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RE: Subey WRX

Hi Mike!

Glad to hear that you were able to make it to STPR, but sorry you were
unable to finish :-(  I know when we ran Rim, it was tough not to push
the 323 GTX just a little bit harder to really be competitive, but our
goal was simply to finish, which we did.

Anyway, I also read from the press notes, that Buffum ran into Henry Joy
on one of the early transit stages.  It just didn't seem like it was
going to be Henry's rally.  Merrill's crew chief, and the entire Saab
crew tried to help get Henry running again, but to no avail...but I
guess things weren't going well for Paul either, at least until the end.

My dad called Buffum today to ask him about some S2 parts, and told him
we were monitoring what was happening via the net, and thought it looked
like he was going to walk away with the win until the next to last
stage.  His response was, "Yep, shit happens."

Anyway, as far as the rollcage changes are concerned, I know about the
bracing that is welded into the tubing by the A-pillar.  Believe me, the
designs of my car already have this, as well as some other strengthening
features.  When you actually see the car, you are going to notice that
there is noticeably more cagework, than just about any other car out
there.  My dad's philosophy is that he would obviously much rather
sacrifice the weight for having the extra protection, in case I do
something stupid like roll down an embankment, hit a tree, etc.  Safety
is the first and formost issue of building this car.  Having been in
kart racing for sometime, and taken more than my share of flips, I
prefer to have as much protection as I can get!

As far as the WRX being better than Audi in rallying, to be honest I
highly doubt that.  Let's take for example, the Mitsu Evo IV in the WRC,
which last year creamed the pants off of the WRX.  By those who have
driven the Evo, the general consensus seems to be that it is a much
better car.

Now let's move over here to the US, where Henry runs an Evo, which
probably makes more power than the Grp. A cars due to restrictor
requirements, etc.  Obviously that Evo is a *very* competitive car with
a *very* good driver, but consider the fact that the Sprongls are
running an older S2, which is just as competitive as the any of the new
fast cars from Hyundai, Ford, and Mitsubishi.  I actually think, that
with a different powerplant, the car could even make more power.

I believe there comes a point when you simply cannot put that much power
to the ground in a reasonable manner (i.e. dirt/gravel/etc.), and still
have the car controllable.  It's then up to the driver to be able to
control the car and understand the characteristics of how the car
behaves.  I do think that the audi_is_not uncompetitive with the Subarus
and the Mitsubishis out there.  I actually think that the new Hyundai
would be very competitive in the WRC, even with the car in WRC specs.
BTW, after talking with Buffum, the thinking behind the building of the
Hyundai is to go for durability.  Buffum said he uses things that are
simple_and_work.  This a completely different approach from the WRC

Anyway, I think another thing that Audi has going for them is the
reliability aspects.  In racing, there are always going to be mechanical
problems, but I think many of the weak points of the car have been
addressed, and the car has proven itself to be very competitive.  I
think that one of the reasons that nobody runs Audis *really*
competitively in Europe, is that (1) Audi pays no contingency and (2)
there really is no support from the factory for development (at least
not at this point anyway).

As far as parts for the Audi that I have to buy and can't fabricate, I'm
not quite sure what you're referring to.  The car will have many
fabricated parts, including suspension pieces, intake manifold, exhaust
manifold, complete exhaust, dash, door panels, roll cage, etc.  The
drivetrain in the car is pretty much staying as is, with the exception
that I am considering buying a Torsen diff out of a V8Q for the back.
The brakes are going to be large diameter rotors with 4-piston calipers,
and an adjustable brake bias in the car.

I know that there are some nice_and expensive pieces out there for all
of these different cars.  There are Mazda Motorsport rally transmissions
for our 323 GTX, for example, that we would have loved to have had, but
there was no need for it.  It's the same deal with the Schmidt motor
sport pieces for the S2.  There are some really nice pieces out there,
but unless I have an absolute need for them, I'm not going to take out a
mortgage to buy some pieces, that I can make to do the same job just as
well.  I *hate* spending money on superfluous crap that I could have
made for half the money, and have extra pieces left over!  My dad and I
have done this enough, where we know what basic pieces we have to buy,
and we know what pieces we can save money on by fabricating ourselves or
having someone else fabricate.

I used to spend *lots* of money on parts for karts (Italian made Kali
Karts), that made *no* difference whatsoever.  Unfortunately, it was the
mindset I was in at the time that, "hey everybody else is using these
pieces, so I better use them too."  I'm over that now, and just as
Buffum said and does, I'm after simplicity of design.

This car has been well thought out and the design work on the car is
excellent.  I have no doubts that the car itself will be extremely
competitive.  I am going to enjoy the challenge of learning to drive the
car well, and try to bring my abilities up to the competitive levels
they should be at.  Basically I want to be competitive, but I want to
have fun with this as well.  This isn't my job (all though it would be
nice if it were some day ;-), but when I'm competing in a rally, I'm
going to think as if it is.


Mark Nelson

	<<Hi Mark.
> I finally got to rally my Toyota. I ran first divisinal at STPR. First
> stage was rough because I was uncomfortable in my seat. Than I removed
> some cage padding and things got better. I completed 4 stages and than
> my 
> transmission cooler hose broke and I stopped. My car wiring was
> finished 
> last minute and I barely made it to the rally. I had to drive at night
> to 
> get there and went through tech late. Sad to report that Bruno crashed
> his GropeB car, but didn't get hurt. He rolled on stage 3 and we were
> all 
>  delayed several minutes untill they cleared him out. I hope he
> repares 
> it on time for Bay De Chalour rally in Canada. I wanted to go and
> service 
> his car there. Hank Joy rolled but continued to service where Murry 
> replaced his windchield and front struts. He crashed his Evo again
> later 
> on and DNF. John Buffum drove well as allways but crashed slightly and
> had a small fire when Aeroquip turbo oil supply line broke he DNF too.
> Carl finally won. By the way his ford is WRC shell, not GrpA. He tried
> hard. I don't know if your shell is done yet, but I hope you noticed 
> latest methods to prevent A pillar caving in case of crash. Carl's
> Ford 
> and Paul's Hundai have it . John's old S2 did not have it. It was only
> invented last summer. I can fax you a scatch if you want. My Celica
> has 
> it. 
> 4KTQ driven by Camp did well. He ran all the way in top five at the
> end. 
> I don't know how he finished.
> As for WRX it is better for rally than any Audi will ever be. GpA WRX
> not 
> even Prodrive but privatly well built Clubman GrpA is a better car
> than 
> GrpB Audi. It is lighter and drivetrain choices are better. It is the 
> reason why nobody rallyes Audi in Europe any more. For us here on this
> level using stock junk parts it still possible and cost effective. For
> this reason I went with Toyota which now has same 215 hp as old WRX.
> New 
> WRX has 285hp (latest homologation spetial). I can easely purchase
> bolt 
> on rally parts that you will never be able to fabricate for your Audi.
> Down side of my Toyota however is  cost. By the way Paul's car doesn't
> have any WRC parts on it. Everything including his trandmission was 
> either built by John or privatly in England. His trans is not X Track
> but 
> simple dog box. This is also available for my car and I hope to get it
> some day.
> Best of luck .
> Mike Zamikhovsky.>>