Monday, July 2, 2007

Track Day Arrives...and it's Over

It seems like it went that fast. Months of prep to get ready and two days before I hear a huge exhaust leak coming from the uppipe area of the car. I figure it is the uppipe to turbo gasket, because we had to do some creative things to get it to fit the first time due to a misaligned stud. One email to Nate over at BPM and I was able to pick up my warranty uppipe the next afternoon. I also got new gaskets from Jon over at Flatirons Tuning while I had him inspect the car for track day. It was going to be a long night pulling that uppipe out and replacing it. In reality it only took a few hours to replace the pipe which was not the problem at all. Turns out the plug I had used to fill the EGT bung hole on the uppipe blew out. I installed the new pipe anyways simply because it fit much better than the old one. I got to bed at a decent hour and tried my hardest to be well rested for the next day.

I arrived at the track about 8:15am and quickly unpacked the car and set up my pop-up tent for some shade. The track day was sponsored by Subaru of America, Flatirons Subaru/Flatirons Tuning, and Go4It Racing Schools. It was held at the Colorado State Patrol Training Track in Golden Colorado. It's a fairly basic track, good for beginners, but still seemed to offer a challenge to the more experienced drivers in the group. We had about 60 cars total, all Subaru's. Everything from mostly stock GC bodies to a 488whp STi driven by Scuba Steve (who is a maniac by the way!) The morning part of the day was mostly instruction and lectures on safety, basic track rules, and the basics of a racing line and car dynamics. We were able to follow the instructors around the track a a low speed to find the correct line and get familiar with the track. Lunch was provided by the sponsors and after a quick break we were split into three groups and went out on the track in 20 minute sessions.

The aggressive group were people who had experience on a race track and were comfortable pushing their car to the limits. The medium group had drivers that were confident in their driving skill and maybe has some experience on a track before. I chose to go out in the slow poke group since I had never driven that car very hard before, nor had I ever been on a road course racetrack before. In retrospect, I could have been in the medium group with no problems, I felt like I was pushing some of the other drivers a bit harder then they wanted to go at times. Let me say this road racing is addictive! I couldn't get enough seat time just trying to push the car harder, brake later, and carry more speed around the track lap after lap.

I got the car loose a time or two, which felt surprisingly good since I had never tested the limits of the car before. It's good to see exactly what it will do and the warnings the car gives you before it starts to lose grip. I learned quite a bit about myself and the car during the open sessions. I learned that I don't even come close to driving that car at the limit on the street. That is probably a very good thing because the Leg is fast! Being able to really push it in a controlled environment gave me a lot of confidence going back to the street. Also being able to watch some really good drivers make me look like a child out there gave me some perspective. That I need to get more seat time!

The day ended about 6pm with a few broken cars and a lot of burnt rubber and hot brakes. I am glad to report the Legacy performed in top notch shape the entire time. I was watching my temp gauge and it never really got hot even though it was 80 degrees plus outside. Brakes were awesome, didn't fade a bit even after 20 minutes of hard use. I did find a couple of leaks afterward in my XVR pipe connections, I'm guessing it was either from the extreme heat of constant boost or I forgot to tighten them all the way after the uppipe install. Either way, it was a small problem that didn't rear its head until after the track day was over.

I have to thank Jon Cooley at Flatirons Tuning for all his hard work setting this day up, and for such a great price! Also, thank yous should go out to Go4It Racing Schools and Michael Pettiford for his patience and instruction. Lastly thank you to Subaru of America for helping to keep the costs down for all the racers. Everyone I talked to had a great time!

Stay Tuned! Next Blog we'll get back to doing car modifications. I have my intercooler sprayer to get going, and I want to mount my AccessPORT so I can take advantage of it's live data and performance tests.

2 comments:

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Taylor said...

Long shot, but would you be interested in selling your STi turbo gauge pack? I have been looking high and low for one, and obviously with no success. Like I said, long shot. Thanks.