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RallySport Magazine May 2017

  • Text
  • Rally
  • Rallysport
  • Subaru
  • Championship
  • Drivers
  • Stages
  • Rallying
  • Toyota
  • Audi
  • Hyundai
The May 2017 issue of RallySport Magazine features: News / Regulars: * National Capital Rally preview * Vale: Timo Makinen * Five minutes with - Ross Tapper * Martin Holmes column * Photo of the month Feature stories: * Molly Taylor column * Head and neck safety * Subaru’s RS Challenge - a look back * Audi Magic - Dylan Turner’s Quattro S1 AP4 * A Kiwi in Argentina * A WRC hijacking in Sanremo Event reports: * WA Forest Rally - ARC 2 * Rally of Whangarei - NZRC 2 * Southern Rally - SARC 1 * Rally of Argentina - WRC 5 * Rally of Portugal - WRC 6 * Mitta Mountain Rally

RETROSPECTIVE: SUBARU RS

RETROSPECTIVE: SUBARU RS CHALLENGE team caravan for a feed of team cook Neil Rodgers’ best spaghetti bolognese and reflected on the day with Cody Crocker and Dean Herridge, the team set to work readying the car for Heat 2. New front brake discs were fitted, as was a new air filter, and the car was given a wheel alignment. After a wash and a new set of Pirelli KM4 tyres for the front, we put the car into overnight parc ferme and headed back to the motel, happy with our day and eager to hit the forests again for Heat 2. DAY 2 Heavy rain during the night ensured that Sunday’s stages would be wet and slippery, and sure enough, South Australia’s winter weather threw everything it could at us in Heat 2. Rain, fog, mud and sunshine all made their presence felt during the day. We started the day in good form, feeling more ‘in sync’ from the outset and confident of a similar result to Heat 1. And while our stage times were respectable, it quickly became obvious that the guys going for prizemoney and championship points had turned the wick up considerably. The Impreza RS continued to perform faultlessly, but as the day wore on I became more aware that it was my lack of pacenoting experience that was costing us the most time. Even when the notes say “flat over crest” it really is difficult to hold your foot flat to the floor when you can see gum trees on the other side. It’s simply a confidence issue, but the fact that we needed to return the car straight was also having a bearing. The wet weather was also seeing us take a conservative approach to braking distances and again, if you were prepared to take the risks, it was easy to see where you could make up considerable time. Throughout the day the car only needed regular servicing, and it was with much delight that we crossed the finish of the final stage and then drove over the podium and posed for photographs with our beaming Subaru team. It had been a wonderful experience and 10 th place among the Impreza RS crews on Sunday was again a pleasing result. If nothing else, it had proved to me that the Impreza RS makes a brilliant one-make series car, and that the series is going to produce some stars of the future. In reflection we were more than happy with our results, and I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t like another opportunity in the car to put into practice some of things we learned over the course of the weekend. More pacenoting experience would certainly help on the driving side of the equation, while playing around with ride heights, spring rates and tyre pressures could all help make the car faster. Rest assured, the guys at the front of the Subaru Rally Challenge field are talented, and the commitment at which they are driving should never be underestimated. - PETER WHITTEN, 2005 Driving impressi Okay, so I was given a free drive of Subaru’s media car in South Australia, so you could perhaps expect that I’m going to give a glowing report on the Impreza RS car that is used in the ARC’s one-make series. And while that would be correct, the superlatives I’m about to give the RS has certainly got nothing to do with Subaru loyalty or as a pay back for receiving the drive. At no time was I given directives about what Subaru wanted in return, nor were there ever any team orders given. “We have three objectives for our drivers at each event,” head technician Sam Hill told us before the start. “Firstly, have fun. Second, try and keep the car straight, and thirdly, our aim is to finish in the top 10 at the end of each Heat.” Thankfully we achieved all three of the objectives, but the competitiveness of the series means that a motoring journo without rallying experience would struggle to finish in the top 10, as Neil Crompton found out in Tasmania. Testing in the wet, it only took about 15km for me to decide that a little more power would be nice. The car hits the rev limiter at 6200rpm, but throughout the weekend that was only possible in first, second and third gear. The ‘sweet spot’ is anywhere between 3000 and 6000rpm. A lack of power or not, everyone is in the same boat so you just have to drive around it. That’s not to say that the cars aren’t fun to drive though. There is ample power to build up 22 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - MAY 2017

