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Old 07-13-2011, 05:12 PM   #1
Element Tuning
Former Vendor
Member#: 54918
Join Date: Feb 2004
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
673 WHP Element
Tuning Pro Comp Engine

Default Subaru vs. Vipers at VIR Round 5 Whelen US TT and Dodge Viper Cup (1:55 Lap Vid)

The Whelen US Time Trail Championship is a new series this year that runs side by side with the Dodge Viper Cup and the US GT Championship series. For round 5 the series headed of to Virginia International Raceway in Alton, VA. VIR is absolutely my favorite track so I was ready to see how the Subaru would fair against the Viper Cup, US GT Corvettes, etc.

It was a big turn out for the US GT class with the Whelen Engineering /Marsh Corvette running in USGT driven by Sonny and George Whelen.
This car looks like the World Challenge car.

Tom Leonard in the SpeedSouth Corvette was out there. I looked at the car up close and it’s really sweet. It looked like they were running some ALMS slicks or something at the VIR event because the sidewalls were so tall and I’ve only seen this on that type of chassis before.

Stout’s killer purple Viper was there also.

With temperatures in the high 90s things definitely heated up. Right off the bat we had trouble keeping the engine cooling temps down but the car was also handling odd. It was very loose turning right (which is most of the track). I did the best I could with an ill handling car and clicked off lap times in the 1:58 range.

Those are Rota DPT 18x10 et 35 wheels. Forgeline is a series sponsor.

“Philip Grabow and team from Element Tuning again threw down the gauntlet to the nation's top tuning houses. On Saturday their heavily modified Subaru STi was the only car on Saturday to break the 2 minute mark, setting a 1:58.890. The fast-four was a staggering 6.5 seconds faster than the V10 might of TT-U championship points leader Carl Kafarowski's Dodge Viper ACR, who set a 2:05.682- his personal best of the weekend. John Weigel, in another Viper ACR, finished third. .” Narra Release

We noticed some graining in the rear tire which could have been due to some fender rubbing. We stiffened up the rear sway bar, pulled the fender a little more and pulled the wheel spacer to get more clearance. I went out in the last session and it definitely helped but wasn’t perfect so we put some new tires on for day 2.

It seriously feels like 1000 degrees in here! Must be time for a Coolshirt!

Sunday I was hoping for some better performance and lap times. In session one I went out to bed the new pads in and test the car out running another 1:58. To my surprise the US GT car of Tom Leonard signed up and ran a 1:57.6. Only the cream of the crop in US GT were running sub 58s with the Whelen/Marsh Corvettes in the 1:56 range and Jim Stout’s Viper dipping into the 1:55s .

Now I knew I was going to have to work for it but I was ready and the car felt great. For session 2 I make a run for it and I’m on a strong pace, make it to the end of the back straight and the car starts to cut out….like it’s out of fuel, kicks back on and dies again coming down “hog pen” but I was lucky to be able to coast into the pits. Nothing sounded off with the engine but it wouldn’t run and I noticed no tach signal. I start by uploading the map from the Hydra EMS and all looks good, run a crank trigger test and I’m not getting a crank signal. We swap the Hydra out, same thing, swap a new crank sensor in, and still no dice. I then start looking things over more carefully in the engine bay and noticed a melted wire, then a melted engine harness….Yikes! We developed a leak at the wastegate and the hot exhaust gas torched the wiring harness. With only one timed session left that counted towards the overall we had to work fast but separating melted wires and wrapping them back up is not a fast process. With everything fixed up we crossed our fingers and the engine fired up but it was too late. While we won on Saturday we had to settle for 2nd place on Sunday.

I wasn’t about to go out like that! I welcome competition but I wasn’t about to let one of the US GT cars leave thinking they had this Whelen TTU car covered for the rest of the season. There was one session left but this would be for bragging rights only. I set out on lap one to run well but I wasn’t trying to set my fastest time but little did I know that at 650 HP I was only going to get one lap before I needed to run a cool down lap. Well that lap was a fast one regardless, setting the fastest time TT time at 1:55.996. I so sleazed into the 1:55s but I will take it any way I can!

After my cool down lap I dropped 5-6 psi of boost or about 80 or HP, ran a better lap and was only about .5 seconds slower running a 1:56.5. Overall I was really happy with the cars performance. It’s funny not but a few months ago I broke a personal goal to run sub 1:58s and then set a new goal to run 1:55s and I’ve accomplished that. I now know however I can nip into the 1:54s so I’m hoping for some cooler weather and faster times.

