Unread 08-09-2012, 09:31 AM
DBeck DBeck is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 92
Default Re: Brianne Corn's Pike's Peak Subaru STi

Take a look at the ex Ganassi car and you can see the plywood under the carbon body. I've had a wood splitter for over a year.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg splitter.jpg (104.7 KB, 132 views)
Reply With Quote
Unread 08-09-2012, 11:47 AM
Fair!'s Avatar
Fair! Fair! is offline
I blame the internet
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,088
Default Re: Brianne Corn's Pike's Peak Subaru STi

Originally Posted by hancheyb View Post
Fair can't give me any more sh!t for using wood. That's TWO splitters in a row made from wood!
The old tire trailer! Yea, I guess I have to retract that statement now.

Looks like Brianne is qualified for Time Attack in about 3rd out of 41. Not official yet, but that's what I can gather from her first session quali time (4:25) compared to these session 2 times: http://livetiming.net/USAC/?Class=Time-Attack
Reply With Quote
Unread 08-15-2012, 05:15 PM
Fair!'s Avatar
Fair! Fair! is offline
I blame the internet
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,088
Default Re: Brianne Corn's Pike's Peak Subaru STi

Project Update for August 16, 2012: As in my other project race car forum threads, I would normally start off with a post-race report right about now. But not this time. The 90th running of the PPIHC was so out of control that I have talk about the event, the crashes, and the mistakes made by the race organizers first. I apologize in advance to the readers, as this is not all roses and snowflakes. I will follow up with a real post-race report from the perspective of Vorshlag, Brianne's car, our support crew, practice, qualifying, the race, and more. In short: Brianne finished 5th out of 23 in her class, starting after a long (90+ minute) crash delay, which put her running in the rain and hail. Not complaining about the conditions - we know that if she would have qualified better she would have run earlier, in the dry conditions like the first five cars in her class did. Again, I will expand more on Brianne's story in my next post.

I started writing about my thoughts of the event itself on Monday (the day after the race), but it took me until Thursday (today) to really get my thoughts together. All of our crew has finally gotten back and more facts are available now, so I am glad I waited. Jeremy Foley's crash video has 2+ million hits on YouTube in two days, with Paul Dallenbach's videos close behind. So many people have seen the multiple crash pictures and videos and want to know more, I have had dozens of people calling and texting me for "what happened?!", so here is my version of events. This is as seen through my own eyes, without rose colored glasses or my normal niceties. These are not the views of the rest of our crew, of the driver or co-driver from Brianne Corn Racing, or anyone else. Just my views, from my perspective.

Who am I to talk bad about the ninety year old, revered PPIHC event? I admit that I haven't even been to a Pikes Peak competition event before this one. However, in the past 24 years of my own racing experiences I have seen a good number of club and professional level races in several countries. From endurance events, circle track, sprint races, F1, NASCAR, drag races, road races, open road races, autocrosses, HPDEs, time trials, and more. It doesn't take too much experience to understand when things are FUBAR, like the 90th running of the PPIHC was.

From my point of view there was a lot of weirdness going on. I saw safety issues and race organizer decisions that would be unacceptable at any other race I've ever entered or attended, and I feel that I have to share them here. After talking to dozens of people at the event who said they followed our build thread for this car (which is on eight forums now), I don't want somebody to read a filtered version of the race from me, then think that Pikes Peak might be safer or more organized than it was, so I'm not holding anything back. The big problems at this event all stemmed from a few key mistakes made by the race organizers, which anyone involved with the event already know about.

Read This Bill Caswell Article: http://jalopnik.com/5934725/how-pike...ive-ever-raced

Please stop reading here for a moment and read Bill Caswell's article about this PPIHC event that he wrote for Jalopnik. It is aptly titled "How Pikes Peak Became The Most Dangerous Place I’ve Ever Raced". Caswell is a fixture in the rally scene, plus a party animal and a real character, but he has a sharp mind and has seen a lot of races across the globe. His comments about the lack of safety at the event are spot on. The organizers made too many mistakes and allowed too many entrants, including drivers and car builders without any race experience whatsoever. The abnormally high number of entrants (rookie or otherwise) made for compressed practice days with many fewer practice runs per team than normal. He withdrew from the event after qualifying, for the reasons he stated.

Brianne and her crew chief JasonM have competed in four PPIHC events, but as I have stated this was my first time to watch a Pikes Peak event up close. It was a very cool event, but also a big hot mess. I get why the event is attractive - it's an absolutely beautiful road to drive, especially now that it is completely paved. Some veteran PPIHC racers were peeved about the lack of dirt, and how that changes the history of this event, and I get that. I don't share that sentiment, as I'm a pavement kind of racer, so Pikes Peak was more attractive to me now than it ever was before.

$250K Dacia entry before and after running over a GoPro in the road. Click to enlarge

However, after seeing what I did in practice, qualifying and on race day, I can honestly say that this road and this event is the most dangerous sanctioned race in the world (on par or worse than the Isle of Man TT Race). It has 156 turns, almost all of them without guardrails, and if you screw up you are going into trees or over a cliff. If you make even a small mistake, or say if you drive over a freakin' GoPro camera that some d-bag spectator puts in the road "for a cool shot" and get a blow-out (which happened to the Dacia team this year! Picture above from practice), you are in for a potentially very bad crash that could end in death or severe injury for you and spectators. The 12.4 mile long race course also starts at 9390 feet and goes up to 14,110 feet of elevation, so there's barely any air to breathe for the drivers or to cool the cars.

Co-driver Jeremy Rowland showing the hail falling at the peak after their race run (take a close look at the wing, one racer was using it as cover from the hail!)

I will be the first to say that the event organizers had a LOT of things to deal with, from spectators wandering onto the road or falling off the mountain (one girl was on top of a rock that was hit by a car, at least one fell off a cliff, and there were two more spectator "incidents" that were reported on the radio), they had to manage too many entrants, and they had to deal with some seriously bad weather. But... these were all known issues and/or ones they created themselves. The organizers had nobody to blame for the event running long and the resulting weather issues/delays but themselves.

Racing finished so late the drivers drove down the mountain in the dark

Logistically I don't know how they pull it off, with so many crash crews, cops, ambulances, helicopters, media, spectators, and racers strewn across 12.4 miles of pavement. I have to give a huge shout out and thank you to the safety crew, helicopter pilot, and the various sheriffs and policemen that had to deal with a bunch of drunk spectators. There is virtually no cell coverage on the mountain, so I couldn't find out much from our folks located higher up or from the internet, so it was a bit frustrating as a spectator. It's a longer race course than the Nürburgring, and having driven both courses, Pikes Peak is infinitely more treacherous to drive on or to support.

As you can see in the class qualification listing above, it seemed to me, in my humble view, that they had a rather large number of rookies (11 of 23 qualifiers in Time Attack class alone). Some classes had 50% PPIHC rookies and other classes had as much as 75% PPIHC rookies. That's a big red flag to anyone that has raced wheel to wheel at even the club level. In order to race W2W in SCCA Club Racing, you have to go to a competition school (or two) and then compete on probation for two or more race weekends before you get a full competition license. Pikes Peak has none of that... they let people with only autocross experience or very little road racing experience enter. Some without even that, all the way up to the Unlimited class. This caused an unusual number of people on the mountain that had zero track experience, much less any actual previous rally or hill climb experience.

I feel that the normal dangers of this race combined with the huge number of racers (and compressed practice time) and the high percentage of rookies contributed to the abnormally high number of crashes, and many lengthy race delays. Then there was a big change in weather in the afternoon (which apparently happens like clockwork between 2 PM and 4 PM almost every day during this season) that was also a major factor in run times, crashes and delays. The event ran so long that they had to truncate the runs to finish at Glen Cove (about 1/2 race distance) for some of the Time Attack racers and all of the Open Wheel division cars. We drove up to the start line at 4 AM and didn't get off the mountain until 9:30 PM, and they were still piling down the mountain for an hour or more after us. Normally they are done with competition by 3 PM and can miss the predictably bad weather that this mountain sees.

