The weeks following the last event (Subiefest 2009) were filled with lots of ideas and major upgrade/changes. Wanting to push as hard as possible without compromising anything, LIC Motorsports put some plans underway to prep for the last two remaining events (Super Lap Battle and Redline Time Attack Finals). First event up was Super Lap Battle 2009; this is the super bowl of Time Attack, cars come from all around the country to show you what they got and continue the East Coast/West Coast question of whom makes/develops the best cars.
LIC Motorsports data has proven over the last few races that the car desperately needs to be lower to the ground all while obtaining proper geometry. Getting to this is not a simple or easy task. We started by contacting M1 Fabrication and Development in Southern California. The parts needed would be a bit complex but with a methodical plan and there racing/engineering experience, they were confident they could get us what we were looking for. The next phone call was made to ERP Suspension Engineering, these guys really know their stuff; with a background in Speed World Challenge and countless design and engineering dedicated to Porsche teams. The plan for custom control arms, custom knuckles, and custom JRZ Suspension was now underway...only catch was, we only had 3 weeks for design, execution, and delivery on these parts.
Continuing on with our daily routine of servicing our customer's needs and doing day to day operations, the race car took the back seat for a few long work weeks. At LIC Motorsports, we are all about our clientele, they are top priority and will remain...that is a constant and will never change.
While suspension bits were in the works, we focused our attention to our motor. Not wanting to "chance" anything or leaving it to "luck"; nothing is worse than working your tail off to only have a failure at the track and the embarrassment that I'm sure follows (we've never had this happen yet), the call was made to pull the motor and check bearings and freshen up the system while we are there. With motor out and everything looking good we decided to build it back with a new case to ensure many races to come (our original motor was a used case, remember LIC Motorsports builds these motors in house and is responsible for the blueprinting of it as we are the only Crawford dealer allowed to do this in house while maintaining the Crawford brand).
With time closing in on departure for Super Lap Battle it was evident we needed more time. The custom parts were taking a bit longer than expected due to machines going down and M1 having many customers needing product in the time frame we needed ours. The JRZ Suspension ended up at ERP when it was suppose to be dropped shipped direct to LIC. These items started chewing up precious time that we now didn't have the luxury of. This is where the fun and chaos begins.
Thursday- contacted our buddy to make adapter collars for our axles for the 04-to-05/5x100-to-5x114.3 hub conversion we just completed; we could have just bought 05 axles but didn't want to spend the extra $750 to do so, as plenty was going into this project. As well as adapter collars for our custom JRZ suspension (these were for our Cusco camber plates we run...for those that don't know, when you buy race coilovers they don't come complete. They are sold as struts only and you as the end user buy the springs of choice and rates, the camber plates, and necessary hardware).
Friday- our buddy worked through the night making those one off suspension bits and really doing LIC a favor and saved us some funds in doing so. I was expecting our custom control arms/knuckles by this time as well but they didn't arrive as they were not completed as of yet.
Saturday- was used for setting up the new coilovers and like most motorsports coilovers with external reservoirs; you need to find an area to make this happen. That sounds much easier than said, trust me. In addition, M1 had finished the parts we needed and to save on time had flown on a plane up to San Francisco Airport to hand deliver us our custom parts. This day was now blending into Sunday
Sunday- 9am I notified M1 that we ran into a fitment issue with one of the products and couldn't be made to work, I also expressed to them LIC Motorsports needed those parts to complete our suspension overhaul (the 5x100 to 5x114.3 requires us to run 05+ knuckles for our suspension, I had stock spares but the whole purpose behind the build was to lower our roll centers and get proper bump steer, and in addition it was noted that our ball joints were reaching the end of their life, so it was even more crucial we got these parts). Not wanting to risk everything and assuming it would just "work out" with these custom parts, we decided to set the car up with our stock components and finish prep for Super Lap as we were leaving the next day. Well suppose to be leaving the next day.
Monday- Exhaustion and delirium was setting in but we needed to push through to get moving, the idea was for a decent arrival time and catch up on some much needed rest before tomorrow's test day (Tuesday). Needless to say, it didn't work this way. We were functioning on very little and dragging worse than could have been expected but then again if we were of sound mind, we would of realized the 60+ hrs put in from Friday-to-Sunday shouldn't of come as any surprise. It was now 4am and still at the shop, we cleaned up and hit the road with no sleep.
Tuesday- we just arrived for testing @ Buttonwillow for Super Lap Battle. I notice 1- we arrived 2.5 hrs late, 2- there is a lot of high caliber teams here, and 3- I'm beyond tired and burnt out. Shortly after arriving I was met with a representative of M1 to once again hand deliver me my custom parts. It was now time for us to tear the car apart, install new components, and undo/redo all our corner weight/alignment specs. This killed the whole test day and lasted until about 9pm at night doing it trackside with the help of ERP as well. Finally grabbing a late dinner and getting to the hotel late as well, we then ran into the boys from UMS (Arizona based performance shop), these guys are awesome and I'm lucky to have met them in our dealings over the years. We were quickly greeted with some beers and the idea of crashing to sleep was just not a reality as of yet. We were having such a good time that our friendly neighbor was displeased with us and pounded on the wall so hard a picture fell off and broke over the bed I was hoping to sleep in. Needless to say we moved the festivities to UMS's room and a short while later it was finally sleepy time.............we had just been up for 42 hrs straight. Bad thing was, we needed to be up in 5 short hours again.
Race day was upon us and with zero testing we were hopeful but skeptical we could do something great. Our first test session out was loaded with traffic and we got no hot laps, even worse we got very little data in regards to the new suspension and what adjustments needed to be done. That quickly it was now onto the timed race sessions and there would be 3 of them. First timed session out we sent Russ out on our old flat spotted used tires, as we still needed more data and would use that info for the other 2 sessions. Russ was feeling decent about the car and its changes and all while driving under moderate power level, he laid down a 1:53.835, which was 10 secs faster than our time last year but the suspension still needed to be worked on (triple adjustable shocks make that a very complex thing to do and that's why testing is critical) because he was getting a big push in front (under steer). In between this next session we made a spring change and some more adjustments. During this session we slapped on our new set of Toyo R888 tires and thought for sure the car would go quicker but that didn't happen and it became a very frustrating thing to comprehend and deal with. Making irresponsible decisions we did yet another spring change and again messed with settings, and had the tires shaved at the last minute. Russ was still unable to better his first time out and we captured 4th place for Limited AWD.
The goal behind all this stuff is to make changes, test, adjust as needed, and test more. But on the flip side, I know we are not alone in thrashing just to make it all happen, this sport is also about heart and dedication. I feel we've made great headway in our quest to have a top competition Modified Time Attack car and at this event getting a 4th place amongst those top tier shops/teams is not all that bad and most of those guys have years of time on their setups. Our car has less than 4 months of development (in its current configuration) behind it and the future is very exciting to see how we will develop this car over the next few months.
LIC Motorsports Sponsors:
ERP Suspension Engineering
M1 Fabrication & Development
Rally Sport Direct
Hectors Chop Shop
LIC Time Attack STi Specs
Model: 2004 STi
Weight: 2900 lbs. (Dry), 3185 (loaded w/ fuel and driver)
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 18x10 e35 (5x100/5x114.3)
Tires: Toyo Proxes R888 285/30ZR18
Most Articles are written by Noah Levy.