As always, LIC Motorsports has been predictable about one thing...waiting to the last minute to make "critical decisions". The idea was tossed around about going to the Redline Time Attack event in Pahrump, NV but it was quickly shot down as the cost of the adventure would be too much for a little ole shop like LIC. But the story doesn't end there, it's just getting started, our time line will reflect on our chaos we put upon ourselves.
09.22.2009 (Tuesday) - A phone call was placed to Toyo Tires to attempt a crack at securing a sponsorship (Partial, full, anything). Spoke to a very nice gentleman and mentioned our story and asked for him not to base their decision on my words and me "asking for a free handout" which I was not. I was told immediately that they will not give me a full sponsorship as that's not how it's going to work. I requested that I send them some info on the car, and then a more educated decision can be made. Sometime later that day I was offered a deal, it was not exactly what I was hoping for but at this stage of competition it was a bit better than what I was getting before and I was happy a company to the likes of Toyo even offered us some assistance. I happily accepted and thanked Toyo for taking a leap on a no name company like LIC Motorsports.
09.23.2009 (Wednesday) - I received a call from Dr. Russ Warr (the driver whom drove the car at Cal Speedway in last month's Super Lap Battle qualifier) asking if we were going to the Redline event that following weekend. I explained to Russ that we couldn't go as we were not prepared nor could we afford it. After Russ explained to me that he was already going to be there and he could pilot both our car and the other one he already had a commitment to, we shifted our focus/adjusted our mindset and decided what the heck, it's worth a shot and nobody would be expecting us. There were a few major issues, its Wednesday mid-morning; I needed tires, e85 fuel, and to set up the car. Being we had no anticipation of going to this event I now had to adjust our very busy work schedule and start making phone calls and asking for favors to make this happen. First step was to call Toyo and ask them to send up a set of tires ASAP. Toyo worked their magic and assured me the set would be on our door step no later than Friday AM. As great as that was to hear it was pushing the envelope of when we would need to leave for the track.
09.24.2009 (Thursday) - At this point in time I realized that I over looked the fact that I needed 2 sets, I would need one set for practice on Saturday and a shaved set for race day Sunday. I was pretty bummed out I had missed this very important aspect. Needless to say I called Toyo up again and they were unsure they could make it happen in the tight time frame given. I even offered to pick them up at "Will Call" and I would deal with it when I got down to the track. Feeling pretty dumb I swallowed my pride and called upon AIM Tires (our previous tire sponsor) and asked if he could overnight them for me. The remainder of the day was filled with customer cars as I already made commitments to these folks and didn't feel it would be right to brush them off over our indecisiveness to attend a race.
09.25.2009 (Friday) - The tires from Toyo arrived right on time, only one hiccup we ordered 285/30/18's and according to the math we did based on Toyo's website it appeared we would gain an extra 0.40" of contact patch and the tire would be 1.0" shorter than before. When the tires arrived the width (unmounted) was darn near 1.25" wider than our old 275's (mounted); the freak out session had begun. I quickly started to question what I had just done to ourselves and the predicament I just put on us. The idea of running our used 275's and slapping on a new set of 255's here was tossed around. Before we took it any further we decided to mount one of the 285's and do a test fitment. To our surprise and happiness it all worked out and not only just worked it out...it fit better than the 275's, amazingly enough at this time AIM Tires called to tell me they received the other set of 285's and were starting to shave them. We wrenched on the car all day long to adjust suspension springs, get more negative camber, do an alignment, and finalize everything else that needed attention prior to blasting off for Nevada. The bad news it was now 8pm at night, working on virtually no sleep our day had just begun...off to Pahrump Nevada we headed.
09.26.2009 (Saturday) - After 11 hrs of driving straight through the night we arrived just as the track was opening at 6:45am. The day was already going to be an interesting one...it was already over 75+ degrees and was scheduled to be 100+. We got our section all setup for the day and awaited the first session which was only a few short hours away.
1st Session out Russ was only able to turn 3 laps before he came in with a fuel pressure light displayed on our dash display as well as mentioning the car was pushing severely (under steer) in the front. We attempted to scan the ECU with our delta dash software (for those who know this, know what's about to come next) and low and behold, it's asking for an update. Our fantastic computer at this point is on the fritz as well.I began the hunt for a OBDII scanner and located one over at team Gillis Motorsports but unfortunately it wouldn't connect b/c it was a piece of junk (direct from Andrew Gillis' mouth) and I agreed with it. I continued on with the hunt for someone, anyone with a scanner but most if not all these guys at this level of competition are not running factory ECU's, so they don't really have a need for this style of tool. We were lucky enough to run into the tuner for Las Vegas Subaru (and tuner for the factor x car) who was able to scan our ECU and advise us we had a Fuel Pump Controller malfunction code. Being that we work on Subaru's all day and every day we could honestly say we have never seen this, this was the furthest from a common code we have ever come across.We cleared the code and sent Russ back on track to see if the issue was still present. Not to our surprise same issue, same code came back on
2nd Session rolls around and we were able to "borrow" our friend Josh's fuel pump controller off his 2005 STi (who came to watch us race from Las Vegas) to see if it would have any effect, although we were skeptical. As expected it had same effect as before and the session was now lost as we were not willing to push the car in this state as it could easily have a catastrophic effect. The remainder of the sessions and day were spent replacing our walbro in tank fuel pump, fuel filer, and Adam worked his magic to bypass the fuel pump controller all together. The main issue was we now lost all full days worth of testing and our time needed to dial our suspension in at this track. We now had to wait until tomorrow (which would have 2 practice sessions prior to the 2 time attack sessions) to see if our trouble shooting worked or if we were going to be in the same position as day before. Our 42 hr day(s) had finally come to an end, a warm bed was about to be had but it was 45 miles away in Las Vegas. We get to the hotel and Better than Ezra is playing out our back window (HOLY COW) this is so loud our window is shaking and drunks are all over the place...all I wanted was some R&R but not being able to sleep we hit the smorgasbord of a feast in the downstairs of the casino; why is it when you go to the desert like Las Vegas, they serve seafood all over...makes no sense to me, this is one of the furthest places from the ocean. But guess what I ate...you bet seafood!