The danger factor at this event is indescribable... it is simply off the scale compared to any sort of racing I have ever experienced or watched. I don't know how they can keep doing this race without some significant safety changes - better cage/seat/safety regulations, better spectator control (fences), and maybe even some added guardrails. I saw so many wrecked cars coming off that mountain it was staggering. Radio calls all day that included things like "we have lost three cars on the mountain", or "send Flight for Life", over and over again.

This one is now famous, so I have to include it. Here is a picture of the Evo going off near Boulder Park and the crash recovery on Monday.

Evo crash pictures (click to enlarge)

The cage rules, seat mounting and FIA date rules, and complete lack of window nets requirements put too many driver at risk. Sure, the more experienced folks had these items even though they weren't required to, but with the entire 12.4 miles of race course paved, it attracted a whole new crowd of teams and racers. Many of which came from Time Trial and Drift racing, groups that don't even have Rally cage requirements.

Pikes Peak Cage Rules Insufficient

Let's look at the post-crash cage structure from Foley's EVO. Nobody likes to do this, but it needs to happen so the PPIHC race organizers will improve the safety requirements before someone gets killed, or barring that, other racers will see this and take these matters into their own hands by building a rally-worthy cage for their own Pikes Peak entry. Jeremy and Yuri were both extremely lucky to not have suffered much worse injuries. The cage they had met the rules, and in fact exceeded them quite a bit, but that does not mean that the cage was sufficient for hill climb/rally use. It was not. Being lucky does not trump being properly prepared.

Cage pictures on Autoblog: http://www.autoblog.com/photos/jerem...#photo-5212775

Click to enlarge

At left you can see the main hoop buckled and B-pillar crushed inboard. Right: The A-pillar bar failed completely

As you can see, there were substantial cage structure failures in several key places. Places that would otherwise be reinforced in an FIA style rally cage. First, look at where the A-pillar on the passenger side was crushed and deflected downwards over a foot. Second, the main hoop was not tied to the car's B-pillar and both deflected (in different directions) over a foot each. The roof had one diagonal (as it was made for one occupant) and left the passenger's helmet very unprotected in a rollover (and seeing the damage to Yuri's helmet, it is obvious why).

Seat pictures. Click to enlarge

Now let's look at the passenger seat, which was bolted to the sheet metal floor and not tied to the cage at all. This is done in road race cages (but probably isn't a great idea there). When the B-pillar deflected inboard a foot, it knocked the seat and ripped it from the sheet metal floor, allowing Yuri to flop around in there. There was no window net to keep his arms inside the cabin, and that allowed his arm and hand to come completely out of the cage structure during the 10+ roll overs. His head came out of the car as well - it's visible in some of the high resolution pictures.

Helmet pictures - click to enlarge

The cage in the Mitsubishi Evo above buckled in many places, which would have been avoided if it had the an FIA spec'd cage - which has extra bars missing from lighter road racing cages. Some experienced PPIHC competitors pointed out the under-built cages to many of the new teams, including the Evo above that pancaked the A and B pillar bars, before the event (see comments by "DaveK" (Dave Kern, who finished 2nd behind Millen at the 2012 event) in this thread). Yes, this car had a huge off and smashed down a mountain against a bunch of big boulders, which you can see in the video, but it could have been better protected.

The cage experts on other forums are already over-analyzing the various failures, which need to happen. Foley was lucky to not sustain any injuries after this horrible crash. His co-driver Yuri was not so lucky, sustaining a dislocated shoulder and head trauma when his helmet cracked along four axis. His injuries were compounded by the obvious cage buckling and seat mounting failure (it ripped off the sheet metal floor). They life flighted Yuri off the mountain because of the very visible helmet damage. Looking at the passenger seat and cage area, it's a miracle he is not dead. That was a horrendous crash and apparently not uncommon for Pikes Peak, from what I hear. What would have made this crash safer? An FIA rally spec'd cage. I hope the organizers see this wreckage and make some much needed rules changes for participants safety.

The problem is not with the cage builder, it is with the origination of the cars and the PPIHC cage rules. Cars entering the Time Attack class at the PPIHC come from four main race groups: converted Rally cars, converted Time Trial cars, converted Club Level Road Race W2W cars, and converted Drift cars. These four racing venues have very different safety requirements and substantially different cage requirements. Rally has the most over-built cages, Time Trial/Club Racing W2W cages are in the middle, and drift cars (that might hit a water barrier at 20 mph) have the least strong cage requirements. The problem is, Hill Climbs like Pikes Peak see crashes that are nearly identical to Rally, but PPIHC doesn't require Rally style cages (that include A-pillar "FIA" bars, double diagonals in the roof, B-pillar integration with the main hoop, and more).

Should the competitors rely on the minimum cage standards set by a racing organization? Obviously not. But did anyone have an "illegal" cage for this event? I really don't think so. It was unfortunate for EvoD that their car crashed, as now everyone can analyze the roll cage failures and point out improvements. Again, they built a good road race cage, none of the welds tore, but it was not a rally or hill climb cage. I sincerely hope they take this criticism well, learn from this, and if they come back to another hill climb they bring a car with a rally-worthy cage. I hope the race organizers learn from this and require FIA legal rally cages for all cars entered in their extremely dangerous hill climb event. Their driver's will be safer for it.

After seeing this crash, Brianne's crew chief JasonM isn't happy with the cage in Brianne's car - he wants to add the front FIA bars to the A-pillar and a second roof diagonal, plus seat mounting tied into the cage itself. I personally have changed my own minimum standards for cages after seeing this - I used to be all about "the bare minimum cage" for weight savings, but not anymore. So at least there is one good thing from this: people are going to improve their cars after seeing this.

(continued below)

Last edited by Fair!; 01-09-2013 at 04:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
Unread 08-15-2012, 06:34 PM
Fair!'s Avatar
Fair! Fair! is offline
I blame the internet
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,088
Default Re: Brianne Corn's Pike's Peak Subaru STi

(continued from above)

Click to enlarge

The cage in Millen's drift car, shown above. Those skinny bars are 1" tubes, the "big" ones are 1.5". This car had one of the weakest cages in a professionally built car I've ever seen - it wouldn't pass a NASA or SCCA tech inspection for a club level race, but it still met the minimum requirements for PPIHC (which are based on Drift cage rules). I crawled all over this car during Friday practice looking at the cage, but of course didn't have my camera. The tubing sizes and layout were staggering to me - I wish I could share that here, now. It uses 1.5" diameter tubing for the main structures and 1" tubing for large parts of the car. At PPIHC tech, this car weighed 2999 lbs with him in it. Sure, this minimalist cage is good enough for doing the driftoro thing in a parking lot, but if he had gone tumbling down the mountain or into the trees, Rhys would be one of the least protected driver's on the mountain. Well, maybe the 2nd least protected...

Click to enlarge

I was scrolling through Matt's pictures from FanFest, trying to find better pics of Millen's cage and stumbled upon this gem. This is another random competitor in Time Attack Class, above and below. This 5th gen Camaro had a supercharged engine, some blingy 20" wheels and a wrap, but was almost a totally stock street car. Remember: This car passed PIHC tech, checked off as "safe" to drive up the most dangerous hill climb in the world. This is the 2nd year it has entered and run PPIHC. What is wrong with this picture????

That wiggle in the down bar is bad enough, as is the bolt-in nature of the cage, but the front down bar doesn't even go to the floor! It also has little dune buggy seats. The PPIHC tech folks looked at this, two years in a row, and said, yes, this cage is good enough to withstand a potential crash like the EvoD car encountered. Riiiiiiight....

Even seasoned PPIHC veterans suffered big crashes, like Paul Dallenbach's huge off. What was noteworthy here was how close this car, traveling 130 mph off course, came to a pack of spectators standing on the outside of this turn. When I saw this on the video it made me think: "Was this a race in Mexico or the USA?!" How they get event insurance coverage is a complete mystery. Allowing people to stand on the outside of turns was ludicrous, and it stopped right after some of the key crashes happened that day - I know this first hand, because I had to move from where I was taking pictures near the start line. I don't care that it "has worked for 90 years", allowing spectators to wander willy-nilly around the race course under green flag conditions obviously wasn't working then. From what we heard, a little girl was injured after the boulder she was standing on top of was hit by a car, but she was released from the hospital the next day. Stuff happens here that doesn't happen elsewhere.

