IW STi Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, all.

I had a chance this Saturday to track my stock STi at Thunderhill, north of Sacramento.

I was the only Subie, not to mention lone STi.

The rest were made up of a handful of euro sedans, Porsches, quite a few Corvettes, S2000's, Supras, and quite a few Evo's. There's one sick Ultima and a souped up Viper GTS, which were the fastest things that day.

I went with the novice group, never having done a track event before.

The training sessions were pretty basic and fast. I was lucky since my good friend was an instructor at this event in his lightly modified Evo.

After reading about tracking STi's I was a little worried about the break pad wear and brakes heating up as well as clumping on my tires.

Earlier in the week, before heading up I'd taken my friend's advice and had my alignment checked to make sure things were at least stock kosher (no off stock alignment settings). This would supposedly eliminate any abnormal tire wear or clumping after hard driving.

After listening to flag rules, safety rules, and passing rules, we were eager to get going and on the course.

Our first session started behind an instructor in a pack of about four of us, learning to follow his line at a very easy pace. The last lap is a bit harder. To me it seems very fast. Afterwards, my friend is telling the other instructors that the laps were supposed to be show, with the last lap at the same speed a cool down lap. So much for what I considered fast.

Subsequently, we got to ride with the more experienced drivers and quickly learned what fast actually was.

Depending on the car and driver you got a different experience, but the lines were the trick. You got to learn the lines and different tricks to keep speed and shave seconds off here and there.

By the end of the day, I'd been through about 5 or 6 sessions can't remember. Each session is about 30 minutes long and you do as many laps as you can.

The STi does very well. We're able to be the fastest out of the novices, passing M3s, Vettes, and Porsches, etc. Very neat feeling.

My friend's EVO gets driven quite a bit by the other instructors. In common to all their comments is that it's an amazing machine.

One of the instructors takes it for 2:04 time, which is really impressive it seems. My friend is new to the track and manages a 2:12.

But the neatest thing was when I took my fiiend for a ride at the end of the day so he could give me tips on my driving. He'd never ridden in an STi before either.

In the first corner he says, "Wow."

It seems the STi pulls quite hard compared to his Evo, which we know. But he's also very impressed with the stock handling.

And though my transponder records aren't printed up at the end of the day, someone trailing me tracked a 2:19, so they think I got at least that if not better. We'll see from the website.

I think the best times that day were around 1:55 though, from either the Ultima or one of the gutted and souped up S2000s.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and I'm definitely going to do it again. I don't think I need to do all the mods and such, but just try to improve my own times in my stock STi.

Thought some here might want to know what it was like.

-Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
excellent report, Steve.. I've never been to the track before, but am quite interested to find out more about it. what do you mean by "at least at stock kosher"? I know nothing about racing. Initially I planned to use my STi for boarding and other outdoor activities, but now seems to waste its unreal performance. =) thanks..btw..my car has 1015 miles and going 8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
World's Fastest Production Pickup Truck - New Title Holder!

Thanks for the feedback.

Yes, I'm really interested in promoting STi's at track days here in the Bay Area. My good friend is an Evo driver and there were many of them out there.

I'd like to see that with our STi's :)

Besides, you can't imagine just how fun it is to drive your STi to the limit (or any car for that matter) until you get it to a track where you really can make it roar and squeal. It's awesome.

Underneath my helmet I was smiling ear to ear during every session.

As for being "stock kosher," I was referring to alignment settings, which can be set to be more aggressive with camber and toe in, etc. (I don't know about all that stuff, others here would know better).

But I just kept my alignment settings to stock.

Boarding is great, of course, but it's worth it for everyone to try at least one track day.

I had a great experience.

If you have an itch, don't let your STi sit in the garage or at 65 mph on the street. Get it out to the track, let it run. (Someplace safe and legal, preferably :).

Anyone who's interested, you're welcome to send me your questions. I can tell you which group I went with, where we went, costs, etc. With a little background info, you can make your own choices that fit what you want to do.