ons: Subaru Impreza RS momentum and make it enjoyable to drive, and the only occasions when you think the lack of power could get you into trouble is when you’re sliding wide on a corner and you don’t have enough grunt to pull you out of it. I guess the definitive answer is not to go wide! Similarly, it’s not easy to ‘chuck’ the car into a tight corner and be confident that the car will have enough power to keep the slide going and pull you out of the corner. On many occasions I found myself changing down a gear mid corner, but left-foot braking (which I didn’t do) may help this. Even so, series leader Darren Windus reported that he regularly dips the clutch to keep the engine revs up. The Impreza also takes a long time to build up speed on long straights. Even on a straight of around 1km in length on the event the car only topped around 160km/h, and it took some time to get there. Many would say, however, that this is more than fast enough! Handling is one of the Impreza’s strong points. The car is really a neutral handling beast and I found it had no real tendencies to oversteer or understeer. The neutral handling makes the car really ‘catchable’ if you happen to slide wide or overstep the mark. The combination of the Pirelli tyres and the DMS suspension seem to work a treat. The brakes on the car are fantastic, and it’s hard to believe that there is no brake bias valve fitted. The Subaru media car ran SBS pads with the booster disconnected and there was never a hint of brake fade. Towards the end of the event I noticed some brake knock-off at the end of long straights, but Sam Hill believes this is simply a result of front wheel bearings which are now two events old. The team has discovered they need changing after every two events. Subaru have made every effort to ensure the cars are identical when competing, reprograming every ECU at scrutineering before each event, and Pirelli mark and record the barcodes of all eight tyres that are to be used on each car. There is little, it seems, that can be tampered with. The only grey area perhaps involves the question of what fuel can be used in each car. Subaru would like pump fuel to be used in all cars, but this rule is currently not in place. As a result, it is believed some crews are using higher octane fuels, or a mixture of PULP and other fuel types. During the 200+ competitive kilometres I did in the car in South Australia, it didn’t miss a beat. All that was required was a general spanner check at each service break, and it’s this reliability that is making the series so popular. If I had the budget, would I buy an Impreza RS to compete in the Subaru Rally Challenge? Absolutely. The cars are a fantastic package and is the ideal stepping stone between a two-wheel drive car and a four-wheel drive turbo rocket. Reliable, easy to drive and competitive, the Impreza RS is a real winner Conditions in South Australia were wet and muddy. TECH SPECS: Subaru Impreza RS ENGINE: 2.5-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder POWER: 112kW at 5600 revs TORQUE: 223Nm at 3600 revs TRANSMISSION: Five-speed manual, all-wheel-drive FINAL DRIVE RATIO: 4.111:1 WHEELBASE: 2525mm BODY: Four-door sedan PRICE: RS sedan ,990 (standard road car) THE CARS Subaru Australia built and sold 15 white Impreza RS’s for the Australian Rally Championship. The 2.5 litre, 5-speed manual cars came with the following equipment as standard. • Homologated roll cage (fitted by Bond Roll Bars) • 2x Sparco Pro2000 seats and side mounts • 2x Sparco 4 point, 3” harnesses • 2x Sparco V type crotch straps • 2x fire extinguishers (1kg hand held) • Hi Tech exhaust system • DMS 50mm suspension • 2x WRX strut mounts • Window tint • Sealed engine • Subaru window banners, sponsors stickers The cars sold for ,500 including GST, although control Compomotive wheels and Pirelli tyres were required to be purchased separately. There were two types of tyres available for the Subaru Rally Challenge: the Pirelli KM4 (medium) and the KM6 (hard compound). MAY 2017 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 23

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