Dallenbach's crash was pretty massive. 1400 whp, going 130 mph in 5th gear, throttle stuck wide open, off into the trees, barely missing spectators

As many have reported there were too many crashes at this event; I've heard that this event had more than ever before. After driving up and down the mountain a couple of times, once in the rain, I can see why. Personally, I now have zero aspirations to ever drive this course in anger. You have to be a little nuts to race up this mountain. ZERO room for error - you go off, you are probably going to go tumbling down the mountain or blasting through the trees like Dallenbach.

While I have respect for anyone that races at Pikes Peak... I still think they are all bat shit crazy. Nice folks, but just a bit nuts. This event was by far the most dangerous thing I've ever seen. As harsh as I have been in my critique here, I do respect hill climbs, as this sport involves the short term intensity of autocross with the biggest dangers in all of motorsports, rally. It is a unique type of event and Pikes Peak is unique among hill climbs. Yes, mistakes were made, but they can be fixed. The number one issue still lies in the number of entrants they allowed to run the course on race day. 170 drivers (the entire amount left of the 211 that signed up) took to the mountain, which was about 50% too many. This was after qualifying had whittled the field down to 100 entrants. At the last minute the event organizers caved to political pressure from many entrants (possibly rightfully so) and changed their stance Saturday morning at 8am to allow all entrants to race, two hours before a protest hearing. This allowed too many entrants to fit in the allotted race period and allowed some entrants that honestly were not qualified to race on this mountain. One of the Unlimited class drivers had never done any sort of competition driving... not even an autocross. Nothing. Crashed twice in practice, banged up his co-driver a (edited), and was still allowed to race. These things don't need to happen.

In years past, the attendance from cars at this event had dropped so low that the organizers were bending over backwards to allow just about anything, creating new classes to attract Drift racers, rally racers, and more. They adopted their existing safety regulations, to try to entice them to come without having to modify their cars. Last year they had about 70 racers make it to race day. This year they had 170 racers and ran very late, with many racers running in the predictably bad late afternoon weather, causing more crashes and delays. Now that the mountain is fully paved and they have an over abundance of entrants, these safety concessions need to be readdressed. I know of several racers that are already sending letters to the PPIHC board to ask them to tighten up safety requirements, reinstate vetting of some kind to try to reduce the number of inexperienced racers (and car builders), and to make the event safer for both racers and spectators.

Come Watch before you Race

One thing that anyone contemplating running a PPIHC event should do is go and work crew for a team one year. If that is the only thing you take away from this post, then at least it was worth writing. Coming from a time trial, road racing or other W2W background, some things you see here will seem foreign, disorganized and very different to you - as they do me. But if you talk to enough experienced competitors you will likely get an understanding of why things are done differently, and how the minimum rules aren't always the best way to do things. I'm still processing all of the data I learned at this event, almost a week later, and at least I know more than I did before going to this event.

This event has been run for 90 years so the organizers might not be amiable to change anything. If the safety regulations do not get a big update next year, future PPIHC entrants will have a choice - do they built super light cars & cages and skimp on safety, just run the safety regulations from whatever racing series they are coming from, or do they follow rally safety regulations and build a car with a proper cage/nets/seats that can survive a crash on this mountain? I hope, after reading this and seeing these pictures, they give it a second thought.

I did meet a lot of really dedicated racers, great car builders, and saw lots of insanely cool machinery - which I will share and explore in a future post. Between me, Matt, and Brandon, we have tons of pictures that we will likely be cropping for days. Brianne's car arrived back at our shop early Tuesday morning so hopefully we can have the in-car video up later this week. Again, I am barely scratching the surface of the team's race experiences at PPIHC 2012. I just wanted to vent this insanity out first, then go back and talk about her car and experiences.

Thanks for reading.

Last edited by Fair!; 08-16-2012 at 03:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
Unread 08-16-2012, 10:15 AM
Fair!'s Avatar
Fair! Fair! is offline
I blame the internet
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,088
Default Re: Brianne Corn's Pike's Peak Subaru STi

This review of the event is even more harsh than my own, coming from Brianne's crew chief, JasonM. Jason works at Vorshlag but his views are his own.

Originally Posted by Jason M
JHere's my take on what was right and wrong with this year's event:

Time for a Pikes Peak update. – Warning, this is my opinion and not from my driver or employer. I saw issues with the PPIHC organization, the drivers, and the on-site and virtual spectators. This was only my fourth year on the Peak, and many things I write about, particularly the past, were told to me by other, older competitors.

Short story, our run was in less than ideal conditions and did not end in a podium finish, but we took responsibility for our own safety before the PPIHC took responsibility for the competitors that ran after us.

Long story, this year will go down in recent Pikes Peak history as one of the most controversial years, the most dangerous years, and the most disappointing years. In the years before paving started on the Pikes Peak Highway (yes, it’s ironically called a highway), the race accepted applicants, vetted them to make sure only qualified, experienced drivers fielding decent equipment were invited to participate. Then, based on qualifying times, the slower drivers were eliminated so that only the fastest, best prepared teams participated in the limited time available on race day.

During the transition to pavement attendance fell and the event seemed to accept most applicants with little vetting and did not eliminate any competitors between practice and race days.

With the paving done I expected a huge number of competitor applicants (which happened) and a return to vetting and eliminating drivers without appropriate experience (which did not happen). This caused issue #1, lots of drivers with no rally or hillclimb experience and little time trial or roadracing experience. Some with no more than some autocross experience. And novices with little competition driving experience were allowed to enter a car in the Unlimited class.

Accepting all these entries swelled the competitor list and it was obvious that not all of them would be able to run on race day. Competitors quickly started asking what sort of solution the PPIHC board was planning and were told the Qualifying rule from the rulebook would be put into play. The rulebook actually has a number of methods for including and excluding competitors and many of the novice competitors and spectators whined about the fairness or politics surrounding these methods. Here’s a few that I found in a quick skim:
Originally Posted by PPIHC Rules
Section II.
C. Any competitor who, in the opinion of the Stewards, shows insufficient skills, judgment, or ability may be disqualified from further participation in the event.

D. The Director of Competition shall have the right to require Competitors to demonstrate their ability to drive competitively on the Pikes Peak Race Course before they shall be permitted to practice or qualify.

Section III Part VII
7.2. Filing Entries-PPIHC will invite and receive entries only from selected competitors. PPIHC can set the number of entries in all divisions and classes, before the entry closing date.

8.2.4 Any race vehicle which does not make a qualification attempt may be added to the race program under the Race Director's option, subject to the approval of the Director of Competition and payment of all applicable fees.

8.2.5 The number of qualifiers for any division shall be established by the PPIHC. The PPIHC reserves the right to disqualify any competitor who qualifies outside a percentage (115%) of the fastest time. For spacing purposes the Director of Competition will notify all Stewards and Officials of those vehicles that fall outside of the 115% rule.

8.2.6 The race competitors shall be the stipulated number of fastest qualifiers, unless one or more of them fail to, or are not permitted to, line up for the race, in which case the Stewards may permit the next fastest qualifiers to complete the field. The PPIHC shall be allowed to add to the field at its discretion.

And this is all topped by:

Section III, Part I,

1.4. PPAHCEM Option-The PPAHCEM/PPIHC has the right to make and construe rules and to render decisions concerning them; to grant, refuse or withdraw licenses, sanctions and approvals; to assign and cancel dates for competitions; to appoint and rescind the appointment of officials; to impose and remove penalties for violation of its rules; to establish standards of eligibility for participation in competitions; to establish rules for its own procedures; and to do any and all things which, in its judgment, are consistent with the enhancement of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

1.6 Acceptance of Rules-Every person who participates in the event shall be deemed to be acquainted with the rules and shall agree to the acceptance of these rules as published, and as amended or supplemented, and agrees to be bound by same.

Originally Posted by Jason M
In addition to these rules, the competitors were told at the initial driver’s meeting that any competitor causing two red flags during practice or qualifying, or any competitor driving off the course on purpose (ditch hooking) would be disqualified from competition.

