Competition Heats Up at Willow Springs
Takata Time Attack recently celebrated Independence Day with participation in Redline's fourth west coast event of the year dubbed The Liberty Grand Prix. Willow Springs Raceway of Rosamond, California set the stage for a challenging contest as temperatures exceeded 90 degrees and average speeds on the course exceeded 100mph for Modified class cars. The LIC Motorsports crew was busy in the weeks preceding the event preparing for the challenge.
"Chassis development has been and continues to be our focal point for development of the car" said Noah Levy of LIC Motorsports. "Based on feedback from our driver and the advice of some of our partners we have made some changes to the car to improve its high speed stability. Along the way we have also removed some weight from the car. We were hopeful for dramatic improvements in the handling of the car."
As driver James Elterman took to the track on Saturday, he immediately found new confidence in the car at high speeds. Development continued throughout the weekend with alignment, spring rate, aero, and rear differential changes. With each change came reduced lap times and by Saturday evening it was looking as though a podium finish was attainable.
The serious business of racing took pause on Saturday night as the main straight of the raceway was converted to a drag strip. Street cars, prepared drag racers, as well as some Time Attack cars raced the 1,000 ft. drag strip as the sun set. The Takata Impreza made an impression on the fans as it posted the fastest trap speed of the evening at 112mph. After nightfall the fans and racers were treated to a 22 minute fireworks show.
In Sunday's first Time Attack session James claimed 4th position just 1 second out of 3rd. The final session again proved to be a critical one.
"Going into the final round of the Time Attack we all felt the car had the potential of reaching the podium." said Elterman. "We made some minor changes going into the final round but unfortunately we took a small step in the wrong direction. Despite this I was pushing for an improved time. The first lap offered no improvement, and on the second lap I had in incredible off in Turn 1. Fortunately the damage was contained to the front splitter, but it forced our retirement from the session."
With no improvement in the final session, the team retained 4th place in Modified AWD. After some quick repairs by the LIC crew to the front splitter, the Takata Impreza was ready for the Super Session sprint race. James started in the second row of grid in 3rd for Modified AWD. After the race's first lap, the 034 Motorsports Audi in 2nd position retired due to a mechanical issue, putting Elterman in 2nd. Four laps later the Cobb Nissan GTR of Brian Lock crossed line first for Modified AWD, with Elterman in 2nd.
The intense battle for the Modified AWD Season Championship continues with James Elterman and Brian Lock standing out from the rest of the pack. After 4 events Elterman retains a small lead over Lock with 150 points to his 149 points. With three races left in the series the Championship may likely come down to the final event.
Thanks to our sponsors:
Takata / LIC Motorsports / Nitto / COBB / Wheeldude / Seibon / JE Pistons / Hawk Performance
LIC Time Attack STi Specs
Model: 2004 STi
Weight: 2850 lbs. (Dry), 3050 (Loaded w/ fuel and driver)
Motor: LIC Motorsports 2.5L Longblock
Turbo Kit: GT35R Turbo w/ LIC Motorsports Custom IC Piping, Perrin FMIC
Fuel Supply: Fuel Safe 12 Gallon Cell, Turbo XS Surge Tank, Dual Bosch 044 Pumps, Aeromotive Fuel Rails
Tuning: Cobb Accessport
Injectors: Injector Dynamics 2,000cc
Drivetrain: ACT Clutch, Cusco LSD's (Front/Rear)
Suspension: Triple Adjustable JRZ (Custom), M1 Knuckles/Control Arms (Custom)
Brakes: Front Brembo 6 Piston 350x34mm BBK, Rear Brembo (stock)
Exterior: Aeromotions Widebody Wing, LIC Fender Flares/Splitter (Custom)
Wheels: Wheeldude.com Rota DPT 18x10 e35 (5x100/5x114.3)
Tires: Nitto NT01 275/35ZR18
Most Articles are written by Noah Levy.