Friday, August 13, 2010

Winton Fun Day - July 3rd 2010

Another Winton Fun Day that lived up to its name! It's been over a month since we attended this event, so apologies for the delayed post.

A 4am start is a must for any outing to Winton. For most of the morning, fog and water patches covered the track. Now this doesn't inspire confidence when 30 or so drivers - ranging from first timers to hardcore racers - are all sharing the track at the one time.

But luckily, the weather warmed up as the day progressed ...

And with that so did our performance...

All three drivers got some decent track time - despite the on track congestion, which at times could only be avoided by a quick break away on the straights.

The car performed extremely well throughout the day with a slight exception of the occasional fuel surge while taking the right hand turn leading onto the main start/finish straight - but that should be easily fixed with surge tank.

Overall, a great day!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pleasant Surprise...

The STi's currently running the standard ECU, which from factory is tuned to run on 100ron fuel.
Unfortunately for us, the highest rating pump fuel we've got available is Shell's 98 octane V-Power fuel. So we've resulted in using Martini Racing Track Octane Booster to ensure the car's running at an optimum level.

To my surprise, I received a call from the advertising manager of the Impreza WRX Club informing me that I had won 25Lts of Martini Super Turbo 1400 Racing Fuel for participating at their Calder Park track day!

The Super Turbo 1400 Racing Fuel, diluted with normal 98ron, will see a boost in an octane up to 110ron!! However it will only be diluting enough litres per tank to bring the octane level to 100-102! Happy Days!!

A big Thank You to the Impreza WRX Club & Martini Racing for sponsoring the club sprint days!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kodak Moments

Hi Bloggers!

Soo..I dabble in photography. I enjoy it and always take up opportunities to do new things and practice old ones. But I never thought of motorsport-photography, until I was asked along to the Calder Park track day with the guys.

I thought, what the heck!

So I did some research on techniques and looked at some photos and websites to get an idea of what I'd signed myself up for. It looked simple enough, but of course it's always different reading something as opposed to putting it into practise.

And having never done any motorsport-photography by the time the Calder track day came around, I was admittedly a little apprehensive.

Again, I thought, what the heck!

I charged my battery, packed up my Nikon D80, a new 8GB SD card (and of course a backup one in case I ran out of photos! I didn't) and my VR 18-200 lens then I was good to go. (What I had really needed to pack was lunch and a lot of ice-water and ice cream... Maybe even a mini freezer... It was a really hot day! But I digress...)

So I signed up as an official and got my totally cool fluro yellow jacket and went out to one of the corners on the race track. And...
*Click* *Click* *Click*

At the end of the day, I had some 800 photos of cars! Then it hit me- the work wasn't over. After spending close to 7 hours out at Calder Park, the amount of work that lay ahead of me was akin to the Titanic! It was daunting, to say the least. Despite that, I buckled down and got to work. Deleting unwanted photos and editing the ones that were left. I think with some brutal cutting down I had a decent two-hundred-and-something photos. Not bad!

I think I'll definitely do it again, if for nothing else, then to improve!

For more photos check out:

Or my DeviantART account:

Alright! Procrastination session over - back to study!


Friday, April 30, 2010

Winton Test & Tune

After a not so successful first outing (due to AFM failure), we decided to have another crack at Winton. This time at one of their Test & Tune track days.

Upon arrival we were surprised to find less than a dozen sport sedans and a few Formula Fords. However no complaints were heard from us especially considering we had three drivers sharing the one car and needed as much track time as we can possibly get.

The Subaru ran strongly throughout the course of the day. For a fairly standard car it drives quite well. However suspension, exhaust and ECU modifications are on the cards.

Overall it was quite an interesting day with a couple of amazing machines present including a Rally Spec Subaru Impreza STi and a Maserati GT3 coupe!

All whom had teams of mechanics with trailers of tools and spare parts...We, on the other hand had a small tool box with a ratchet, wrench and a couple of old screw drivers! But we were content with what he had and ended up having an excellent day!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Winton Track Day

Having purely wanted to test the Subaru's reliability we journeyed out to Winton Raceway for the STi's debut...

Twice a year Winton runs a 'Fun Day' in which anyone above the age of 16 with a roadworthy car can jump into the drivers seat for some adrenaline packed fun in a safe-ish environment :-S

The day started off well with all temperatures reporting as per normal.

And with a wide variety of vehicles on track made it quite an interesting experience!!

