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Project Northstar – CSCS Time Attack Round 5 – Battle for the Crown

I’m a bit behind on keeping things updated on Northstar but I hope you’re all still interested in the progress.  This update takes place back in September of 2016 at the final round of CSCS hosted at Toronto Motorsports Park.  Going into this final round I was leading the Street AWD class by 10 points, after taking home two 1st places and one 2nd place.  All season has been back and forth against Ryan and his highly modified JDM GC8 and thus it would come down to the finale to decide the season.

Leading up to this round the only major changes to the car was the upgrade to an STi 6-Speed Transmission and Rear Differential.  I also added a MapDCCD controller which we’ve had great success with at the shop on different cars.  The other change since the last time at TMP was that I was back on Hankook RS-3 tires instead of the Bridgestone RE-71R.  This was a tough decision as the RE-71R worked amazingly well but they simply did not last nearly as long as the RS-3 and buying a fresh set of tires for the last round wasn’t in the cards.  I know from last years finale my best time at the track on RS-3’s was 1:22.44 and with the changes made for the transmission and rear brakes I expected to get into the 1:21’s without much issue.  I knew going into the last round I was at the same disadvantage as in round 2 since it is a track that benefits horsepower.  Being down over 100WHP really makes it tough to make up time in the corners or braking.

The day started out well, for the most part, although traffic was a bit of an issue which made putting in a clean lap was tricky.  After the first few sessions I was sitting in 2nd place for qualifying, almost 2 seconds behind Ryan in 1st.  At this point my hopes of trying to pull out a 1st place were very very low and the competitors in 3rd and lower were very close as well.  Mid-way through the day the skies began to darken and anyone familiar with the Cayuga area knows that a storm can roll in pretty quickly.  The clouds rolled in quickly and a torrential downpour with strong wind proceeded to pound the track.  Some competitors canopies were destroyed, the track had a bunch of large puddles on the inside of many corners and all of the grassy area became mud.  The rain washed away the rubber build up and essentially locked in the qualifying positions.  I still went out for the sessions as I always find driving on a wet track fun and challenging.

By the time the time attack session rolled around the track had dried out pretty decently and I was excited to get back on track.  My first fast lap was pretty good, until the last corner when I missed a shift and ruined that lap and also any chance of a fast time on the 2nd lap.  The last corner at TMP comes onto the long start/finish straight which means your drive out of the last corner is extremely critical.  I took a breather and tried to keep the car cool without losing too much heat from the tires.  I made sure my exit on the last corner was as good as possible and knew I had one shot at this.  Crossing the finish line I wasn’t sure how that lap had gone, it felt good but sometimes feeling fast doesn’t mean it actually is.  Pulling through pit in the CSCS officials told me I had taken 2nd place, this was a huge relief as I was worried the other competitors might edge me out.  Even though 2nd place is good, it was somewhat bittersweet, as prior to the event CSCS had come up with a new tie breaker rule. Because Ryan and I would both have Two 1st and Two 2nd places their current rules wouldn’t be able to determine a winner.  The new rule would add up all the time attack session times and the person with the lowest elapsed time would win.  My elapsed time going into the last round was 252.461 seconds while Ryans was 252.969 seconds.  This meant I had half a second gap to win the “tie breaker”.  I ended up with a 1:21.610 which was almost a full second faster then my previous best time on RS-3’s.  Well Ryan put in a very fast lap and ended up taking the tie breaker win at the end.

I definitely consider this season a successful campaign of my 2015 Subaru WRX and i’m looking forward to continued development and am really hoping to get into the 1:20’s or below for 2017!  Thanks goes out to all of our team members, without everyone these events would not be as fun as they are.

Thanks to these companies that are helping with this Project
COBB Tuning – COBB AccessPORT and COBB Cat-Back
Mad Graphics – Full Vehicle Vinyl Wrap and Side Graphics
Grimmspeed – License Plate Relocation Kit, Lightweight Crank Pulley
Turn In Concepts – Shifter Bearing and TGV Deletes
Killer B Motorsports – J-Pipe, Top Mount Aftercooler, Charge Pipe
OnPoint Dyno – Dyno Tuning and Testing
Uni-Body Collision – Paint Work (Emblems, Lip, Trunk Spoiler)
StopTech – Front & Rear Big Brake Kits
IAG Performance – Street Air/Oil Separator
Kartboy – Short Shifter Arm
Stripping Technology – Powder Coating Wheels
Turn 14 Distribution – Front & Rear Big Brake Kits
Whiteline Performance – 22mm Rear Swaybar

 

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