Posts Tagged ‘Racing’

So I was swimming around the world wide web (or should I have been surfing?) and came across this amazing STi. I don’t have much info on it other than it was from the guys at NotSoStock.com and it’s pretty stout.

According to the article, they were testing this car out and its wet set up. I think it’s made for a touring series in Canada. In fact, I recall it used to be World Rally Blue and it had a factory body.

Door Handles? We don’t need no stinkin’ door handles! Aerocatch door handles keep an aerodynamic look.

All the standard race interior parts… pretty serious.

Proper! Check out the rest of the car on NotSoStock.com and see it in action!

 

Source: NotSoStock.com

Ahh yes, Stephan Verdier. He’s been a really cool guy with us, taking time to talk to us and showing us great photos of his car and sharing his stories with us. Our friends at MotoIQ had an exclusive look at Stephan’s Rally Cross STi that was a former drift car. This car has seen a lot of action in the past few years but it looks like it’s going to stay as a Rally Cross car and we can’t be more excited for him!

Here are some images of the build:

The front end is business. Well, most of the car is business but it’s got a Crawford Performance built motor and also the entire front end is built for crash protection. Hence the whole entire front end is pretty much a bar. Of course it will covered by a bumper but this is pretty nice looking.

According to MotoIQ, Stephan had the whole entire chassis acid dipped to remove excess gunk, insulation, and debris to have a clean chassis. This actually lightens the chassis and you can see how “new” the car looks!


Suspension is vital in Rally Cross. Hence, Stephan went with the WRC Spec Tein Suspension. This is no ordinary coilover system too.


So what is this? Looks like an air conditioning unit? Maybe a tumble dryer? Nope! It’s the rear mounted radiator so it keep it from harm like some love taps that the cars get when they’re door to door against each other.

Want to see a super expensive transmission? Here it is. Dog engagement / sequential shifter keeps Stephan going around the track.

The cage is different from a standard roll cage. It doesn’t utilize a main hoop but it’s more of a enclosed cage. It’s supposed to disperse crash loads. Interesting since rally cars do roll intensely during competition.

Read more about it on MotoIQ HERE!

Drifting… usually brings out the most ingenious combos of engines and cars together. We’ve seen Nissan Silvia motors in Corollas and GM motors in Nissan Silvias but this has to take the cake in the most interesting combos. Our good friends at Speedhunters just did a feature on the Japspeed Drift Subaru.


Now, this Subaru has been doing quite well in the British Drift Championship.


In true drift fashion, this Subaru drips of style and performance.


According to Speedhunters, this Subaru wasn’t always a Hawk Eye instead it started its life as a Bug Eye. However with the lift of the “bonnet” (yeah, I called it that since this is a Euro Car) there is a sight that we are not used to seeing. A straight 6 motor.


Now from my understanding it used to run a fully built EJ25 motor but now was converted to use a Toyota 1JZ 2.5 Straight Six motor. To some Subaru purists, this is no longer a Subaru…


Regardless of what heart it runs in it, it’s still a great looking car and I’m sure it’s going to slide its way onto the podium shortly.

Source: Speedhunters

Well, kinda. It’s a great new way to really get the audience interactive with the video and this is one of the best things to come out in a long time.

This video allows you to choose different angles of a 2011 STi Rally car. Now, it’s not exactly live switching but it gives you multiple angles of a rally car going through a hairy stage.

We hope that more racing teams see the advantage of this and start following this style of video.

Dino from Speedhunters knows how to shoot cars and especially at the Super Lap Battle event at Tsukuba Circuit in Japan.

The AVO STi has an extreme amounts of grip and has the typical Time Attack look with all “business”. The heart of the beast is an invincible Cosworth Block and the boost at 2 bar and has a capability of making well over 600whp. It set a great lap of 58.298 which surpassed its previous best lap time of 59.343.

The Original Runduce STi was there with some mild bolt ons including their great looking aero enhancements. The STi makes roughly 400hp and Dino on the article pointed out the dry carbon turbo inlet. That looks AMAZING! Please put that under the “WANT” category!

Prodrive Japan with Auto Produce Boss brought out this pretty clean GRB and it was able to manage a 1:02.199 which was great for a street car!

Bozz Speed had their R205 STi in attendance with a host of great modifications. Full Titanium exhaust? Yes please! It also holds a Trust Turbo giving this R205 a hefty 400whp. I noticed that in a lot of these STi’s, they don’t do what a lot of State-side Subarus do and reverse the intake manifold. Maybe it’s a USDM thing?

Super Autobacs Nagoya showed up with this fresh GVB STi with Volk Racing TE37 Super Laps and Endless Brakes!

HKS Kansai came out with their GVB! Looks great and I know they’ve just started tuning it!

Dino spotted this clean Legacy GT in the paddock area! If Darth Vader had a family sedan with some guts, this would be it.

When you have a chance, check out the coverage on Speedhunters!