09.27.2009 (Sunday) - Race Day is upon us and a measly 6 hrs of sleep really didn't do the body good, although the ¼ bottle of Pepto Bismol for my upset stomach did. We arrived at the track crossing fingers our fix was the actual fix. The previous day Crawford Performance had run into some issues with their race car and Russ was on track doing practice session one when the decision was made to let Tarzan Yamada jump into the driver's seat and see if the car was truly fixed; this would give us the info we needed to know and in addition it would allow us to not chew up Russ's time in the other car if it was still not functional.
Tarzan's second lap out ended up with the car going off track in turn 1 but the car's fuel issue was fixed. Tarzan later commented that we had way too much brake in the front (we currently run a Alcon 6 piston 340mm kit) and power felt amazing but the car had a tremendous push, as Russ had mentioned as well. A messy car and quick driver change, Russ was back on the track to turn and burn some laps for data. The second lap out Russ hit fuel cut on the back stretch on a long sweeping right hander. Upon coming in the fuel was at 1/3 of a tank and the quick fix was to maintain ½ a tank at all times (we still run our factory fuel tank which is prone to fuel cut on hard right hand turns when under ¼ of a tank on the street but in extreme conditions such as track and more lateral G's this is much more exaggerated) down side to this is we are carrying even more weight on an already heavy car but it was what it was and we just had to maintain more fuel to avoid this issue at hand. Russ now being able to push it a bit harder and carry more speed was able to get us some feedback; he advised us that the car is under steering even more now; the temps were up, tires were getting greasy, and we needed to get more front bite and less rear. Russ pulled off a 2:37.028
2nd Practice Session out we were able to make some suspension adjustment at the advice of Crawford Performance. Feedback from Russ was he was a lot happier with the car as it was doing much better but given the circumstance of the push still being present, it was at least a bit more manageable now.Our range of adjustment for the suspension was virtually none existent at this point; its being driven beyond its intended purpose and at this power level you find those things out very quickly. There is a major reason most competitive racers run at min 3-4 way adjustable suspension as it's what is necessary to compete at the top tier level. Russ was able to close the gap by nearly 4 seconds from the previous practice and posting a 2:33.059. We were now into the time attack sessions; this is what we came for.
Time Attack Session #1- Feeling fairly decent coming off the last practice session, Russ was able to pull off a 2:32.xxx. We were starting to get faster and Russ requested if we were confident we could get some more front bite and less rear grip he felt we could gain quite a few seconds easily. Being nervous to make changes this late in the game we made the decision to do some more suspension adjustments in between the final session upcoming on us.
Time Attack Session #2 and Final- We made what we considered some major changes to the suspension to try and close the gap a bit more and get closer to the second place team (not necessarily beat them but at least be a bit closer) as we knew they would all step it up for final push to podium. Final time out Russ was able to close his previous time to a 2:30.215 bettering his time by nearly 2 more seconds and the kicker was he said the car was pushing horribly and the adjustments we just did made the car far worse than it was previously, at the end of the day it was just our luck...we should of left the car alone but we went against our instincts and attempted to get greedy. It didn't cost us a second place spot per say but it for sure robbed us of quite a few seconds and face value of being 4 secs off our next in line competitor. Our time was good enough to clinch 3rd place and our goal was still obtained.
Recap: All-in-All LIC Motorsports is feeling very strongly about our performance out at Redline this past weekend. We prepped the car, arranged tires, driver, accommodations, and were able to make it all happen within 48hrs of not being prepared to even go anywhere. I would like to thank our driver Dr. Russ Warr for consistently doing his best and working around our setup and overcoming every obstacle that was thrown at him, he is a true professional. The fact LIC was able to "Compete" against the prestigious teams/setups like AMS and Harman Motive is a very gratifying experience. We feel our car that is far less than each one of these teams is a statement that enthusiasts willing to run superior products/services can still compete at a competition level. Our organization is one that aligns ourselves with some of the best folks in the industry, these folks are one's whom sacrifice their own time, energy, and all for the benefit of the folks they're working with and sponsoring.
LIC Motorsports Sponsors:
Rally Sport Direct
Hectors Chop Shop
LIC Time Attack STi SpecsModel: 2004 STi
Weight: 2900 lbs.
Motor- Crawford Performance 2.5L S3L-IR (assembly by LIC)
Turbo Kit- Crawford Performance GT35R w/ BIG FMIC
Fuel Supply- Crawford Performance Surge/AOS Tank, Fuel Rails
Tuning- Crawford Performance (ECUtek Reflash)
Injectors- Deatschwerks Top Feed 1200cc (custom)
Drivetrain- ACT Clutch, Cusco LSD's (Front/Rear)
Brakes- Front Alcon 6 Piston 340mm BBK, Rear Brembo (stock)
Exterior- APR GT300 Wing, LIC Custom Fender Flares, Splitter, and Canards
Wheels- Wheeldude.com Rota DPT 18x9.5 e35 (5x100/5x114.3)
Tires- Toyo Proxes R888 285/30ZR18
Most Articles are written by Noah Levy.