to start with is not as bad as it used to be a few years ago.

With the growing interest in time attack, people are building up cars that work well and we can bounce ideas off each other to see what works suspension-wise. In my few discussions with Irish Mikes, I learned quite a bit about what was needed to get the GD chassis down and still function on a roadcourse. Prepared rules allow many of those same changes, so I've kept them on the back burner for future implimentation.

The pickup points need to come up at least 1.5" to regain proper geometry as the chassis comes down. The bump steer correction kit, 6 gun ball joint kit and others of the like, are results of learning what does and doesn't work for the Impreza at that level. I don't know of anyone making offset mounts to move the motor and trans down and back toward the firewall, and front axle drive angles come into play.....but it is another item that should be addressed to increase balance and lower the CG of an already too tall chassis.

That's my take with the small amount of research put in so far. I'm hopeful that some others will join in as well.

Good luck,
Jay Storm
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:19 PM   #3
Jaxx
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if i ever bought tires i would be racing in fp or xp

stupid crossmember rule
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:41 PM   #4
Back Road Runner
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I guess it depends on if you are in it to win or are just there to have fun. I just have a NA Forester that I run in FSP. I've done quite a bit to the car, and the car itself is pretty quick and a blast to drive. However, I also do a number of things that make the car less competitive like have a full interior and add like 100 lbs. of sound deadening. There are a ton of allowable mods that I never intend to do with my car. I'm middle of the pack in street prepared for the most part and am essentially on par with a relatively stock Miata (running same tires as I) in terms of times and handling. I don't intend to ever win, but I do have lots of fun and do represent the toaster driving community. Most folks are surprised, but that's because they don't realize the Forester's just really an Impreza chassis. There are a lot of fun comments tossed around at events. I'm in it for fun more then anything else. I grew up beating the snot out of my cars on back roads. It's just a safe venue for me to keep doing it legally.

I'll note that with rally-x, I do tend to be one of the top two in prepared awd in my region. Off road tends to be a different story and have been generally quite competitive. I attribute a lot of that to being able to read and drive the course faster then others and the fact that NA power is actually enough on those types of surfaces. I grew up in the gravel, mud, snow, and ice, did far higher then the speed limit on junk cars, even got into drifting some, so I tend to be a little quicker on that stuff then many. I'm still in it for fun, but I seem to be in a position where I can win trophies too.

I don't know. You just find your own path. You have a reason to do it. You're there for fun, to better your driving skills, test new hardware, or simply to win. You take a build path appropriate for your goals. Only care about the classes and competitiveness if you actually want (intend) to win. Otherwise it all sort of becomes meaningless. You pretty much get to the point where you need to start with the right car first, and the Impreza isn't that car. Even if you match raw times or get a better time, the PAX index may still bone you because you've got the wrong car or wrong class. In my eyes, when you intend to win, you take very deliberate actions to properly do the job. Part of this becomes picking a brand/model car that is ideally competitive or stepping into a very specific class that our cars are winning in nationally.
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Old 05-31-2009, 03:11 PM   #5
UFOpilot
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I dig it. I have been focusing mostly on learning to drive an AWD vehicle that has a lot of parts that are "off", every stock part I have touched has been inadequate. If they built the car I wanted on this platform it would probably cost as much as an Audi RS4, but it would perform much better. I have done several builds before and this is my first Subaru. I don't care much for the "racer-in-a-box" platforms as I find the cars boring, or lacking personality. I knew there were easier vehicles to start with that have way better handling characteristics, but I chose to go with my little wagon because I have an affinity for them. I built a 928 once when I could have built an exceptional 911 for just a little more. I had a grossly overpowered, heavy, rear wheel drive freeway machine. It was still a lot of fun to do, and it was a blast to launch, kick-out and the like.

I guess I was hoping to find some people that are in the same boat so that I wasn't the only one swimming upstream so to speak. I enjoy auto-xing and I chase the times posted by the Z06's as my personal benchmark. I figure if I can continue to bridge that gap I am improving. After next year the engine setup I will have won't be usable on an auto-x course, and I will be road racing. I appreciate it the Subaru community and I am glad to see that no matter what the differences may be, we have a common passion for the automobile.

Travis
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