 

From starting out as a weekend track day driver to now a fully sponsored pro-level driver, Thomas Smith is easily considered as one of the rising stars in the Time Attack / Gymkhana scene and with his 2009 Subaru WRX STi built by Subaru of Las Vegas and Zenkai Motorsports. Thomas Smith is now making a noticeable mark. Thomas was kind enough to take some time out and talk to Subie-Life.com about his recent event at Gymkhana and also about his recent Time Attack season. Whether or not you know Thomas Smith now, you will always remember him with his million dollar smile and his infamous backflips.

Q: We have Thomas Smith here, driver of the Zenkai Motorsports / Subaru of Las Vegas Subaru STi! Thomas, you just ended your ended your 2010 season but tell us about your history in racing.
A: I started out autocrossing in 2005 and still do today. I started doing open track days a few years after, and I participated in my first TA (Time Attack) at the 2008 Subiefest. Then I started racing RTA (Redline Time Attack) with my personal car this year and finshed out the year racing the Zenkai Motorsports STI. I have also participated in number of local karting races, including at couple endurance races. As of this pass weekend I participated in my first Gymkhana Grid competion.

Q: Your 2010 Season was pretty busy. Tell us a few of your accomplishments and high lights so far.
A: Begining this year I had a couple of good finishes and a podium in my personal litely modified STI in the RTA series. Shortly after the Zenkai Motorsports/Crawford Performance STI had finished being built. I placed 1st and set a class record at round 2 of the Super Lap Battle series, which was actually the first time the car had ever been on the track. I also placed 1st and set a class record at round 8 of RTA, after that event we ran Subiefest 2010 and again took home a 1st place and a class record. We also got invited to the Gymkhana Grid media/test event, had a awesome time and received an invite to the Gymkhana Grid/ Ken Block Invitational. I’m really proud of the team this year, honestly no one on the team thought that we would build a brand new car and do so well for the first season out.
Q: The Subaru STi you drive is pretty noticeable with its bright orange graphics and great styling. Tell us about the build and what’s done to the STi.
A: The Zenkai Motorsports powered by Crawford Performance STI is mostly bolt on idems. It is a 2008 STI, it has the Crawford Performance ultimate street car engine package. It is a 2.5L S3L block, with a GT35R turbo tuned on E85 with Motul fluids, C West aero kit, Racetech 4009 seats and Racetech 6 & 5 point harnesses, GTspec bracing, K&N air filter and GoPro cameras. It also fitted with a weld in 6 point roll cage. Graphics were all done by Grafik Impact. Paint work was all done by Pacific Custom Paint.
Q: As you were testing and tuning the STi, what was your impression on how your team built the car?
A: It was a great team effort to get the car done. Crawford Performance built, tuned and helped with the race prep & setup. With their knowledge of Subaru’s and experience from there race car we had a great platform to start with. Zenkai Motorsports performed the rest of the race prep and also installing the hydraulic e-brake for the Gymkhana Grid invitational thanks to Crew Chief Rob Wohlfeil.
Q: So here comes Gymkhana Grid and you had to prepare your car for the “Try out”. How did the first event of Gymkhana go?
A: At the first Gymkhana Grid media/test event we just took the car as it was. We didn’t really have time to install an e brake, so that made it a little difficult. LOL We made some suspension changes to help the car break out more, but mostly I just had to use a lot of weight transfering to slide the car.
Q: When time got close to the Gymkhana Grid invitational event, what kind of emotions and thoughts were going through your head?
A: As the event got closer I got more and more excited and to be honest a bit nervous. But as always once I’m behind the wheel and get started the nervousness goes away quickly.
Q: Of course this kind of event is different from what you were normally used to (road track) and it was done in front of an audience. Did you get nervous at all? What was going through your head?
A: I was alittle nervous, but not to much. I just wanted to do well for the team, because they all put in alot of hard work for us to be ready for that event. I was really excited and honored to be invited by ken block, and to drive with/against such skilled driver’s.
Q: After this great event, how do you feel about Gymkhana Grid and what do you think the future holds for you and this event series?
A: I had a great time participating, seeing and talking with all the great friends and fans. Well, the Gymkhana Grid is planning on having a series for next year that will run across the country. I would love to be a part of it again, I think for me and all the people that were there watching or watching online it was very exciting. I believe the series could have a great future ahead.
Q: Speaking of the future, what are you plans for 2011?
A: As of right now the only thing that is kinda on the schedule for next year is probably Gymkhana Grid and maybe some close TA events. As some people might of seen at Gymkhana Grid Invitational is that I was recently picked up by Monster Energy Drink. I am extremely happy to be part of the Monster family! So 2011 could hold some big things for me, So keep an eye out.
Q: Thank you very much for taking time to talk to Subie-Life, Thomas. Is there anyone you would like to thank for the 2010 season?
A: I would like to thank: Crawford Performance, Zenkai Motorsports, Everyone @ Subaru of Las Vegas, Tein, Carbonetic, C West, 5 Zigen, Motul, Racetech seats, GTspec, K&N air filters, GoPro, Racing brake, Pacific Custom Paint, Grafik Impact, Subaru performance tuning(SPT), Garage Uehara, DCB, Monster Energy, Falken Tire, Mike Garage, ALL of my friends for the endless support and motivation and My Family.

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!