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