Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Rally of the Tall Pines

The 2014 Rally of the Tall Pines in Bancroft, Ontario was the last event in the Canadian Rally Championship. Although we only made it out for the Golton stage and last service it was awesome to see how the pros drive the course we know and love from the MLRC rallycross series. We'll definitely be back next year, making sure to be there bright and early and not miss any of the action.

Choosing Winter Tires For Rallycross

If there's anything I've learned from racing for four years, it's that tires mean everything. So after getting our feet wet in rallycross on some cheap Nexen snows we found on Kijiji, we decided to do it properly for this winter season.

Because we had to buy one set of tires that would be legal for all clubs we plan to race at, we were limited to non-studded tires, and because we're not a sponsored rally team we could not spend $300/each on race tires. Lastly, it had to be a tire that was readily available in the US or Canada.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Skid Plate

I often see people interested in getting into rallycross asking whether they should run a skid plate. You may get away without one at some events, but for events like the MLRC rallycross, I would say that it's an absolute must-have. The shape of ours after just several events speaks for itself.

ABS Switch

After a couple of rallycrosses we have come to the conclusion that the ABS on our Impreza is pretty useless on loose surfaces, so we decided to fabricate a switch.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rally Wagon Goes On A Diet

We decided that we need a way to mount a GoPro inside the car to film our impeccable driving technique try and figure out why we are so unbelievably slow. The only reasonable option was an adhesive mount on the ceiling, which meant the headliner needed to come off. And in order for the headliner to come off, all the interior trim bits needed to come off. Along with the carpets, naturally. So our wagon went on a bit of a diet...

Pile of interior parts

Adding Some Bling

The one disadvantage of co-owning a car is not being able to agree on what colour the wheels should be. The ricer in me I was set on obnoxious green, while Danil wanted orange to match his WRX. In the end we agreed to disagree and settled for the Subaru cliche gold. Bought a can of Dupli-Color gold for a tenner and went for it! In the end it actually turned out much better than we expected it to, and nothing like the cap of the can which was a relief. And no, that's not overspray on the tires - it's mud. Because rally car.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

MLRC Rallycross (Sept 29)

For some reason my race calendar said there would be an autocross in Picton on the 29th of September. I had the Miata all ready to go, and good thing I double checked online – the Autocross was actually on the following weekend. Lucky for me there was a rallycross happening in Bancroft on the 29th. Quick change of plans (and cars), a phone call to my partner in crime, and we were on our way to Bancroft.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Truck Duty

The beauty of a wagon race car is that it doubles as a truck when you need it. Here it is getting some wheels and tires over to the shop for mounting. That's 8 tires in a 225/45/17 size in the trunk with room to spare!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CNY Rallycross At Last

The first time we tried driving down to a rallycross in the US, the event got cancelled. However we decided to try the next event, and couldn't be happier that we gave it a second chance. The organizers were extremely apologetic for not updating the site early enough about the cancellation, and we quickly forgot all about it and got down to racing. Still, every time a fellow competitor introduced themselves we got an "ah, you must be those Canadians who drove down the other week".

Thursday, April 3, 2014

New Goodies

The plan with the car was to drive it on the current motor, and slowly gather the parts we need for the swap. Among the parts we needed were a WRX hood with a scoop for the intercooler, a wiring harness and ECU, a WRX front crossmember to fit the motor, and a WRX clutch and flywheel to handle the extra power. We've decided to keep the gearbox from the Impreza as, contrary to popular belief, it's just as strong as the one found in the WRX but has the extra advantage of a slightly shorter final drive ratio (4.11 vs 3.9 of the WRX) for better acceleration. The gearing is probably one of the main reasons why our Impreza feels faster off the line than my friend's WRX of the same generation.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


My first experience driving down to The States for a race didn't turn out to be a great one. After driving to Weedsport, staying overnight at a local hotel, and arriving at the venue we found out that the event was cancelled because there was "too much snow and mud". Only pre-registered participants got notified via SMS, while the information on the web site didn't get updated till the day of the race. Lesson learned - when driving 3 hours to an event, pre-register and make damn certain it hasn't been cancelled.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Off To The Races

It's funny that just a month after watching Ryan Symancek's series 'My Life as a Rallyist' we're off to the States for a rallycross at the exact same venue Ryan attended in the series, driving pretty much the same car.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Preventative Maintenance

In one of the previous posts I've mentioned that we had surprisingly little to do on the car despite it's high mileage... What I really meant to say was "I had surprisingly little to do". There was a coolant hard line that ran between the engine block and the intake manifold that looked very rusty and in dire need of replacement.

JDM V7 STi Seats

Our first rallycross proved just how unsupportive the side bolsters of the stock Impreza seats were... Who am I kidding, we just wanted to justify some JDM bling and found some V7 STi seats at a price we couldn't resist.

First Rallycross

Less than a month from the day we bought the car was the date of our first rallycross - Round 2 of the MLRC Rallycross in Bancroft. It didn't give us much time to prepare, but the car needed surprisingly little. Only problems we spotted were a couple torn boots - one on a tie rod and one on a CV shaft, which we quickly replaced. We flushed all fluids, and moved onto what was really necessary - mud flaps and a skid plate!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Car

The next few months continued with myself and my friend spending way too much time digging through classifieds listings, looking for any Subaru that would be cheap, and wouldn't have too much rust. It didn't even have to have a working engine, as we had one from an '03 WRX we were going to swap in anyways. But the task ended up more challenging than we thought.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Search

Welcome to a blog / build journal about our '02 Subaru Impreza TS nicknamed the Rally Wagon. From near scrap to glory, with a fair share of bumps and laughs along the way. That's the plan anyway.