Cool. I'll give more feedback soon in terms of mods and such, having seen what's at the track, etc.

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
As for tracking mods for me....

in a nutshell, I'm pretty certain that I'll keep the car close to stock.

The power/weight ratio in the car is more than enough to pull on nearly every stock car out there. The only things I might do are:

1. Racing brake pads and brake fluid.
2. A set of slicks (tires that are designed for tracks)
3. At most advanced, I might do some "lightening" and reducing the weight of my car.

And that's about it.

I'll see how the handling and cornering changes at that point and how much more aggressive I can be with my braking, though I believe even with my stock pads, I as the driver was not taking it to the limit. I was giving up before the brakes were, but still, I've read that the STi pads could be replaced and it's a VERY inexpensive change.

Tires are clearly one of the most important things to fast tracking, so I'll invest in those.

Apparently, a good set of R-compound tires will get you another few seconds on most tracks and slicks will give a few more on top of that, so I think that's definitely worth it.

But the rest of it (turbos, exhaust changes, remapping, etc.) is pretty complicated for me. I'm not that smart around cars, and I do want to keep my car street legal (especially in California).

So, I'm happy to keep it stock for the time being. I'm really just racing myself and no one else, so....

Anyways, out for now :)

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
542 Posts
Steve, is it that easy to sign up?? I want to join up one of these days @ Thunderhill. Please let me know how to get started, thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Sure,

There are many groups as I mentioned before just do a search through any of the tracks in California.

The group I went with is called SpeedVentures.net, you can check their website.

Sign-up was easy, online and I just showed up. You need to read the FAQ for what you need to bring and be ready for.

The only thing that you might not have already is a regulation helmet. I was lucky enough to be able to borrow my friend's roomate's helmet, which worked great. This is all in the FAQ.

Some other advice I may have written already, but given by my friend was that it's a good idea to make sure your car alignment is good before you head up. If alignment is off, you could potentially chunk your tires pretty bad, essentially ruining your tires in one day of tracking, which I can't imagine is good in any situation. I had mine checked (no changes so it was free), and my tire wear was great, no problems at all.

I ended up driving up there the night before and getting one of the many motels there. There are plenty and you can get a good rate (<$50/night for two people).

Many groups go to Thunderhill. Their rules may differ, so make sure you check ahead.

One thing also, I did get my times back and I'm really happy. My userid there is Godolfin and my times are listed under the 7 February 2004 Thunderhill session.

My best track time at T.Hill was 2:15, which I'm pretty proud of considering it was my first track experience ever, and it was just me and the little stock STi. Honestly, I think it was mostly the STi since it just does what I want. I can't complain over the performance.

Good luck and if you want any more information just let me know!

The more STi's the better!

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
White/Gold here..
How many used their free SCCA membership??
I did and go to the AutoX's with it.
Good way to learn car's limits.
Lots of fun too! Should try a track day at Laguna some day too!!

Next autoX is on feb 22nd, at Oakland Coll. prkg lot.

fees are up this year to $30.(must be member scca to race)

That is the only place i ever see any STI's..(3 to 6)
We run against EVO's and Z06 vetts mostly.
The STI's took 1 thru 4 last time i went..we did well!
Try it sometime..you'll be hooked like me!

cya....jim

______________________________________________________

DRIVE IT LIKE A RENTAL!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
542 Posts
Great! Thanks for the info. Also, I might check out this weekends AutoX in Oakland.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Some STi observations from Japan

Track days can be intimmidating to go to, but get over it and do it! Once you have done one, you will wonder what you were worried about. I haven't taken my STI (still in break in) out yet but I have a much abused 'Vette that has seen a wee bit of track time.

Reccomendation: Don't go too silly with mods if it is going to be your daily driver. I replaced the front A arm bushings in my vette with Delrin/aluminum bushings and the real control arms bushings with heim joints. After that my wife wouldn't drive or ride in my car.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top