Well, that should thin out the ranks.

Instead, what happened was that the PPIHC followed their own rules with two exceptions. They changed the 115% of the fastest driver to 120% of the second fastest driver (seems acceptable to me) and they included a few high profile competitors under the guise of “promoter’s option” (see Section II 8.2.4 and Section III 1.4). The only reason I can see for competitors being surprised or upset about this was that the whole qualification requirements were not clearly stated before Tech Inspection was over (as required in the rulebook) or that they did not make the cut. This caused some anguish among rookie drivers who started a negative PR campaign against the PPIHC during Fan Fest. The PPIHC organization quickly caved to their pressure and issued a bulletin the next morning stating that all competitors would be allowed to participate in the Hill Climb, including those that wrecked twice, those that ditch hooked on course and those that were so slow they should be entered in the exhibition class.

So now we have unvetted competitors entered. We have far too many competitors entered. And we have inexperienced and unprepared competitors entered.

As an aside, we also have seven cars entered in the Electric class.

Back up to the actual practice days. The PPIHC organization tried a few things to make things smoother during practice days. Runs were allowed from dawn to 9:30, which is 30 minutes longer than 2010. But instead of allowing competitors to go to the start line whenever they were able and then halting the runs so competitors could return to the paddock when the line was idle like in past years, they broke up the runs by classes and practice runs could only be competed when your class was running. I’d estimate that cost us two runs in the top section, two in the middle and one at the lower qualifying section. In my eyes that was one experiment that failed. Bill Caswell has written on Japolink about the safety of the event and the lack of practice runs. This is one thing we agree on. The lack of practice and qualifying runs due to the huge number of competitors and the mico-organization of the runs damaged the competition of race day.

Something else they tried with success (in my opinion) was that the competition vehicles had to be in the pits by 6:00 PM on Saturday before the event. This eliminated the hours of getting competitors situated in their pit spaces on the morning of the event. Good call! Though we found another car in our pit space and had to have it moved, it was not really clear where our pit space started and ended, and we found our pit space boxed in a few times. Luckily our fellow racers are mostly cooperative.

On to Race Day.

Frankly, worked just like most PPIHC race days. Semi organized chaos. But that was expected. Competitors are expected to keep track of what group is running and when to stage in the start line. As unorganized as it seems, it always seems to work just fine and with a smaller race-day group it would work even better.

The race day was expected to be long, which meant we WOULD see a shift in the weather at some point. With a smaller competitor field they can sometimes finish the runs before 3:00 PM and they –might- be able to get everyone done before the weather changes for the worse, but with the huge number of competitors we estimated the earliest we would run would be 2:00 PM assuming we ran before the Unlimited class and that there were no delays. Even then there were plenty of competitors that had to start behind us. But the delays started early. Competitors (new and old) had mechanical issues on course and a larger than normal number of off course events that caused red-flags and delays.

I heard second-hand that we experienced a long delay because a fire truck was tied up observing Monster’s car after it failed on course. With the larger number of electrical cars entering it may be prudent to review the handling of electrical car fires to see if they can be made more efficient so the event can continue.

The red flags continued through the day and I have no issues with the race-day handling of the events that caused them. Very minor delays were caused by communication issues with safety trucks and ambulances, and that might have caused longer delays, but it seemed backup methods prevented those delays from being longer. Kudos to the organization for handling so many incidents so efficiently.

The LONG delay caused by rookie Jeremy Foley’s crash caused a few things that rankled the competitors. This was a wreck that closed the course for 90+ minutes and four competitors were red flagged and had to return to the start line for another run. Instead of returning to the end of the line per the rules they were allowed to start in front of the remainder of their division, thereby having the best possible weather conditions as the conditions were becoming worse. The long delay also caused a significant weather change to the course relative to the first four Time Attack Division competitiors, but that is a part of hillclimbs. The first four cars (the top four qualifiers) got to make their run in relatively nice conditions while the next seven ran in difficult conditions (rain, hail, sleet, cold). After two offs in the bad conditions the PPIHC organizers shortened the course mid-Division which caused some competitors to cry foul. But it was the right thing to do both for safety and to allow the remaining competitors to make a run. It would have taken too long to extract the two cars that had gone off and resume running the entire Highway. So the course was shortened to Glen Cove, below the two off-course cars and below the bad weather. The remainder of the Time Attack Division and the entire Open Wheel Division ran the shortened course.

The event finished and I attended the most lightly attended and latest PPIHC award ceremony in four years.

So what went wrong?

The big issues were that the PPIHC didn’t restrict entries to competitors with experience that crosses over to hillclimbs. They did not set a maximum entry number per division or per event and choose from the applicants and they did not eliminate competitors during qualification and practice. They also had minor procedure and communication issues during the event that most likely did not change the flavor, competition results or safety of the event.

The drivers used peer pressure, social media and threats of bad press to get the PPIHC organization to allow potentially unsuitable competitors to be admitted at multiple times during the event from the entry period, the qualification period and the time between the initial competitor list being published on Friday and the reversal email on Saturday. This has continued after the event with cries of “politics” and “unfair competition” after the event from a few bad sports.

In addition to the handling of the event, I believe that the safety rules regarding the cages for production cars should be changed to fall in line with FIA Rally cookbook cages, FIA homologated cages or Rally America cages. The simple cages used in some of the Time Attack cars is not adequate. Only through luck have we escaped using the current cage rules.

Some things viewed as issues that I think were the responsible thing to do:

Shorten the course. Had that not been done the delay caused by the off course cars would have caused the Open Wheel class to not run at all. Doing it in the middle of a Division was a difficult call, but any other call would have denied some competitors a chance at any run.

Including high-profile competitors when they qualified slower than eliminated competitors. Some competitors can whine all they want. But if their programs are attractive enough and they can generate the public buzz or be allied with the event, then they might have been included also.

Changing the qualifications from 115% of the fastest to 120% of the second fastest.
Using the first qualifier would have decimated the divisions and left very few competitors for race day. Slightly relaxing them allowed for full slate of competitors. Though the eventual elimination of qualification hurt the competition and flavor of the event on race day.
Reply With Quote
Unread 09-18-2012, 07:24 PM
Fair!'s Avatar
Fair! Fair! is offline
I blame the internet
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,088
Default Re: Brianne Corn's Pike's Peak Subaru STi

Project Update for September 18, 2012: Sorry for the month long delay in writing our "post-race report" update with the details of how the actual event went down for Brianne. We've been busy with other projects, preparing for and attending/competing in the 2012 SCCA Solo National Championships, buying some cars, and more.

Vorshlag Race Photo gallery: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/PPIHC2012/

I was only at this event for a little over three days and in this post I cover the Friday practice and Sunday race day from my point of view as a spectator/sponsor/race day supporter for the Brianne Corn Racing entry at the 2012 PPIHC event. No more talking about the event, rules, crashes, or other distractions - this is what I saw that related to Brianne's event.

2009 PPIHC Interview with Brianne Corn

Before you read about our race write-up, you should watch the video interview linked below. I had never seen this until today and actually found it while searching for the race day video from 2012. This interview was made at Pikes Peak in 2009, when Brianne first raced a motorcycle up the mountain. Great stuff, as it let's you see the history of her racing and her passion from 2004 to 2009. She talks about the moment she knew she had to become a racing driver (an accidental mountain road drive in a rental Golf, following some caged rally cars in Italy). Her start in autocrossing, her move to land speed racing in 2007, then to an experience in the Baja 1000 (Class 3 truck), onto rally, then to Pikes Peak. Great stuff!

Click the image above to watch this 2009 interview with Brianne Corn.

Excellent interview. You must watch this if you follow Brianne in her racing endeavors. Also, make sure to follow Brianne Corn Racing on Facebook, where you can keep up with all of her racing efforts.

