Some of you may have seen posts on our social media channels about me hitting the track with Speed Academy for a test of our 2015 Subaru WRX aka Project Northstar. Well the video was released recently and I thought it would be good to post up and give you some information that may not have made it into the video. But first take a few minutes and watch me be awkward with my hands…
Hope that was entertaining for at least some of you. Now I want to start by saying that Dave Pratte is not only a great driver but he’s also probably turned more laps then 99.9% of people who have driven at Toronto Motorsports Park. He knows the track well and is very quick at getting up to speed, because of this I was pretty definitely worried he would demolish my personal best times. The car was run at 280WHP on 94 Octane Pump fuel, we did not test it with the race fuel map that day. The tires on the car had 1 track event from the 2nd round of CSCS so they were pretty fresh. The braking issues that Dave was experiencing were caused by 2 things, worn pads and a bit of excessive deflection in the wheel hubs. This caused pad knockback which we both experienced during our laps. After this day I modified my driving to tap the brake pedal on the straights to push the pads back against the rotor before the next braking zone. Once the pads were worn we installed a new set of pads which got rid of the above issue. Pad knockback is pretty common with a fixed caliper design.
There’s been a few comments regarding the way it “looks” in terms of handling and what not and I can tell you that a video inside the car really doesn’t show how good the cars stock suspension is. I have had professional racing drivers in the passenger seat be blown away by how much grip the car can generate with the stock suspension. While coilovers would be an easy option it really hasn’t proven to be the weakest point in my quest to go as fast as possible with the car. I also want to point out that in it’s current form the car is over 2 seconds faster then a Focus RS around the same track and the RS is $20,000 more expensive brand new stock for stock. With that said, the dampers/springs may get replaced in the future but it’s not high on the priority list.
As I touch upon in the video I have an STi 6-speed transmission swap for the car and that is the next major change for the car to try and go faster. We’ll touch on this in the next installments and follow up video with Speed Academy.