Archive for November, 2010

Oh, Jalopnik… how I love your Top 10 lists. How it provides minutes of joy however this top 10 list, I’m not sure about. The list names the “Top 10 Cars with the Case of the Angles”. Meaning the over use of sharp angles in its design.

Here’s what a Jalopnik said about the 2011 Impreza / STi:

I hate to admit this, but the new WRX STI sedan overuses sharp angles. The front view of the Subaru is classic and incorporates the hood scoop into the hood quite well. In fact, the sedan is nearly exactly the same as the wagon that was released in 2008. Then you get to the rear of the car and you realize that Subaru just chopped the D pillar and tried to mush up the rear to make it look like something. They should have spent more time with the clay shaping up that atrocious rear end.

A few things that are really nit-picky, but it’s okay! If you want to know the other cars that were picked in the “Top 10” Click HERE!

Source: Jalopnik

Well, the Impreza concept car at the LA Autoshow had some mixed reviews. What I keep telling people is that it’s merely a concept. However, people still don’t get it. I’m glad that the people at Subaru have created this video giving us more detail on the interior of the Impreza concept and the way it is laid out. What I really like is the cockpit like interior that they are proposing it will have (something Subaru has been missing out on). Anyways, enough babbling from me, here’s the video:

Our good friends at Zenkai / Subaru of Las Vegas posted this video up! It’s a step by step video on the GD Impreza WRC build. Check it out!

Apparently Subaru is having a Holiday sale on all their Rally Team gear (Possibly because they are now one man down from their team?).

Anyways to check out the deals from Subaru, visit HERE!

So if you’re into Time Attack (or even if you’re not) you have heard of the “G-STIG” from GST Motorsports. If not, let me do a quick explanation. Throughout the Time Attack season, the G-STIG (much like the Top Gear’s STIG) drove the GST Motorsports Impreza L. Now, they kept the identity of this driver a mystery. At the end of the season, they would reveal the true identity of the G-STIG and we found out it was Jeff Westphal. Jeff was nice enough to talk to us!

Q: Hi Jeff! So the Redline Time Attack season was just completed and you topped it off by breaking a record! Congrats! So, tell us a little about yourself; your racing history, hobbies, and how you got hooked up with GST.

A: Well, I’m 24 and I live in San Carlos, Ca.  I was born in San Francisco and grew up on the peninsula.  As a kid I was very active, and that still holds true today.  I love anything physical, but especially enjoy snowboarding, cycling, running, soccer, and weight lifting.  That’s actually how I stay in shape to drive such ferocious cars like the “L”.

Training not only helps my endurance and mental acuity, but it also battles the genetic makeup of my Italian family and their affinity for food.  I love to eat, especially good food.  I haven’t touched a lick of fast food since 2004, but i more than make up for the caloric intake with other “healthier” forms of eats.  Aside from training and food, I really enjoy music and seeing live shows for which i am lucky as the bay area but specifically San Francisco has plenty of!

To keep my racing history brief, as there is a bio on my website www.jeffwestphalracing.com, but my career in racing started from a job in high school at an indoor kart track funny enough.  That led to a Redbull scholarship shootout months later, and then turned into 3 seasons of formula car racing.  One championship later, I sat in a Rolex car at the 24 Hours of Daytona for the past 2 years with the debut and development of the Pratt And Miller Dinan M6 in between.  It was the Daytona 24 this year in the M6 that led me to GST by way of a Speed channel reporter’s recommendation to Mike Warfield.


Q: Wow, such a great and young racing history you have so far! So going back to Redline Time Attack, how did GST and this whole G-STIG get started up? What did you think about their idea?

A: The G-Stig was an idea Mike came up with and  presented to me about a month before the first event.  I thought
about it for a few days, and realized that it would be a long term investment for me in the sport, but that it would be great for the fans of Redline Time Attack to have a mystery driver in the top tier of the competition.  So from that point it was a no brainer for me, i said “sign me up!”.

Q: Was it hard to keep your secret as the G-STIG? How many people actually knew?

A:  little did I know how hard it would actually be to keep my identity a secret.  It was more than just changing in and out of my  race suit 3-4 times a day in secret, and keeping the visor on the  helmet down.  Some things people don’t know, at one point in the  season we had David Empringham and the Sierra Sierra crew thought I was Tanner Foust and they held  their cherry picker hostage unless the GST guys told them who the G-STIG was.

