It was a fast course compared to most typical autocrosses. Setup on the West Loop of the FIRM Raceway, which runs just under a mile, and features about 30ft of elevation change through the "shoebox". The speeds able to be achieved are much higher than your average parking lot course, with long straightaways. The course favored a balance of speed and delicate driving, so as not to get out of shape in the faster transitions and spin or go off course.
Justin was driving his 2005 Subaru STi which has been prepped for the SM class with a bevy of suspension pieces. Most of the work has been done in the suspension, alignment, and the driver himself. The engine remains mostly stock, with the exception of a 16g and some supporting bolt-on mods. The car runs a Circuit Motorsports Protune through his Accessport, with an emphasis on low end torque to get through tight autocross courses. The setup clearly works well as Justin brought home the gold with the fastest time in SMST4, running a little over half a second ahead of his competition!
Nathan piloted his 2014 STI Hatch to a sweet spot in Second place, bringing home the Silver for his team. Nathan's STI runs fewer mods and still has a completely stock engine and turbo, only utilizing a freer flowing turboback exhaust. His car also has a Circuit Motorsports "autocross" style tune, maximizing the stock setup. The Hatch has a focus on suspension mods which served him well, as he beat out the third place runner who had a built car and much more horsepower!
Overall we were very pleased to see how well both sonsored drivers did against the competition. On really fast autocross courses such as this one, horsepower can sometimes close the gap between a better handling car and even gain a lead. Both Nathan and Justin managed to drive their respective cars to victory against other cars in their class with built engines, much more horsepower, and mods. This goes to show that a good driver in a well setup car can drive to victory despite the odds. Justin's best time was good enough beat out 19 other drivers/cars to take home Top Time of Day overall in the Street Modified class, impressive!
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