Tuesday, November 4, 2014

RS Revival: Rear End Sealed Up!

Just days before the Rallycross event held on November 2nd, the RS was not looking like it was race-ready!  Thanks to the help of Russ' Garage and MT Heads, we rebuilt both rear quarter panels on this coupe in time to compete.  It wasn't easy, especially considering how bad the passenger side rust was.  However, because we re-used metal from the damaged fender when the RS struck a deer back in October, following the fender lines wasn't all that hard to do.

IMG_4116They did an awesome job welding and rebuilding the fenders.  The passenger side saw the worst rust, so there was a lot to replace there.  Once the metal was in, we used body filler and smoothed out each side.  Then we used seam sealer to follow along each new panel line to block out mother nature.  After the body filler had been sanded over, we went over all of the new metal with self-etching primer, some silver paint, and closed it all up.

Instead of trying to blend factory paint together, the silver paint underneath was simply put down for graphics to stick to.  Right now, the RS has a quick Plasti-Dip job over each fender to cover it up until some rally-esque vinyl graphics can be put on.

The rest of the photos can be seen in the gallery below!

Monday, November 3, 2014

RS Reborn!!

Earlier this season, this '00 Impreza Coupe was struggling to put power down with these grippy tires because of a hurting engine.  I've loved the transformation this car has gone through in just over a year, but I really feel like the last few months have completely changed the car.  At the heart of this change was the heart: a rebuilt 2.5 liter N/A H4 motor out of a 2001 Impreza 2.5 RS, and it's this power that has breathed new life into the car.  There's an obvious difference between the June Bugs Rallycross and the last Points event that was just held on November 2nd.  It's not just something felt by the driver, but reflected in the times with the car, too!

At this event, the RS had two drivers.  The cone-smashing gate-missing newbie driving was done under #4 (me) while the time-attack champion driving was done under #14.  One of my good friends, who also owns a '01 Impreza RS Sedan, co-drove in this car and did a fantastic job wringing results out lap after lap.  He won the Prepared AWD class and came in 5th overall!  I learned a lot riding shotgun with him and it was fun seeing what the car was capable of without having to deal with my noobish driving.  I improved my own driving throughout the day, but was no match for his cone-hugging skills!

Once the dust had settled and the medals had been handed out, I took the RS out for a few more runs around the course.  A Legacy, WRX, Escort, and Miata joined me for some "Fun Runs" as I tried to improve my times.  54 and 52 second runs were quickly replaced by consistent 49 second times, and even a 47 before we called it a day.  I was quite happy with the adjustments made to my driving!

One of the workers at the RallyX noted "Every time I see you two come in after a run, you're both smiling and laughing".  That pretty much summed up our day in the dirt!  We both had a lot of fun throwing this car into turns and kicking up dirt into the crisp November air!  For me, the satisfaction came from having such a solid performance out of the car.  Having my co-driver mop the floor with my times showed me that the limitations aren't something I need to fix with t the RS... but just being a better driver myself.  It will be more fun improving my abilities behind the wheel instead of hoping the car is capable of performing.  It was a great finish to the 2014 Rallycross season for the NRSCCA and now, thanks to this event, I'm itching to have another go at it for next year!

See more pictures at GotCone.com