Well, this weekend's test went very well. Unfortunately do to the extreme levels of traffic at Road Atlanta with up to 50 cars on track at once, it was impossible to gather any solid lap times or meaningful analytical data this time around. But it did allow me to shake down the car, and data logging numerous engine parameters and see how our current mix of parts are working together.
I am happy to report that we are making terrific progress. Even without the JRZ's installed our current setup on our 2011 STi has an outrageous amount of turn response, neutrality, and most importantly....gobs and gobs of mechanical grip. Even intentionally trying to get the chassis out of shape with violent throttle and steering applications didn't fade our STi. And of course, close to 500whp on the stock block is enough to put a grin on anyone's face.
Late last year, I tested our car in bone stock trim, and it was a slush box that lacked any type of precision. It was almost laughable the levels of body roll and understeer and slow steering response. Now all that has changed in a big way. I can point the nose of the car at will, to any point on the track I desire with full throttle coming on before the apexes giving a moment for the full furry of this big turbo to be unleashed. Despite it's large size, the turbo was very responsive and after adjusting to the power delivery I was able to work with the powerband effectively. The Whiteline bushings and correction kit resulted in razor sharp, almost telepathic steering response. It's hard to describe just how good everything in the car feels right now. Taking rubber and soft bushings out of the car should be any serious enthusiasts first mod. While we are waiting on our JRZ's we installed a set of Brand X coilovers so we could at least properly corner-balance and make ride height adjustments to the car. Having driven some of the best motorsport shocks in the business, it was obvious that Brand X had it's limitations. Certainly a good shock for the street, and occasional track use, but not quite up to our levels for professional level motorsports use. The damping was not sufficient on several areas of the track, requiring a lot of steering input and anticipatory corrections to keep the chassis under control. The ride quality on the street is pretty harsh and bumpy too...another indication of less than ideal damping. But then again, not bad for a roughly $1000 set of coilovers, and far better than OEM.
As mentioned, we ran our Stop Tech BBK with the included street pads to see how they would fair under full race use. Surprisingly, they held up better than I expected but definitely a dedicated track pad is needed to consistently haul the car down. Carbotech XP12's will be next. Nothing inspires more confidence on a race track than really awesome brakes.
We ran the car the whole weekend on E85 fuel, and experienced not even one minor hiccup. I datalogged every session and experience zero knock and very clean data. With this much power, our cooling system needs a bit more work but that was to be expected. There is much more left in the car, and we're looking forward to testing again and gathering some more hard data on April 16- 17th at Road Atlanta.
Lastly, I wanted to thank many of you for coming down and hanging out and watching us. I saw many Subaru owners/fans/onlookers parked up the hills watching our little four door 4 banger, blowing by everything in it's path. We had a lot of fun, the car sounded and performed like magic and I am sure we surprised quite a few Porsche and Vette owners in the process.
Thanks, and see you all soon. GAScoob was the lucky guy that got the only passenger ridealong on our STi. I wasn't sure if he was smiling from fear, or excitement or a little bit of both. But needless to say, he got the ride of his life and we enjoyed having him along for the ride. Making adjustments for traffic, I am estimating our pace at about 1:37. our GT3 currently laps at 1:33. I am going to try and extrapolate what I can, from our data analysis tools and at least pull away some interesting facts which I will share between the two cars.
We have more photos and video in production right now, but here is a quick on-car video that I put together myself. VIDEO: