Tomorrow I will be attending my first autocross of of the season. Hosted by the Champaign County Sports Car Club, it will take place on the tarmac of the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, IL. I will be competing in class D-Stock and in the “Street Tire Index.” To get ready I had a little work done at the dealership I work at, Subaru of Champaign County. A 21mm STI Performance rear swaybar, part # B2010FE560, was installed in place of the stock 17mm bar. This is not the same unit that came on the Subaru WRX STI car, but a performance part offered specifically for the 2004-2007 WRX, 2.5RS, and 2.5i. Thus far the balance of the car on high-grip surfaces like concrete, which is what I will face at the Solo Nationals in Lincoln, has been too tight for my liking. My calculations tell me this alteration should change the balance from moderate understeer to neutral. It will be interesting tomorrow to see if the car actually feels like I think the numbers are telling me it will. The stock 17mm rear swaybar will be retained for Rallycross since I plan to compete in class SA (Stock, All-Wheel Drive) where the rules do not allow for a substitution.
While the car was in the shop I also had the snow tires taken off and summer tires put back on. For the moment I’m running Falken Azenis 615’s, size 235/40/17. This particular set has already seen a summer of driving and a couple autocross events so I expect I’ll be needing some fresh rubber by summer. I’m not sure yet what direction I’m going to go, although I have a few ideas. Tire selection will be a critical element of this endeavor and you’ll see plenty more on the subject in this blog down the road. I took a peek at the brakes while the wheels were off and it was clear that I’ll need to replace the fronts in the very near future. I’ll be researching options next week and should have an entry on brakes soon after. But first its autocross time; check back in Monday for a recap and pictures!