Friday: Practice

Amy, Matt, his girlfriend, and I all flew into Colorado Springs LATE on Thursday night (at our hotel by 1:30 am). Then Amy, Matt and I got up at 4 am Friday morning to meet the team that had been here all week (including Ryan and Jason from Vorshlag) up on the mountain. Friday was the last day of practice and it took place on the middle stage of the mountain (qualifying was on Thursday on the bottom stage). It was a total CF once we arrived in tow with the crew, as there was no room for us to park at the start area. We made a split second call and drove our rental Impala to the top of Devil's Playground at 12,780 feet elevation, which was the finish area for that days practice runs. We were going to help with taking tire pressures, getting IR temperatures of key components, and snapping pictures as they came into this section and finished each run.

Two excellent pictures of the Subaru during practice - click either for a larger view

We hopped out of the rental car at 5 am, which was wheezing and detonating like mad going up at this altitude, wearing our shorts and t-shirts (it was warm at the hotel!) and we were freezing our butts off. Oh DAMN it was cold!!! 40°F and a wicked breeze that went right through you. I had like three raincoats on and was barely able to stand it. Matt hiked down the mountain a bit and took pictures near the finish area and I stayed up top to talk to Brianne and Jeremy as they made each of their three runs up the mountain.

With air this thin, shivering, and working on no sleep I was a wreck. Can't.... breathe.... ack! I was in a daze all morning trying to acclimate to the altitude. Much of this has been relayed to me, as I was only semi-conscious during the practice runs. On her first Friday run up the the mountain she was feeling the car out and getting used to the road on this middle practice stage in this car. The suspension was sorted and had been tested at PPIR the previous afternoon. Brianne and Jeremy were getting their notes synced up and just taking it easy. The second run up showed some minor boost leaks that Keith at AWD Tuning fixed. These leaks were causing part throttle lag, that went away ones the leaks were fixed. With these issues sorted they made fast on their third run for Friday.

Click the image above for in-car video from Friday's practice (on dry weather 285 width Hoosier R6s).

The "roof cam" video shown above is from their third and final run up the mountain on Friday, which was also their best time for the day.

At right you can see Brianne's "race dog" Meadow - who was stealing water bottles and burying them in the woods all week! Cracked us up.

Now they had some other issues on Thursday, which was the practice day when final qualifying occurred (even though they had another day of practice on Friday). A pressurized turbo hose popped off on the only serious practice run that day and she lost power on the 2nd sector, limping the car to the finish. That made for a 10th place qualifying spot, which didn't really show the true performance of the car (other practice times were 4th or so). Brianne was confident she could finish much higher than 10th and hoped to get a clean, dry run on race day, even buried halfway down the starting order. She also knew that running less than a third of the mountain in practice runs is nothing compared to running the entire, grueling course length in anger on race day. She was well acclimated to the altitude, had trained for this for four years, and the "last minute thrash built" car was finally sorted and fast.

Friday: Fan Fest (Car Show)

FanFest is a big car show and meet-and-greet with the drivers, held on Friday night in downtown Colorado Springs. They shut down the roads from ~4 pm to 10 pm and the top qualifiers from each class are required to attend and a big chunk of the other racers volunteer to bring their race cars out to this event as well. If you ever go to the PPIHC, you have to make sure not to miss this thing!

There are SO many cool photos from FanFest that I can only show a few here. If you start here in the Vorshlag photo gallery you'll see a bunch of the pics from FanFest that Brandon took. There was some incredible machinery gathered here for everyone to see - in a more concentrated area and easier to view than on race day or during practice.

Left: The crazy LoveFab "NSX" which ran in Unlimited class. Right: Dave Kern's beautiful and FAST EVO, which placed 2nd in the Time Attack class.

This year's FanFest had a giant RedBull show with motorcycles doing jumps, interviews with drivers, crazy stunts on bikes, and a huge carnival-like atmosphere. Later in the night, they had two stunt parachuters drop out of a plane and fly down onto the motorcycle ramp. We had a ball and the entire Vorshlag crew ate at a great pizza joint right on the main drag, during a break in the meet-and-greet period.

Above you can see some of the Vorshlag folks and Brianne herself hanging around the car. She was talking to hundreds of fans, signing autographs on the free "team poster" she was handing out, and saying "Hi" to old friends and racers that stopped by. Excellent PR there and she made a lot of new fans that day. This is a good opportunity for people to get up close to the cars and teams even whether they do or don't attend the actual event on race day.

Saturday: Race Preparation

The entire crew spent most of Saturday doing a more through version of their normal check list. This includes going over every system in the car, including some repairs to the cooling system, removal of the splitter and front bumper to check all of the brake cooling and oil plumbing hoses underneath, verify the alignment and a complete "nut and bolt" of the suspension and drivetrain. The main radiator cap was bypassing at lower than normal pressures, allowing some water loss from the bypass line at the radiator. This bypass line was blocked off and the over-pressure bypass for the entire coolant system was then handled by the second radiator cap at the remote reservoir we added. This second cap worked fine and the car didn't lose a drop during race day.


This was all done in the motel parking lot, which is common for Pikes Peak teams during off days or outside of the designated practice times on Wednesday-Friday of race week. Lots of fans stopped by the makeshift "garage" to inquire about the car, the event and the teams' history.

An excellent pre-dawn picture of Brianne and Jeremy taking the finish line at the Peak, during practice runs.

Most teams bring two trailers to the event, just like our crew. The main enclosed trailer stays at the hotel and a small open trailer goes with the team up the mountain for each day of testing. Why? Navigating the switchbacks with a big enclosed trailer is a nightmare, and parking in the woods (aka: paddock) on race day is impossible with a big trailer. So plan on having two trailers for race week at PPIHC, if you ever go. The team was originally going to rent a trailer in Colorado Springs, but JasonM managed to borrow an open trailer from another driver who's car broke earlier during practice (thanks Dave C!), and the Vorshlag trailer was used as the home base with lots of spares and more tools at the motel (shown above).

Sunday: Race Day Weather Fiasco

Here's some external video from several of the Time Attack class cars on race day, taken from Gilly's Corner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzZMPFD1_pM

In order to avoid any of the brand new 285/30/18 Hoosier A6 tires getting a puncture while driving through the woods (paddock area) to the starting line, they left the R6s on that were used during practice. Once the car was on the paved road area at the back of the starting grid, we hand carried the A6s down with the help of Bill Caswell (1/4 mile away) and mounted them under Mike Ryan's tent, a fellow PPIHC racer who drove the crazy Freightliner (see below). These A6s were driven about 50 feet and then were pulled off...

The conditions in the hour or so before her run were terrible, with rain and hail covering most of the mountain. What is it with Brianne and hail? Much to my chagrin, the team switched to the skinny 245mm Hoosier rain tires moments before her run, right at the starting line. The team was prepared for potential bad weather and was ready for the switch. This was highly recommended by the race organizers, as the handful of competitors before her were sliding off the wet and hail covered mountain road left and right in the late afternoon. Seeing those skinny rains go on the car caused me physical PAIN, after the days of work Ryan and our crew put into making the steel wide body fenders clear the 10" wheels, but it was the only logical choice given the horrible weather conditions.

Brianne and co-driver Jeremy blasted up the hill with a vengeance, rain be damned. Without windshield wipers or a defroster/heater, she couldn't see squat, but she never let up! Amazingly, she was only five seconds off in these wet conditions than she was in her 2011 AWD Time Attack class winning run, which was run under dry conditions in the same car.

Click the image above to watch the Race Day run in the Brianne Corn Racing Subaru STi. She ended up 5th in class with a 12:01 run in the wet.

The time of 12:01 placed her 5th out of the original 25 entrants in the Time Attack class, with the first three in her class running in the dry hours earlier (the class was delayed several times for crashes). Oh well, can't complain - should have qualified better to run towards the front of the pack with Rhys Millen and the others. After the event, Brianne was given the "Queen of the Mountain" award (a massive custom trophy belt buckle) which was pretty cool.

Comments from Brianne about this run: "I think there were four life flights that day. One crash caused a 90 minute delay which caused us to run in the rain. In fact, it was our friends that crashed and when we left the line the rumors were flying around the start line as to the extent of their injuries. I think (co-driver) Jeremy was a little shaken up by the situation.

