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Unread 08-08-2012, 02:32 PM
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Fair! Fair! is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Default Re: Brianne Corn's Pike's Peak Subaru STi

Project Update for August 8, 2012: The last several days have been a blur and we're just digging out of the rubble here. We were thrashing and putting in some crazy hours the last couple of weeks, fueled by energy drinks and a looming deadline. We pushed past the original departure time by only 12 hours, but it was time well spent. This thread update will show the last the pre-Colorado updates and preparations done to Brianne's car before they hauled out of Texas to go to Pikes Peak.

Last of the Wrap + Decals

When I posted last we had begun wrapping the car in red. We had a lot left to do, and the wrap crew went from one person, to two, to four people in quick succession. We never remembered to call Costas, who can wrap any car, but we weren't really awake enough to remember that. Matt took care of the hood scoop, trunk, rear bumper, and trimmed the door and fender vinyl for Amy and McCall. JasonM handled some other bits, and Amy + McCall wrapped a big chunk of the car too including the rear quarter panels and roof.

Some of the panels came out great, but some of the curvy bits got a bit complicated. None of us were skilled in wrapping cars, and we were very tight on time, but I think it looks good from 20 feet at 20 mph, heh.

Once the red landscape was laid down, Amy and JasonM applied the cut vinyl decals that Jason had designed in Illustrator. These angled stripes each have the names of the bigger ($1000+) parts sponsors. There were also decals on the front and rear bumper covers, hood, hood scoop, and even more are being applied today at Pikes Peak.

Front Splitter & Air Dam Construction

Once the rear wing was installed, it was obvious in high speed corners at our short Mineral Ring test that we had an aero imbalance, with significantly more rear downforce (wing) than up front (none), even with the wing trimmed all the way out. I had been pushing for us to include a front splitter since day one, with as much of a front undertray as the rules allowed. Once we decided to hold the car another 12 hours, it was splitter makin' time!

Due to the time we had left, plus the rigors that Brianne was likely to put through the splitter, there was one material that made sense - plywood, with a tubular aluminum reinforcement structure. If we had more time maybe aluminum plate could have been used, or a carbon+aluminum composite splitter. I wasn't about to make something from sign shop material, because my "rule of thumb" is if a material can be crushed between my forefinger and thumb it doesn't belong in a splitter. Aero forces alone will tear it to shreds, and any road scrapes or rubs with FIA curbing will fold it up like paper. I've spoken up against using Alumilite and other plastic corrugated material on forums in the past, and stand by that statement. We got some grief for the plywood splitter on our GRM E30, but the unit we built works and can take a beating on the street or track. The driver of this Subaru can do swan dives off of this splitter as well. Haters are gonna hate, nothing we can do about it. Refer to it as a "carbon based composite" if you like.

As you know plywood is tough, abrasion resistant (F1 cars use a wooden wear plate material under their chassis), and has significant cost advantages over almost anything else you can dream up. It is an easy material to quickly fabricate with and because of the cost and ease, we made a full duplicate main plane for only a little extra scratch. They now have a back-up if this unit somehow gets broken in practice (it would take a big hit to break it). Using a plumb bob to trace the bumper cover outline, Ryan and Ed marked the splitter's main plane a full 5" beyond the front bumper cover's shape, per the PPIHC rules, and used massive 3/4" thick slab of plywood. I had voted for 3/8" or maybe 1/2" thick material, but JasonM wanted to make it Brianne Proof (TM), so he went Texas big.

Once the aluminum structure was added to the splitter, it became even more rigid and was ready for some paint. In case you are wondering, the entire thing weighed 38 pounds and if 1/2" thick material was used it would have been closer to 25 pounds. The splitter sits about 4" lower than the wrapped exhaust header and oil pan, with about 3" of front ground clearance. The main plane was painted with gloss black enamel and the aluminum was shot with some black spray enamel by Brianne herself. After the splitter dried overnight it was bolted on (via the four front brackets and two rear bolts into weld nuts added to the lower subframe), we had a big air gap to fill between the bumper cover and the splitter main plane.

