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Brianne Corn's Pike's Peak Subaru STi

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  • #16
    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:

    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:

    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, 03:06 PM.
    Terry Fair -
    2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
    EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


    • #17
      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, 04:00 PM.
      Terry Fair -
      2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
      EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


      • #18
        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 -

        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, 10:46 AM.
        Terry Fair -
        2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
        EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


        • #19
          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!
          Terry Fair -
          2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
          EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev