Track Fantasy (Subaru Impreza WRX)

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A chance encounter which changed the owner’s life for good. While shopping for a suitable car for his wife, the dealer casually slipped in an offer that no petrolhead can refuse, an imported JDM-spec car that was never registered for road use in Singapore.

Glad to know that we’re not the only ones who browse through the Japanese car auctions on Facebook during our free time! Being a huge Subaru fan, the dusty car finally could see the light as it was towed straight to BMS Motorsports Pte Ltd for the extensive deconstruction.

Imagine the surprise that the staff had on the day they first saw this car being delivered to the shop. Being a loyal BMS customer for the past 10 years, they have been working on his cars ranging from the bug-eye to the hawk-eye. One must not discount the joy of tearing into the car and removing almost everything that isn’t needed. Yes, the dashboard remains for the sake of having a spot to mount the important dials and gauges, but under the plastic shell, it was gutted down to the bone. A lightweight shell is every racer’s dream starting point.

For a car that is meant to be flogged on the track, safety was the most paramount improvement operation of all. A multi point roll cage, racing seats, five-point harness and other safety items such as a fire extinguisher were fitted. One peculiar omission from the strippage was the power windows. Yes, the plexiglass windows can be cranked down with electric power – where on earth can one find a manual hand crank window for a GC Impreza WRX?

There is one universal rule in performance cars: HP and Nm numbers are only as good as the handling. The roll cage, other than protecting the driver in case of a roll-ever, does double duty by keeping the chassis taught with minimal flex. The stock suspension made way for the APi Racing Type RS-R coilovers with higher spring weight as well as heavier damping oil.

To further fine-tune the car’s behaviour in the corners, were the work of new adjustable suspension components. The Hardrace rear adjustable arms, front control arms with a full set of pillow ball bushings allowed for more precise adjustment of the wheel geometries with very tight tolerances. No one likes geometry changes mid-corner!

Handling the new suspension geometry of a lower ride height, the Hardrace front control arms, roll center adjuster and adjustable tie rods were fitted to combat the degree of changes. Once again, the front end received a full pillowball bushing retrofit for that sharp steering feel. To finish off the overall suspension work, were thicker anti-roll bars to keep the light car from heaving over more than it should.

Stopping the maniacal ‘rex are massive API Racing Super Six calipers while the rear received the Super 4 upgrades with upsized rotors and track-specific pads to provide better braking all-round.

Maniacal? While many will prefer the power of the EJ25 of the later WRXes, the EJ207 in the GC was lighter, and it could be tuned to produce as much power as the EJ25. Building on the “overbuilt” nature of the EJ207, bolt on upgrades such as the defacto turbo swap – were accompanied by supporting modifications such as the stronger hoses and pipes, just to name a few!

More air, means more fuel to keep the air-fuel ratio from leaning out. That would be the job for the bigger injectors which were used to complement the higher airflow requirements. To keep everything from melting down, in went the upgraded cooling system which consisted of stronger coolant piping, more efficient aluminium radiator, and an oil cooler kit. Result: Water and oil reading in the high 80’s and 90’s celsius respectively, after a few hot laps around Sepang.

Being a privately-owned track car, the first stage of the car’s track life ended with an excursion during the API Racing Sepang Track Day gave the owner a chance to dance with his car through the corners, and relying on hand-down time-tested knowledge car setup up for its initial outing.

Describing his first track outing as a “bonding period”, he pushed it as hard as he could for about 10 laps at once just to get the feel of what could be improved, which he is certain that they will be major upgrades in time to come.

As of today, it is anyone’s guess of which WRX he will turn up in at BMS Motorsports for regular maintenance. Track cars need periodical maintenance as well, even if the car sits still for 300-ish days a year! Some of the issues include brake fluid moisture contamination as well as the little bit of water forming in the engine.

This car will also be making more appearances in local motorsports events, as he believes that each and every outing will form a deeper bond between him and his machine. Do keep a lookout for this mean machine at the next motorsports event!

P.S: As for his wife, she did get her own car eventually…

Subaru Impreza WRX STi GC8

Engine:
GDB 2.0 liter STi Engine
Walboro Fuel Pump
Deatschwerks 750cc injectors
Perrin Fuel Rails
Koyorad Aluminium Radiator
Perrin Turbo Inlet Hose
Cusco Engine/Transmission Mounts
JDM 6 Speed Gearbox
Ogura Twin Plate Clutch System
Blouch Dominator 1.5 XTR Turbo
Autronic Standalone ECU
Hyperflow Top Mount Intercooler
Plasma Racing Plug Coils
Trust PE TI-R Exhaust
Tomei Extractor / Uppipe / Downpipe
AEM Methanol Kit
Trust Intake System
HKS Racing BOV

Undercarriage:
APi Racing Customised Type RS-R Coilovers
AP Racing Front 6 Rear 4 Brakekits
Hardrace Rear Adjustable Arms with Pillowball Bushings (Complete Set)
Hardrace Front Control Arms Pillowball Bushings
Hardrace Roll Center Adjuster & Adjustable Tie Rods
Cusco Front & Rear Anti Roll bars

Interior:
Defi Boost Gauge
Defi Oil Temp Gauge
Defi Oil Press Gauge
Defi Water Temp Gauge
Defi CU2 Controller
Apexi AVCR Boost Controller

Exterior:
Driver cooling air intake
Plexiglass windows

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About Author

Always finding ways to keep his hands full, Krado loves to tinker with his car whenever he has the free time. Usually ends in tears or a multiple fluid facial.

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