At another event we had the Owlee tv guys positing cameras  up across from our trailer all weekend to try and figure me out.  After that I started changing in the AE Performance motor home as I’m also coaching Paul Walker, and then we started having fans coming up saying “how come Paul gets changed and walks out with his helmet on?” so it really was a dynamic thing all throughout the year.  I guess that means we kept everyone guessing….

Q: You drove the famous GST Impreza L this whole season, what were your impressions on this machine? 

A:  Coming from the limited experience I’d had in racing, I was  fortunate to sit in some pretty fast racecars.  The m6 was 500+hp and  did over 180 at daytona, the indy lights car was a 200mph+ car that  had about 450hp but weighed around 1700lbs, and the racing school my career started at which I now teach at uses me for testing their 300+  hp Lola formula 3 cars, and NONE of that prepared me for what the GST L had to dish out.

Even on low boost, the first time I went out I thought to myself “holy crap this thing goes!”.  As with anything you get used to it, however this car never feels slow, I just feel like it could be faster.  And to be honest, this whole
year I asked to change everything on the car except the power.  Chassis development has made the L much faster this season, some 4+  seconds at most tracks.

Q: We saw the GST Motorsports Impreza L change a lot this season. How much of your input was given to improve their GST Impreza L?
A: Part of my role in GST’s program this year was to develop the car they felt always had the grunt.  They were absolutely right, from me  requesting new settings or parts on all 3 diffs, wings, front end aero, track width, springs, shock valving and settings, alignment and sway bars, we’ve made this little 1996 L into a monster on the track.  It was a chance for me to call upon all the Grand Am Rolex, and Formula Car driving I have done in the past to help turn this street car into a racecar. 

I couldn’t have done it without the cooperation of the team  for all their hard work, and the sponsors for their continued support of their products and our program.  As you said, the car really has changed shape!

Q: You had an epic event at Infineon allowing you to clinch your championship and it was a wet and wild event. How were you able to drive so well in the rain? 

A: Ahh the rain!  I love the rain, its something that most drivers  fear, and I did in the beginning.  My view is if there is something I  am afraid of or not good at, I do it more.  As you might imagine, I am extremely competitive and hate being “beaten”, so I try not to let anything beat me.  What is most important about driving a racecar,  and especially hold true in the wet is to know your surroundings.  In the rain, the line I use is different. The track also changes every lap, so it’s up to the driver to  pay attention to everything that’s going on around them.

The commonly used areas of pavement get polished, so the water has no where to go in the pores of asphalt which in turn makes the normal line slippery like ice.  But I also pay attention to weather patterns, wind direction (yes it can affect aero!), puddle accumulation or dissipation, and grip  levels of surfaces.  In the rain, you are flirting with the edge at a  lower speed than you are used to, that’s why it’s so easy to over do it!

Q: What are you future plans? Are you returning to Redline Time Attack

A: At the moment I do plan to return to time attack with a revamped “L” as it embodies all that time attack is truly about, the quest for outright speed and creative ingenuity.  However there are some other plans in the works at the moment as well.

Q: Anyone you would like to thank that helped you in the Redline Time Attack series? 

A: Well first and foremost I’d like to thank Marshall, Mike and the GST guys (Keith, Tommy, Earl, Mert, and everyone else who helped out at the track) for making it possible for me to be involved in time attack.  I’d also like to say thanks to everyone involved in Redline Time Attack for making such a fun series to compete in.  And also our sponsors, with out them the “L” wouldn’t be able to break any records:

Hankook
Kognition design
Cosworth
Guard transmissions
JE pistons
Brian Crower
Wheeldude.com
Afi turbo

Some personal supporters of mine:

Alpinestars
Go Pro camera
The Draw portfolio
TNT demolition

And lastly, Mrs. Warfield for not killing her husband after all those late nights and extended weekends of racing related duties….. and killer sandwiches

Q: Thank you very much Jeff! Hope to see you around the track soon! 

A: Anytime, it was my pleasure.  See you soon!

By now, you’ve seen the internet swarmed with images and video of the new Impreza Concept but here is the press conference from the LA Autoshow from last week. In this Press Conference, the key people in Subaru and Fuji Heavy (The parent company of Subaru) explain their concept on this new Impreza and explain the design.

Watch here:

 

Freeze Frame: Fozzy, meet Hachi…

Posted: November 22, 2010 by Yukes in Forester, Freeze Frame
Tags: ,

Sometimes there are photos that are just plain amazing / awesome / cool and I think this one takes it. Our friends from Speedhunters posted this pictures of one of their reader’s Forester towing his track Toyota Corolla.