SOCSA SKIDPAN DAY, ZWARTKOPS – 25th AUGUST 2013
What better way is there to spend an almost perfect early spring morning, than enjoying your Subaru (or Toyota or Noble or Mazdarati or Nissan or BMW) on a skidpan and shooting the poo with your mates? This past Sunday was such a day, and it all went down at Pretoria’s Zwartkops Raceway.
Registration commenced at approximately 8 a.m. with a total 30 participants signing in, all under the watchful eye of Mr. & Mrs. Merlin. This was followed by a short drivers briefing carried out by Mr. Hay, after which the first of the 3 routes was laid out on the slippery, glistening pan. Cars were numbered; tyre pressures where checked; 838’s useless batteried Macbook was setup, stopwatches were readied … deep breath … and we were off!
Skidpan events are a really great way to learn about ones car’s dynamic abilities, handling characteristics and limits, all within a safe controlled adrenalin filled environment. It is also an excellent way to learn about car control and greatly improves driving skill and confidence. Oh and did I mention how much fun it is?
The plan for the day was to allow each driver two runs on the first two routes, both of which utilised the entire skidpan area, with the third route being a two car, mirrored head to head session and the pan split in half down the middle (if that makes sense?!). Two runs on each side were completed by each driver for route three, which totaled eight runs per driver for the day! Each competitor’s fastest time from each course was then added together and totaled for the final results. By the way, did I mention how much fun it was?
The routes were thoughtfully planned and laid out by Cat in Hat and had a lovely mix of flowing twists, loops, slaloms and turns and were not overly complicated. Having said that, I think almost all of us managed to get it wrong at least once! I can’t recall, did I mention how much fun it was?
On the vehicle front there was some nice variety to be seen on the day. From the usual host of Impreza Sti’s, WRX’s and GT’s of all eras, to a couple of Forester XT’s and a pair of Toybaru FT86’s representing the Fuji factory. The rest of the field was made up of a lovely red Noble M400 (which has no driver aids whatsoever and looked like an absolute pleasure to drive on the pan), a Mazda MPS, a Nissan 350Z as well as Marco and Shantell’s ever impressive and well sorted BMW 328i.
It was also great to see some new faces and ladies taking part. This will hopefully encourage more to join the fun in future. A certain lady in a certain Forester even managed to beat her husband in his own car! Must be the pink XTi stickers! And did I mention how much fun she had?
When all was done and watered, results tallied and orange cones wedged out from underneath Carl’s car and packed up, the following competitors came out on top – congratulations guys and girls. (For interests sake, Carl and Sean were separated by a measly 0.21 seconds!)
1st – Nadia Singh (Our very own Chair Chick) 1st – Carl Van As
2nd – Shantell Van der Schyff 2nd – Sean Pretorius
3rd – Nicola Smith 3rd – Owen Warne
A special thanks to Cat in Hat, WRX737, The Merlins, Impreziv Chick, 838, volunteers and all others involved for organizing and helping out at another excellent SOCSA event. The SOCSA versus Audi skidpan event on the 28th of September is not to be missed! And I think I might have already mentioned how much fun it was!
Article by Mike Switzer (Stretch)
Phakisa, the most highly anticipated event of the year on the SOCSA calendar, came and went in a flash as usual leaving all those that participated with withdrawal symptoms for a few days after the weekend.
A fair majority of the usual suspects appeared on Friday afternoon at the track, some travelling from as far as the Natal south coast, to offload their prize possessions in the form of track prepped Scoobies and Nissans. There was even a bright red Nobel that graced us with its presence. I was amazed at the number of trailered vehicles this year. Perhaps this was due to a history of vehicles being chewed up and spat out from the unforgettable Phakisa freeway.