The weather turned at the last minute and we were told to swap to our rain tires by the race officials. We were sitting at the line and had no opportunity to scrub them in. It was a very interesting ride and one of the best times I have had in the drivers seat in a while.

That is until the windshield fogged up. This was also compounded by the fact that I was experiencing slightly blurred vision from an allergic reaction to something in the air below the tree line."

That was a hairy run towards the top and she was looking out the side window and going by the pace notes and road feel for much of that last quarter of the course. Yikes!

After our crew got back from Colorado Springs, they were all still recovering from a long week of 3 am mornings and late nights. The entire crew (both of our guys, the folks from AWD Tuning, and Brianne's other volunteers) put in one helluva effort, and Brianne had the best race car she's ever had at Pikes Peak. I'm very proud of their work and her driving, and it's a shame the weather played such a prominent role in the results for part of the Time Attack class and all of the Open Wheel and Super Stock Car classes. The weather conditions were so poor that the race organizers eventually had the racers run a shortened course that ended at Glen Cove (11,440 feet), which is about half way through the full course.

What's Next?

I don't know Brianne's plans for next year or the future of this particular car. We had planned to support this car and Brianne at the Global Time Attack this weekend at TMS, but she could not go for a number of reasons. There are no plans to race it again in 2012 and certain parts have to be removed and returned to their owners, as they were on loan. What a shame - this was a potent little package that was only driven once in anger, in the rain on skinny tires. Bummer! Who knows - she could be at Pikes Peak in it again in 2013. I hope so!

Brianne's Subaru was recently used in a photoshoot to help promote the Cupcake Meet's Cupcakin' For Cancer car meet.

Click the image to enlarge.

If and when this car runs again, and if Vorshlag has anything to do with future work on this car, I will post again in this thread.

Thanks for following our work,

Last edited by Fair!; 09-20-2012 at 03:06 PM.
Reply With Quote
Unread 05-22-2014, 06:06 PM
Fair!'s Avatar
Fair! Fair! is offline
I blame the internet
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,088
Default Re: Brianne Corn's Pike's Peak Subaru STi

Project Update for May 22nd, 2014: What's up Subaru fans! Brianne's 2006 STi is back at Vorshlag for some pre-PPHIC 2014 prep. But before it arrived to our shop it was bodyworked and painted Ford Mustang Race Red by Shiloh and his gang at Heritage Paint And Body. I'll cover that and jump right into the updates we're doing and other plans Brianne and Jason have for this car for 2014.

Left: Brianne racing in 2011 with mixed dirt/asphalt. Right: Brianne at PPIHC in 2012 when it was 100% paved

So you remember Brianne Corn's epic class win in 2011 when the car was still silver, had the narrow 8" wheels, factory aero, and was just driven to the edge and beyond for that win. For 2012 she let us have the car for 3 weeks when we replumbed, rewired, and race prepped many systems (with the help of Pirtek). We also widened the body in steel to fit 18x10" D-Force wheels and 285mm tires under all four corners, added a custom splitter and rear wing, added custom AST coilovers and Vorshlag front and rear camber plates, and did a million other things.

The weather turned to snot on race day for Brianne in 2012 and she had to slog it up the mountain in rain, sleet and hail

Well the weather gods did not work with Brianne and she ended up racing up the mountain that year on the skinny rain tires in a downpour, that turned to sleet then hail at the top of the mountain. She couldn't even see out of the windshield towards the top of the hill and was looking out the side window for references to find her way - to even finish in those conditions was incredible.

Brianne (shown above showing off her new splitter) didn't race at PPIHC in 2013 and instead saved her pennies to put together a stronger attempt in this Subaru for 2014. She is receiving engine support and tuning by a new sponsor COBB Tuning, more help from Garrett Turbo, a new rear wing is coming (massive AJ Hartman carbon 2D wing), a new suspension has been ordered (Motion Control Suspension RR2), plus a bunch of other go-fast goodies on the wish list. Its getting serious, yall.

The race is June 29th and we only have the car here at Vorshlag for a couple of weeks.

Vorshlag Wide Body Work Done .... Quickly (recap)

Time to jump back two years and see what was done to the body, by us, and why - to help explain why it was so hard to fix in 2014.

Jump back in this thread and look at our previous posts showing the "wide-body" fender and door work done by Ryan B here at Vorshlag before the 2012 race. We were MASSIVELY rushed on that custom sheet metal work. Then the bondo work done by me, Paul and Jason was even more rushed.

We were so far behind, in fact, that there wasn't time to paint the car. Not even a quickie Maaco job - we had only hours left, so we shot some primer on the sheet metal work we did then wrapped the whole car in red sign shop vinyl with the help of about 8 people, working through the night. Impossible deadlines sometimes lead to tough choices.

So that's how we did it, in a pinch, but we are most certainly not a body shop. In our rush to get the car done we took the vinyl wrap shortcut...

Paint and Body Done Right!

Before we got our hands on the car it needed two weeks of paint and body miracles. After running PPIHC in 2012, this car suffered in the Texas heat. The red vinyl, which was supposed to be a temporary fix, got BAKED onto the sheet metal. Absolutely cooked. By the time the car arrived at Heritage Paint and Body in Sherman, Texas, (our preferred body/paint shop) the vinyl was not coming off. At. All.

We heard from Shiloh and his crew that it took several days to remove the vinyl, and some of it had to be sanded off. They tried ever more wicked solvents and even enlisted child labor to take off strips of red vinyl that were no larger than your fingernail. Just like other "short cuts" to proper paint jobs (wraps, plastidip, etc) there are usually unintended and nasty consequences... (sorry guys!!!)

Once their crew and kids (Shiloh and his wife have about a dozen childrens) got that old wrap material off, their bodywork team dug in and got to work smoothing out and even finishing some of the metal work that we hurriedly performed (or skipped!) to widen the body to fit over the 18x10" wheels. Then they used fiberglass filler to mold and smooth the curves of the exaggerated box flares much better than we did, and spent many days sanding and sanding. And sanding.

One body mod added by Shiloh was his signature "Subaru v-mount hood vent", which you can seen the image above and left. This opening will work to create a low pressure area on top of the hood to help extract hot air from the radiator and engine compartment. As usual Heritage did an excellent job in a short amount of time on the bodywork. It almost looked too good for a race car!

The original driver's door was kept, with all of the graphics still intact, as a souvenir for Brianne's shop

Then they primed the car, sanded some more, and finally sprayed on Ford Race Red - the same shade as our 2011 Mustang - and the color is so bright it will knock a man down at 20 paces. Wow! It really pops! And the bodywork is smooth and looks excellent - again, too nice for a race car.

Another perfectly lit, framed and artsy shot by our photographer Brandon LaJoie!

The car was transferred down to Vorshlag and we got to work immediately. This is how it looked when it got to us, shown above.

Initial Vorshlag Work - Splitter and FIA Bar

We noted that a number of parts that were on the car back in 2012 were missing or removed, so we put together a punch list with crew chief Jason McDaniel, and we got to work. The badass AST inverted 500mm struts had been transfered to a rallycross car, the strut tower brace and diff/trans + oil coolers were missing, the splitter was removed and missing some parts, among other notable items. Oh well, it can all be replaced.

The plan was to have the car for no more than a week, but there was a bit of "Scope creep" and the punch list kept getting longer, so the car stuck around as we tackled new work. right before the car arrived we lost our long time head fabricator and race mechanic Ryan B, but we got lucky and hired another experienced race tech / fabricator from a Daytona Prototype race team, Ryan H... we call him Ryan 2.0, heh! One of the first items Ryan tackled was re-attaching the splitter.

If you look at the old pics from 2012, we had pieced together a smoother front nose using red "Race roll", which is inexpensive, flexible but tough plastic material that comes in a roll. You can find this stuff in many colors at circle track supply stores, and we picked up a roll at Smileys. Well back in 2012 there were 3 separate pieces used to fill the gap under the lower grill opening and to cover up the giant holes where the OEM foglight housings go. We were working fast and furious and I think they even had me doing some of the race roll mounting, so that meant it was less than perfect.