TT-Unlimited championship points leader Carl Kafarowski, who won the class at both Chuckwalla and Sebring, settled for 2nd on Saturday and third on Sunday. In TT-1 Jim Booth was running both his Viper and his Lambo

Booth dominated both days of competition in the TT-1 class from Doug Wind in his SRT-4 and George MacDonald in his Viper, posting a 2:06.77 on Saturday before turning up the heat on Sunday to set a 2:04.172.

“European might also proved too strong for the turbo fours and American muscle in the TT-2 class. Alex Reznikov set a blistering 2:04.164 pace on Saturday afternoon in his black Porsche 997 GT3- a time that beat that of Booth's Lamborghini on Saturday” Narra

In US GT-U George Whelen in the Whelen/Marsh Corvette took the win from Tom Leonard and David McNiel. The SpeedSouth team also had to overcome a blown transmission on Saturday installing a new on in the VIR dirt!!! That’s dedication. Jim Stout took the overall win GT-1 in his VIper

The mods:

Car Info Subaru STi
Year: 2005-2006
Engine Management: Element Tuning Hydra EMS 2.6 version
Turbo: Element GT75 Rotated kit .82 exhaust housing, Turbosmart Ultragate, Megasonic BOV
Intercooler: MIshimoto core/Element pipes
Meth Kit: Element Hydramist
Injectors: BDL modified fuel rails, RC1000cc, Element Competition Surge Tank and Aeromotive A1000, -10 AN feed line, -8 AN fuel rail lines
Engine: Element Tuning Pro Comp, Element Rods, Element Big Valve heads (+1mm valves), BC 280/10.8 Cams, Element modified 11mm pump, Element Dry Sump Oiling System
Intake Manifold: OEM RS
Headers: Element Tuning unequal length
Uppipe: Element Tuning GT65 kit
Downpipe: Element Tuning
CBE: Element Tuning
Other: Element Tuning Competition Catch Can, Clutch Masters, Rota DPT 18x10, Element Custom BC ER coilovers, Swift Springs and Helpers, Fulcrum Aeroworks Rear Wing, Sparco Circuit Pro Seat and steering wheel from OG Racing, Speedesign Graphics

Phil Grabow
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:24 PM   #2
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Awesome job guys!!!
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:11 PM   #3
Turn in Concepts
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I heard about the time, and was hoping you'd post the video.

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Old 07-13-2011, 09:07 PM   #4
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Chapter/Region: South East
Location: nashville, tn
2005 Legacy GT


Very nice! I thought you were running sans rear swaybar. What's your spring/swaybar setup right now if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:04 PM   #5
Element Tuning
Former Vendor
Member#: 54918
Join Date: Feb 2004
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
673 WHP Element
Tuning Pro Comp Engine



Our exact Swift spring combo is always evolving but I don't share the exact combo we run. I've run with and without the rear bar, with a 24, with a stock, and every setting in between. It's a real balance act between the spring rates and the sway bars.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:33 PM   #6
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Location: Richmond, VA
07 STI 35R


Wow Phil that video got me excited. You can tell the car is blistering fast

Congrats on the 1:55! Seems you blew everyone else's time out of the water! Was the next fastest the purple viper at 1:58?? What about the orange Z06?
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:54 PM   #7
Element Tuning
Former Vendor
Member#: 54918
Join Date: Feb 2004
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
673 WHP Element
Tuning Pro Comp Engine


Originally Posted by Steve.804 View Post
Wow Phil that video got me excited. You can tell the car is blistering fast

Congrats on the 1:55! Seems you blew everyone else's time out of the water! Was the next fastest the purple viper at 1:58?? What about the orange Z06?
Yeah a 1:55 at VIR is extremely fast and very few cars ever come close. Mostly Rolex GT and the new World Challenge cars running Hoosiers like the Whelen/Marsh Corvettes. The number 1 Viper only race the USGT but the yellow USGT Corvette ran against us with a 1:57.

The 650 HP Viper Cup cars had a few cars sub 1:57 running Michelin slicks and I think on Sunday one car dipped into the 1:54s!

If I can get my tires up to temp for the run down "hog pen" before the start straight I should be able to run a 1:54 even in the 95+ degree heat.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:14 PM   #8
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180 Wrx/Fozzy/OBS


Great job ET,keep it up, cant stop that scooby power....
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:25 PM   #9
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Congrats Phil!!!
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:58 PM   #10
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2006 Impreza WRX STi
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Phil it sure did feel like 1000 degree's and I think my forehead is almost recovered. LoL. But every time you break you best time and when you broke the 1.55, it makes it all worth it. congrats again!
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