Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Be an Ambassador

Chances are if you're reading this blog, you like Subarus.  Recently, Subaru introduced a new initiative recognizing owner loyalty and brand advocacy called the "Subaru Ambassador Program".  The quick summary is this: if you're already a fan of Subaru and like promoting this brand, you're just a quick online form away from being recognized as a Subaru Ambassador.  You'd be provided information and Subaru Gear items to share with others.  Owners are invited to take part in Subaru events and unique experiences so they can connect with others and enhance their relationship with the Subaru brand.  Ambassadors can share activities, ideas, and social media posts with Subaru on a monthly basis while receiving exclusive gear to keep and share!

I'll be learning more about the program through my fellow owners, so I'm excited to learn more about it and spread the word about this great program!

Shedding Weight

IMG_7757IMG_7930I've been working on my 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe for awhile now.  From the brink of a cancerous death and stuttering heart problems to a facelift and motor transplant, this rust bucket has come a long way since I picked it up in September of 2013.  However, I haven't been easy on the car even while repairing and improving it.  It's my rallycross car!

IMG_7937At a recent NRSCCA Rallycross event, I was sharing the wheel with a good friend slinging Nebraska clay around the I-80 Speedway.  Conditions were a little tricky that day, as the sticky clay was contrasted by the slippery grass and weeds on some corners.  My co-driver went a little wider than planned on an opposite-lock-inducing turn.  The car jumped and bumped through the dirt clod ridden field but we made it through and finished the rest of the run with his best time of the day yet.  As we pulled into line to have another go, one of the course workers said "Nice run, but you're missing your bumper!"  My co-driver and I laughed it off like a joke until I looked in my rearview mirror.  I could only see the upper fender, not the edge of my rear bumper.  I opened the door and leaned out further.  I turned to my co-driver and said "Well, he isn't wrong."

We stepped out of the car and just laughed.  The whole bumper had been ripped clean off of the back of the RS.  Sure enough, a corner worker walked up from the course with a big silver bumper, still intact.  We continued the rest of the runs that day making jokes with everyone about "on course modifications" and if we were now in a different class for weight reduction.  It's only partly the fault of my co-driver, as the bumper didn't have much holding it on.  Instead of 18 plastic clips it should've had from the factory 15 years ago, this RS bumper was being held on by 4 clips and 3 Zip Ties.  The edge caught on the debris and, once it broke free, there wasn't much else to stop the rest of it from breaking off.  It'll get repaired and re-installed, but it was a good laugh among some great runs at rallycross.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Tornado Bowl

The Nebraska Region SCCA hosted a 2-day Rallycross event over the weekend that was a ton of fun!  While I was only able to make it to the 2nd day, I still had a lot of fun with my RS Coupe in the dirt.  Recent rain had made the Nebraska clay pretty sticky but, with lots of grass and weeds growing on the site, grip levels could quickly change.  When you weren't on the moist clay, the matted down grass and weeds made for slippery corners, so it was difficult gauging grip levels on the first few runs.  Turnout was lower than the other events I had attended this year, but the drivers were all top-notch!

My co-driver for the event was a fellow RS owner whom I have known for awhile.  He made the 2-hour trip down to help me sling this Coupe through the dirt and we had a great time as usual.  While he's a talented driver, we both tend to make mistakes sometimes.  However, instead of getting frustrated with less-than-ideal situations, we laugh and have a good time with it.  Whether we nailed an awesome time or spent up precious seconds going sideways dodging a cone, it was grins and laughs and fun times the whole day.

A testament to that fun happened when my co-driver was going a tad wide in a long turn through some deep weeds and dirt.  We made it through the run without too much of a fight but were quickly notified once we arrived at the pits that we were missing our rear bumper.  We laughed and assumed it was a joke until we saw one of the corner workers carrying a silver bumper cover up the hill.  The clips and zip ties had snapped when the bumper was tugged off in that wide turn and, amidst all the fun, we didn't even realize we had lost it!  It should be an easy fix to get back on and, in true rallycross fashion, we refitted the RS with the bumper again with some more zip ties to get it home.

For the event, my RS Coupe was sporting 50% of the rally livery that was planned.  We ran out of vinyl and time this weekend and couldn't complete the look just yet, but we'll finish things up once another roll of dark gray 3M Vinyl arrives.  The stripes on the passenger front and the panel on the drivers rear side were complete and looked great!  Now we just need to mirror those sides and wrap it up... literally!

Aside from a Miata, a VW Beetle, and a Mitsubishi EVO, the rest of the field was dominated by a familiar brand to rallycross.  Subarus were in force at the event and, much to my surprise, mostly older models too!  There's certainly a rally heritage with Subaru, so it's not unusual to see many of them at events like this.  Perhaps it was due to the thinner turnout, but there was definitely a strong Subaru showing at this event!

While the typical June humidity made for a sweaty event, everything ran smoothly with the entire event.  The NRSCCA has a great rallycross program and it's been a lot of fun being more involved with it this year.  It's also been more fun seeing other newer drivers taking the reigns and getting hooked on it!  It not only helps this sport grow, but also reminds seasoned drivers of the spark and excitement they had when they started out.

Friday, June 12, 2015

RS Revival: Livery Progress

UntitledGetting this car ready for the next Rallycross has been tricky.  In order to get things squared away with the look of this car, we had to get everything nailed down with the body.  No more rust.  If we didn't get every inch of it, the vinyl would just be in vain and need to be removed.  That's not an option, so I've been trying to be as careful as possible getting rid of it all.

I spent much of Throwback Thursday working on my 15-year-old project car.  RalliTek endlinks on the front, repaired the rocker panel metal, camber adjustments in the rear for the rally tires, it was a busy day.  The progress is really coming along nicely, but the clock is ticking down quickly.  The event is two days away, and we only have the front passenger side done!

UntitledAs with the Plasti-Dip Livery I had done before, the dark gray vinyl is strategically hiding the portions of the body that we had repaired.  In fact, the Plasti-Dip was intended to serve as a temporary way to see how the look I envisioned on this car would work out, so it's good to finally have a more permanent design going on the car.  It will take a small miracle to get this car's look done before the event like I had originally planned but, regardless, it'll get done and look great!