This time around NewRyan made a template from the old mounts on the splitter as well as the existing holes in the bumper cover and managed to make a one-piece front cover that looked a lot better than the hastily applied bodywork we did two years ago Amazing how much better you can work when you have 1-2 days instead of 1-2 hours to tackle a task, heh!

Left: Race roll plastic is cut and fitted. Right: The race roll plastic is riveted in place.

Once the race roll material was mocked up, cut, trimmed and fitted Ryan ordered and then installed some 4" brake ducts into the race roll for new brake ducting. The old hoses were 3" in diameter, but as I've proven lately you can never have too much front brake cooling, so the move to 4" was made. I like the new, higher placement of the ducts, which should get nice, high pressure air and then that will be pumped inside the front brake rotors.

One item on the existing cage that Jason insisted on improving (this car was purchased in 2011 with the existing and less than perfect roll cage) was the addition of "FIA" crush tubes at the arc of the A-pillar down bars. This is becomming more common on many road race cars, but has been the standard in rally racing for years.

This extra tube is there to cover the laid back front "down bars" that connect the roof halo structure to the floor or frame. With the laid back windshields in modern sports cars this is not even remotely close to a 90 degree angle, and that corner of a roll cage crushes easily in a rollover, especially a "pancake" type impact. Adding this additional bar adds considerable "column strength" to the cage structure and makes the set-up safer. These do tend to make ingress/egress a little harder, but this car still has functional doors, which - when opened - still allows for a large opening for the driver to pass through.

These bars were added to both sides, even though PPIHC no longer allows co-drivers. This car will often have a person in the 2nd seat, for test and track events outside of Pikes Peak, so it was smart to make the cage symmetrical. Ryan used specialty software to cope the ends of the tubes perfectly, the first time, and the fit of the tubes at each joint was freakishly tight. You couldn't slide a piece of paper between the tubes when they were mocked up, so the final welded tubes will be strong as can be. The tubing used was 1-3/4" x .100" wall DOM, and for these "optional bars" you can use anything you want, but he went ahead and used tubing thicker than minimum requirements.

Those tubes were welded up and then primed then painted black. The rest of the cage was painted long ago in silver, but Brianne requested that the bars in her line of sight be painted black.

Fuel Cell Work

The class Brianne is racing in this year is new, and called Time Attack 2. This class requires an FIA approved fuel cell be used, so she picked one up (used) and asked us to install that in the trunk. Instead of cutting out the trunk floor and mounting it low, they asked us to just put it on the trunk floor but to mount it with a sturdy crash structure.

After some minor refurbishment and cleaning of the cell, Ryan built this mounting cage out of 1x1" square tubing and the upper structure can be un-bolted to extract the cell for service work. The battery box was relocated slightly and attaches to some of the same structure.

Moving to a 22 gallon ATL fuel cell required a little bit of plumbing rework from the lift pumps (now inside the cell) as well as to the external surge tank and Bosch 044 pump inside of that. These braided lines were re-worked by the same crew that built and plumbed the entire car in 2012 - Pirtek Plano South. Ed, the owner, came by and made these lines himself, earlier today. Now the cell can be filled with E95 ethanol and is good to go.

What's Next?

We aren't done, but time is starting to run out.

Left: New Tilton pedal assembly is already bolted in. Right: The pedals and master cylinders are in place, waiting for new plumbing

There's more work already underway that I'll show in my next post, including: new Tilton pedal assembly, new triple Tilton master cylinders (2 brake + 1 clutch), a remote adjustable balance bar for the brakes, custom firewall work to mount all of that, a new wing is inbound from AJ Hartman which we'll make new mounts for, and the MCS shocks should be here any day as well.

More soon!

Last edited by Fair!; 06-25-2014 at 04:00 PM.
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-10-2014, 09:43 AM
Fair!'s Avatar
Fair! Fair! is offline
I blame the internet
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,088
Default Re: Brianne Corn's Pike's Peak Subaru STi

Project Update for June 6, 2014: After the last update we worked another week on Brianne's Pikes Peak Subaru. In that week several key issues were built or completed, including a custom set of rear wing mounts for a new carbon 14x72" wing, new clutch and brake master cylinders, tome tow hook was added, and lots of other small items were buttoned up before she came to pick up her car. Let's cover this last installment before the 2014 PPIHC race now...

Firewall Mods + New Pedals + New Master Cylinders

This Subaru was purchased in 2011 by Brianne Corn Racing already semi-race-prepped. At that time the factory ABS system had been disabled, and they had very little time to prep the car for the 2011 PPIHC event (a handful of weeks). During the mad thrash to prep the car they looked into repairing the ABS, and replaced some sensors, but it looked like it had been disabled internally and Brianne decided it wasn't worth the effort to repair. Our name was on the fender back then because we sponsored camber plates. We never saw this car until May of 2012, a few weeks before that year's race.

She has since done multiple types of competition events in this car and even likes to use a handbrake for super tight turns, so having a non-ABS braking set-up has some advantages for her - so that ABS system was never revived. Also, with a heavily boosted turbocharged engine (600+ whp) and under racing conditions, the brake boost was erratic. So this Subaru has been used for the past several years with an OEM brake master cylinder, stock booster, and no ABS. Not the ideal situation, for sure, but we had a good plan to upgrade all of that plus give some real front to rear bias adjustment on the fly.

On a race car the weight of the entire driver/car package can change through a longer driving stint, mostly due to fuel load changes. And with the fuel cell normally located in the back of a car a brake bias adjustment is typically used through a driving stint to keep the 4 tires braking the same way, as weight is moved off of the rear tires due to fuel burn. Also, when bad weather hits (and for Pikes Peak it frequently does) you really need to alter the brake bias front to rear, to keep the rear tires from locking. And at Pikes Peak, a simple rear tire lock induced spin could send you tumbling down a 600 foot drop...

Normally the ABS can pretty much keep the brakes proportioned well enough to cover all of this. But when you don't have a computer proportioning the brakes for you "on the fly" hundreds of times a second, like a modern ABS system does, how do you alter the front to rear brake bias?

Tilton brake proportioning adjuster we're using on a different customer's race car to reduce rear brake line pressure

There are simple "knee point" brake proportioning valves that can somewhat adjust rear bias, and we're installing this Tilton unit above into a customers endurance car today (it was installed minutes before I wrote this). This type of proportioning valve is installed inline with the brake hydraulic line for the rear brake channel, just aft of the master cylinder but before it goes into an ABS block or any factory proportioning block or prop valve. The Tilton unit above is specified to adjust from no reduction in the rear pressure to as much as a 57% reduction.

But for true front to rear adjustments nothing replaces a racing style dual master cylinder with a real adjustable balance bar. This takes the brake pedal arm (with the right type of dual MC pedal assembly) and moves the pivot point before the dual MCs right to left, to alter how much stroke there is on the front or rear brake master cylinders. A cable operated adjuster (usually on a knob, sometimes a lever) remotely alters the pivot and the driver can make small changes throughout their driving stint to correct for fuel load or weather changes.

This is how most "true race cars" and formula car braking systems are set-up - with a racing pedal box set-up for dual master cylinders and often with a spot for a clutch pedal and clutch master cylinder as well. We forgot to get a photo of the brake bias adjuster knob installed, but it went in the center console right were the yellow "smiley face" decal is in the picture above. This knob adjusts a cable which slides the pivot point on the balance bar for the two brake Master Cylinders left to right, to adjust the front to rear brake bias. This will allow her to adjust for fuel load, weather changes, or even alter the handling - to allow for more trail braking or a more loose rear end, to suit her driving style as needed.

The stock pedal box next to the Tilton top hung style pedal box

We also picked up a 2 pedal, dual MC + clutch MC unit, shown above from Tilton (Tilton 72-601), which is a "firewall mount" style that has additional mounting provisions along the top the pedal assembly. You can see the factory Subaru stamped steel welded pedal box next to the Tilton piece. In this image the Tilton unit already has a custom tubular steel welded structure bolted to the top, which Ryan carefully built to mimics the OEM mounting holes. This way the new pedals mount to both the OEM mounts as well as the newly fabricated firewall steel section for a much more rigid assembly and no flex when she mashes the brake pedal HARD.

