Monday, March 17, 2014


Well, the first one is in the books!  The 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe that we've been working on since September was able to compete in it's first Rallycross competition.  The Nebraska Region SCCA put on "In Like A Lamb - Rallycross Points #2" on March 16th and the project car wasn't just there to take pictures this time.  In February, it was slated to participate in Rallycross Points #1, but a scheduling conflict after the event was postponed caused us to miss it, so #2 was really this car's first.

It was a first time for a few other drivers and cars, too!  In the company of fellow Subarus, the RS joined a new WRX and a "Rex Box" (Forester w/WRX swap) on the dirt track.  All three of us were learning as we went, and as the day progressed, our times improved.  Wheel-time paid off as each car started to chip away at the clock, sometimes even beating out other seasoned veterans on a run or two.

There were some great competitors out on the track for this event.  Not only in their ability behind the wheel, but the invaluable experience and advice they gave to some of the newer guns.  It's just a constant reminder that it's not just the cars that get me hooked on this, but the great people involved with it that have been so helpful.  One of my friends nabbed this great photo of "Aki" in his Legacy BC7 starting out with the RS in the background on it's way off the course.  He's been really helpful answering my questions, giving me tips, and helping this oblivious driver figure some things out.  He also used to drive a GC4, which I did an article on earlier, so it's kind of neat to see his current BC7 in the foreground with a similar Impreza in the background.  He's also been working with Russ' Garage, who have been instrumental in helping this RS get back on it's feet, so it's nice to have that sort of camaraderie.

When it was decided that the RS would go the Rallycross route, it was mostly because dirt driving seemed fun and that this rally-bred Impreza would shine best there.  I expected to enjoy it quite a bit, as I've had my fair share of fun on dirt and gravel with this car before.  Because the RS was in the second group to go through the course, I was able to watch and learn.  One of the veteran drivers was there with me pointing things out, answering my questions, and analyzing things just as I was while cars passed by.

One of the things I learned that really got my interest was how the track changed with each pass.  Because of the nature of off-road driving, every car is kicking up dirt from the track and redepositing it somewhere else.  Whether it was loose dirt to begin with or if it was hardpacked that just decided to let go, the levels of grip on the track are constantly changing.  The track you drive on for the first run is different the second time around, and it's interesting and exciting to tackle that challenge each time you get the go ahead.

All in all, I had a great experience with Rallycross and the car really felt like it was in it's element.  The RS even got a nickname: "Mailbox", due to the black postal-service lettering I used to mark the number and class on the side of the car.  Hands-down, this was the most fun I've had behind the wheel!

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