We don't have many pictures showing the air dam construction, as they are still on the memory card in my Nikon, which is in Colorado. I will show it's construction in my post after Pikes Peak. The air dam is simple and functional. JasonM had picked up a 7' length roll of 3/16" thick ABS plastic sheeting from a local circle track supplier (Smiley's), which was a red that matched the wrap. I made a dozen or so brackets from 2" x 2" x 1/8" angle aluminum, bolted them to the splitter, with a drilled hole and a Rivet Nut (RivNut) pressed into place on each vertical portion - with the help of two of Brianne's volunteer Austin crew members. This series of lower brackets (see below, right) allowed us to bolt the lower edge of the ABS sheeting onto the brackets for easy removal of the splitter. The upper section was riveted onto the bumper cover with backing washers behind. This looks a little crude, but it keeps the high pressure air pressing against the splitter, directs some over the hood, and forces some of the air stream into the radiator or intercooler openings in the bumper cover. Two slots for brake ducts can be seen at the bottom edges.

In order to make sure we were on the right path, we did some "static testing" during construction. Ed stood on the plywood splitter without any aluminum structure in place... and it barely flexed at all. I was about to choke when he hopped up on the lip! Once it was beefed up with a few pounds of aluminum tubing, Brianne was hopping up on the thing like a kid on a trampoline. It doesn't flex an 1/8" with her on the thing, so I guess it's Brianne Proof after all.

Brianne was a good sport and posed for a couple of splitter pictures, above. You can see the finished air dam on the right picture, and the splitter structure is visible in the left picture. There is a front tow strap we added visible in the center, poking out of a slot between the splitter and air dam. This air damn was made very quickly and only completed an hour before they loaded the car into the trailer to head out.

More pictures above are of the completed car, right before it went into the Vorshlag trailer Sunday afternoon.

Cool desktop wallpaper, with a ghosted view from the hood open merged with a picture of the hood closed:

Arrival and Tech

Jason and Brianne led the caravan that drove through the night, along with two cars carrying support crew, and made it to Colorado Springs Monday around lunch time. They spent most of the day just acclimating to the altitude, and then went to tech with the car on Tuesday. As of now, half of the Vorshlag crew is on the mountain. The guys uploaded this picture last night, during tech and scrutineering. They had a small issue at tech that I will quote straight from the Brianne Corn Racing facebook page:

Tech was odd in that our car which has had an SCCA Log book since like 2005, and was raced here last year (without issue), (but then) didn't pass tech (this year). It turns out that there were 2 incomplete welds in the (top of the) cage. I found the maintenance shop at PPIR and talked the guy into letting me loose with his welder. An hour or so later we passed tech and were out on the test course turning laps.
Good news, in that was the only wrinkle they've had so far in Colorado. Last year they were still building the car at this point, so they are way ahead this time around. There have been a number of cars that lost motors and/or overheated at a test earlier in the week at PPIR, a small oval track with an infield road course south of Colorado Springs. Brianne and Jeremy have made some test laps in the Subaru are very happy with it so far; they are making some slight tuning tweaks and are ready to attack the mountain.

The major sponsors are listed in the side stripes, such as Vorshlag, AWDTuning, Pirtek Plano South, AST-USA, Ignite, Swift and Amsoil. There's still a few more decals to go on, but it's 99.5% done and it is race ready. According to our folks at tech, the car was very well received by fans and competitors alike. People were constantly taking pictures of it, like this guy above.

Practice on the Mountain Wednesday

The team spent the morning at the very top of Pikes Peak (all the way up to 14K feet) doing some shakedown practice runs, shown below.

After these practice runs they adjusted camber (it had "way too much") and AWD Tuning was adjusting the tune. The crew is heading to PPIR with the car right now for some additional handling tweaks and more testing tonight. As I write this Brianne and Jeremy are driving up the mountain in a street car for some recon runs, then will blast down and meet the crew at PPIR to drive the STi. Tomorrow the rest of Vorshlag crew flies out of Dallas to Colorado Springs and we will all be there over the weekend (our shop will be closed Friday) to support her race efforts. We will post up more pictures on Facebook during the race weekend and will make a mega-post after we get back from Colorado next week. If you want to see more during the event go to the Brianne Corn Racing and Vorshlag facebook pages.


Last edited by Fair!; 08-08-2012 at 05:04 PM.
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