The cars competing in the ST Class are not stock cars (although far more stock than another well-known series’ “stock cars”). The Grand-Am sanctioning body allows varying degrees of modifications for each make, having to do with weight and standard engine output.
For the Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B, the team was able to do a significant amount of preparation. The body was stripped of undercoating and other sealants, leaving it bare, painted metal. It was like a body-in-white. The roof with its moonroof was replaced by a full metal one, for safety reasons.
Inside, any unnecessary items such as seats, carpeting, headliner, door panels, and trim were ripped out and replaced by a racing seat and full roll cage. Many of the components under the dashboard were removed, too.
Under the hood, the engine had to remain stock, with factory turbocharger and other parts of the air intake system. Even the exhaust was regulated to be stock – so the cars don’t even sound like racecars. In some ways, they’re too quiet.
Certain chassis systems were allowed to be upgraded, including shocks and some of the other suspension components.
All this work took place over six months at the team’s home base in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. At the beginning of the year, SRRT moved into a brand-new 5,000-square foot building on the premises, and it has access to Phoenix Engineering’s alignment equipment and 4-wheel dynamometer.
By mid-March, the team was ready to test the two new spec.B racecars. Although the weather wasn’t perfect for the two test days at BeaveRun Motorsports Complex in western Pennsylvania, the team learned enough to feel confident about the cars’ competitiveness. They were ready for the first of six Koni Challenge races in which the team was to compete for 2007 – Homestead-Miami Speedway in mid-April.
Testing pointed to a number of areas in the cars requiring attention prior to the first race, including tires, suspension settings, control units, fuel economy, and brakes. All in all, team members were elated about the cars.
All three Subaru Road Racing Team drivers from 2006 were ready to go for 2007. These included team principal Dave Rosenblum, 2005 and 2006 SCCA T2 champion Chuck Hemmingson, and 2005 and 2006 SCCA T2 runner-up Kristian Skavnes.
However, having two racecars requires fielding two drivers each for Grand-Am road racing. Hemmingson and Skavnes were to pair off in car #111, and Rosenblum tapped his friend Le Mans and prototype sportscar champion Davey Jones to co-drive #141. Jones also joined the other three drivers for testing at BeaveRun.
These racers have decades of experience and racing knowledge between them. The four men give Subaru every opportunity for success throughout the season.
“I posed the challenge to the team last year to finish each race in the top 10,” said James Han from SOA, “and they came through. After a partial season under our belts, I’m confident in the resources we have in place and competitiveness of the Legacy platform to perform even better this year.”