Race Car Brake Bias Explained - http://www.stockcarracing.com/techar...ar_brake_bias/

Brianne had complained about the firewall flexing and the OEM pedal assembly moving when she stomped on the brake pedal, so we tested this. And she was right - the OEM firewall and brake master cylinder allowed 3/4" of movement upwards when you pressed on the pedal HARD, all due to firewall flex. This made for a wishy-washy pedal feel. The factory firewall is just a thin stamped steel sheet metal structure made of very thin metal that has a funky shape with lots of bends in it.

Ryan looked at this and decided to cut out a portion of the firewall where the OEM brake booster/MC and clutch MC passed through. He then took a piece of slightly thicker steel plate, marked out the Tilton firewall mounting pattern, then cut out the various holes with hole saws and drills. Once the new flat steel patch panel was built it was welded into the existing factory firewall and small patch panels were marked, cut and welded in place to fill in the gaps to the curvy firewall surface. This is now a more rigid "box" structure that is completely flat on the mounting face so that the pedals sit squarely in the car. This rigid firewall structure with the custom bracket he added to attach to the OEM upper mounting holes has greatly reduced the flex.

Once the new firewall panel structure was welded and blended in place Ryan primed then painted the steel and mounted the Tilton pedal assembly and three new master cylinders. The master cylinder sizes were calculated based on the existing brakes, but can easily be changed to accommodate change to other brake components.

One of the MC caps was a little tight to an upper section of the firewall, so that was altered to give room to remove the cap and refill with fluids. Lastly our friends from Pirtek built all new stainless brake lines from all three MCs shown above to the various junctions, calipers and the clutch slave cylinder that already existed, but we neglected to get pictures of the finished installation before the car was returned to Brianne. Olof and the gang bled all of the hydraulic fluid systems with Motul RBF660 fluid for a clean fill with no air entrapped.

continued below

Last edited by Fair!; 06-10-2014 at 10:46 AM.
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-10-2014, 09:45 AM
Fair!'s Avatar
Fair! Fair! is offline
I blame the internet
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,088
Default Re: Brianne Corn's Pike's Peak Subaru STi

continued from above

That Wing Tho!

The Pikes Peak hill climb has sections of the course that exceed 130 mph in a car like this Subaru, and often there are high speed curves with extreme drop offs... so you don't want to skimp on the downforce.

In 2012, the APR GTC-300 wing used was a loaner from my Mustang, but we had something bigger and better in mind for 2014

Instead of using our old APR GTC-300 wing again, like she did in 2012, Brianne wanted a more modern 2D wing that she could keep on this car for future use. We're now a dealer for AJ Hartman aero products, after having tested the same wing on our car for the past couple of months, we ordered the biggest width they make (72") in their enormous 14" deep (chord) carbon fiber wing. This 9 pound monster arrived with the mounting saddles bonded and riveted to the underside at the widths Jason specified to work with a rear fender mounting arrangement.

We mocked up the wing as high and as far back as practical while keeping it under the "8 inches above the roof line" maximum to allow the car to stay legal for NASA ST/TT classes. Ryan and Brad placed the wing at the maximum height using some thin walled tubing as a temporary structure (see above), then sketched up some uprights in cardboard at this height.

Jason made sure he liked where it was going then we just let our head fabricator Ryan H go to town with the mounts. He transferred the cardboard templates to some of the same 6061 aluminum 3/16" plate that we used on our Mustang wing, which worked great at high speeds (see below).

A similar wing mount design for an identical AJ Hartman wing we installed on our 2011 Mustang a few weeks earlier

Instead of a wing mounting structure of the main uprights welded to base plates made from aluminum, which then bolt to the trunk or fenders, Ryan opted to go another route on the Pikes Peak Subaru. He cut out templates in cardboard then made the lower mounting "U" shaped brackets that attached to the fenders out of sheet steel. These compensated for the compound curves and contours of the rear fenders by incorporating the angles, shapes and mounting tabs he built into these lower brackets.

After he fabricated these lower "channel" mounting brackets to fit the car and snugly around the upright pieces they were drilled for through bolts to secure the plate aluminum wing uprights. Once it was all fitted and every measurement was checked he marked the mounting holes for the finished brackets and drilled the holes into the freshly painted fenders, which were protected with painters tape to avoid scratching anything.

If you look at the top right picture you will see that the leading edge of the uprights have been "bull nosed" or rounded, to reduce drag. Stainless steel button head bolts were used with nylock nuts and load spreading washers on the inside and everything was secured and locked down. The seemingly too short hardware shown above in these pictures was replaced with the correct length bolts later that day, to achieve full thread engagement on the nuts.

The final wing installation came out great. I'll admit - even I'm a little jealous!

Another detail we neglected to photograph was a cable limiter that the guys built to keep the trunk from opening all the way. The wing is mounted very high and far back, and the mounting uprights are just a hair wider than the width of the trunk, so the trunk still opens without interfering with the uprights. This trunk is still using the factory hinges and torsion lift springs. But.... you cannot open the trunk all of the way any more. It gets open now to about 75% of the stock range, then this cable limiter stops it from going further and whacking into the bottom of the wing.

This is important, as the trunk has to be opened to refill the fuel cell. It opens enough to get a funnel and a length of hose in there, and its how Jason wanted it - and he is the one likely to be refueling. There are no "fast pit stops" in hill climb, of course, but he still didn't want to have to make an opening in the trunk lid and extend the filler neck flush with the bodywork or have to remove the wing to fill the cell. This set-up works and we filled the tank to prove it - which was relatively easily.

Little Stuff

One little thing I noticed that was missing was a front tow hook. The rear has a solid factory hook that can be reached just under the back bumper cover but the front has nothing. And without a way to hook the front a tow truck driver can do some serious damage to your car in a hurry...

These low cost screw-in tow hook kits have been battle tested on our own cars and many customers' cars

We started using these screw-in, aluminum, pivoting tow hooks on BMWs a long time ago. We eventually figured out that we could make them work on a variety of cars if we just re-machined the threaded stud or made a new mounting point on the chassis that matched these affordable kits (they are only $25 and come in a dozen colors). Above these hooks are shown on a Vorshlag 7.0L V8 powered BMW E36 and our TT3 prepped Mustang. Both of those cars were good test mules for this hook design (the have each been towed from the hooks without any problems)

So we got a gold anodized version (since Brianne's numbers are going to be white with a gold background) and Ryan fabricated a new mount onto the front frame horn. He chucked the threaded section up in the lathe and re-machined it to fit a threaded hole in the new plate he added.

Last but not least was an upgrade to a brand new, FIA approved, Schroth Profi II 6PT Flexi Belt System set-up for a HANS device (which has necked down upper shoulder harnesses, not shown above). We happened to have one in stock and they grabbed it at the last minute, with the intent of installing it before the PPIHC event in a few weeks.

Brianne came up from San Marcos last Saturday (May 31st) and when they started to load the car onto her trailer of course it starts pouring rain. Jason got soaked arranging the ramps and boards, and by the time it was loaded onto the flatbed, the rain had stopped. Of course!

She still has a lot of parts to install at her shop, including the strut tower brace and various coolers attached to it that we built in 2012 (above left). There is also a set of Motion Control Suspension double adjustable monotube dampers heading her way that she will install, adjust and test. And COBB Tuning has a new shortlblock for her and some dyno tuning that will happen. Stay tuned for more on that, if we can get pictures and details on these upcoming updates to be performed in the next 2 weeks.

Gratuitous Pictures Below!

Here are a few of Brandon's best pictures of the finished car, as it left Vorshlag a week ago.

Brianne and Jason are heading up to Colorado Springs around June 20th, which puts them on the mountain about a week before the event. Flags will drop for the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 29th! If you are going to be there for practice days, Fan Fest on Friday, or on race day, be sure to say hi to the Brianne Corn Racing crew and cheer her on as she attacks this hill climb once again. This will be the 92nd running of the Race to the Clouds, and should be a good one.

Brandon should be there the week of PPIHC shooting pictures and we will post up again with a "after event" write-up, likely written by Jason with pictures from Brandon and video from in-car.

Good luck Brianne!
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:48 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.