Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Sensation

What did I do to my car?
the day I brought it home

A year after I came to the conclusion that I was actually going to own a car that I had, for years, foresworn even driving, I dropped it off at IAG Performance and picked it up a month later, subtly transformed.
the day I brought it home from IAG

Why on earth did I do such a thing? Some of the work that's been done to the car can't be reversed without replacing body panels. It's also been a lot of money in a tight economy.

I did it because I wanted to. I did it because I had three cars that were not competitive in stock trim, and one of them had to go to ESP. I did it because, yes, I wanted to have the overdog car for once, and not the outclassed also-ran.

In other words, "Yes, I did it because I wanted to **** ESP."

I was reminded of this by some friends after my last blog entry. I was reminded that I got exactly what I wanted -- people crying that my car was too fast for the class, and that it needed to be moved. Shouldn't I be happy?

And, to some extent, yes, I am. The car has gotten a ton of notice whereever it goes. It's mean-looking, it's aggressive, it's "hellaflush." But the one thing I haven't been able to do with it is show that it's an overdog in ESP. I've improved on the consistency of my launches, but I haven't been driving it anywhere near its potential. I'm giving the cones too much space in the slaloms, I'm on the brakes too soon or too late, and I'm definitely not on the gas soon enough coming out of turns. You can see any of that in the videos I've posted, especially if you compare my Toledo left side runs to the one run that Greg McCance takes in my car.

I'm ordering differentials. That'll help (somewhat) with getting on the gas coming out of turns, since I won't be afraid of spinning an inside rear. And I'm getting race seats, either Sparco or Corbeau, so I can shed some weight from the car (at nearly 3100lbs, it's about 150lbs more than McCance's bug-eye). And then, in five weeks, there's the National Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska. Let the best driver win.

And to all the haters out there, who think that AWD and turbo can't be beat?
photo by Paul Magee

It feels great to actually get that off my chest, and to reaffirm just why I converted the car to an ESP monster. I may never love the WRX as much as I love my green Camaro, but it's actually somewhat fun to drive now, and I'm not going to let the hypocrites keep me down.

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