However, the fun ran out during the third session with John in the passenger seat. A faulty AFM (airflow meter) had caused an ECU error which unfortunately ended our day very early.

So unfortunately John missed out from any track time that outing. And I can assure you that after traveling for more than 2 hours to get circuit, having car issues early in the day doesn't leave you in the best of moods!!

On the bright side though, once we replaced the faulty AFM the STi cleared all ECU error codes and ran better than it had previously.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

STi weight reduction

So the Team decided before we head out for our first track test session that a few minor modifications to help increase the vehicles performance were required. And the cheapest and easiest way of doing that is by making the car lighter! The STi from factory weighs in at 1270kgs which we hoped to bring down to approximately 1200kgs without major carbon fibre panel work or lexan racing windows.

So besides completing a minor mechanical service (oils & fluids), we got straight to work! Stripping the STi was relatively straight forward; a couple of screwdrivers, spanners, a little bit of pull and tug and there you have it, instant lightness :-D. Now we didn’t just settle on removing seats, carpets and door panels, we wanted to remove as much weight as possible.

We also figured if we remove the sound proofing in the car that would save around 10-15 kg, which was quite considerable. And after a little research we settled on using some dry ice. The dry ice would harden the sound proofing material and by using a hammer or rubber mallet it would break off fairly easy.

The whole car required 4-5 kgs of dry ice to get all the sound proofing off, all the way from the boot right down to foot wells. I did this job on a pretty hot day so that could’ve affected the cooling capacity of the dry ice, but if you’re quite quick and efficient you could probably get the job done using about 3 kgs.

All I did was place a couple of handfuls of dry ice, applied it directly on top of the soundproofing material and left it there for a few minutes till it hardened. Then with the hammer gave it a few hits and it just crumbled. Some of the glued down parts won’t come of so easily though, so you'll need to chisel those bits off.

Dry ice - boot

Now you’re not going to get a perfect finish when you’re done, there’ll be a few scuff marks and traces of glue here and there. But if you really want a clean finish there are a couple of options. One is you could sand down any traces of glue and re-paint the interior or the other option is to use paint thinners. I opted for the paint thinner option simply because I had some lying around in the garage. Just apply a little with a clean cloth to where the traces of glue are and after some vigorous wiping the job is done. Also make sure you’re not in an enclosed area when using the paint thinner. Have the car doors and windows open!!

10kgs of sound deadening


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In the beginning…

Last year I headed over to Japan for a two week holiday. I spent a good portion of the trip in Tokyo checking out the usual tourist sites with the exception of a visit to the odd car museum and workshop.

In the evenings I had the opportunity to tag along with my MX5 racing friend Tom to Daikoku Futo where cars enthusiasts gather to show-off their cars, which are tuned for looks and performance. On the final day of my trip, I got up early and went to the world famous Tsukuba Circuit, about an hour and half drive from Tokyo.

Along the way Tom mentioned that a few foreigners residing in Japan had formed a race team TGRacing, purchased a Honda Prelude and were slowly building it into an endurance race car. Now this got me thinking, could I possibly replicate the same back home?!? Now unfortunately the price of sports cars in the Australian market are no where near as cheap as what they are in Japan! So this left me with the obvious option of sourcing a vehicle from Japan and importing it for race duties.

I raised the idea of forming a team with a few friends who shared my interest in Motorsports and after 6 months of ‘ummmmming’ and ‘errrringgg’ we decided it was the right time to buy! So after a quick call to Kristian from Iron Chef Imports the search was on for a Subaru Impreza WRX STi GC8.

Well now you might be thinking why import an STi?!? Why not import an RX7, EVO, MX5 or even a GTR and build that into a race car! This is simply because we had a set criterion of the following: 4WD, turbo-charged and something which parts could be easily sourced or repaired at reasonable prices. However when it came to crunch time, the GC8 STi presented the best value for money and came in slightly under our budget.

The whole car importing ‘process’ really taught me a lesson or two about patience :-S

All up, it took three months. Two months to source the vehicle and another month for shipping and the release from customs/quarantine.

So there you have it! One Subaru Impreza WRX STi Version 6 in the rare cashmere yellow (would’ve preferred the Blue or Gunmetal Grey but oh well yellow it is ;-)

Stay tuned for the various build updates, track outings and general team news!


The Team: Andrew, John, Mike & Mary