Dark and early, we arose to an unusually warm Saturday morning for this time of the year in Welkom. Breakfast was shovelled down our throats so we could all make our way to the track. On arrival we were met by the Porsche club from Bloemfontein, who brought with them a pair of GT3RS’s, and a few others. A Ferrari also surprised us, and a beautifully built Caterham 7, powered by an exquisite twincam Toyota engine.
Registration went off without a glitch and after Wayne had finished the drivers briefing, we all made our way out onto the track. If you have not driven Phakisa, I can’t explain to you what you are missing out on. It is the most forgiving circuit we have in South Africa, and the surface is in excellent condition. This is a track you need to put on your bucket list. Those that could spare R40, could buy a domed gel sticker of the track to affix to their vehicle, proving they had driven this awesome circuit.
If the track was not all that would satisfy your addiction, then you could try your skill out on the dry gymkhana, set out by non-other than Mr Wayne Hay himself. Entrants had three turns to set their quickest times in a race to win the floating trophy sponsored by ASE.
The results for the dry Gymkhana were as follows:
Ladies went to; 1st Shantall van der Schyf, in non-other than their white BMW328i; 2nd Nadia Singh, in her newly acquired Black Hawkeye STi and in 3rd place Nicola Smith, in her husband’s Silver dream machine, a Blobeye WRX.
Men went to; 1st Wayne Hay, in his blue Hawkeye STi, 2nd Sean Pretorius in his white Hawkeye STi, and 3rd Marco van der Schyf, in their white BMW328i.
Wayne Hay took the floating trophy.
Late afternoon came at a tremendous pace and eventually it was time to pack up our toys after a fantastic day of the aroma of tire smoke and burnt fuel. After loading our cars we headed back to the guest house to freshen up before meeting up for dinner at Route 66, where our MC Sean Pretorius, entertained us with his witty description of the day’s events. For all the culprits mentioned, a stiff shooter lay waiting. Some were exposed to more than one for their involvement in what must be the best event we’ve had this year so far. Go Phakisa!
A big thank you goes out to the committee and everyone who helped make this event possible, and once again a special mention to our sponsor ASE.
We look forward to a fantastic Phakisa 2014 and hope to see a lot more of you there next year.
The Official Subaru Owner’s Club SA is nothing if not a generous club, what with our generous support of petrol stations and aftermarket parts vendors. Sometimes, however, the generosity does not involve our cars, but rather cute and fuzzy things that are altogether more wallet-friendly.The June breakfast run was well-attended, and new members were introduced to old members, and thankfully some (much classier) older things were on the run too, such a perfect Lancia Delta Integrale and a classic 911. The run ended up at Pet Welfare’s premises in Lonehill, where a large pile of blankets, toys, food and some vitally important tennis balls were donated by the generous animal-loving members of SOCSA. Never has there been such a quiet and restrained entrance by rumbling rally cars, but then again, when there are puppies in sight, few can fail to make their lives revolve around them for the next few minutes at least! Unlike during the breakfast run, no bonnets were opened to show off engines, and in fact, for once the cars weren’t the centre of attention!
Pet Welfare SA is a new charity initiative that currently supports 9 homes for pets, and they seem to be off to a good start with an excellent marketing initiative that is spearheaded by the aforementioned puppies. The main purpose of this new initiative is to raise finance, donations and sponsorship for the 9 welfare’s, which allows them to focus on the day to day running of their respective shelters.
After the puppies had been exhausted from entertaining the members that attended the offices, tea and coffee were offered, before the Scoobs slowly started to rumble off into the distance, filled with the kind of good karma that will hopefully stave off some petrol price increases and love letters from Metro...
Wayne’s modding philosophy revolves around a lack of weight, responsiveness and handing. This has led to a car with “only” 195WKW, a weight loss (so far) of 75kg (depending on recent McDonald’s visits), and only the best suspension and track-biased mods being included. Wayne freely gives advice on driving and suspension set-ups, but God forbid you ask him what he thinks of modifying coilovers. He has also (with the help of Malan Strydom) adapted some imported brake ducts and improved them, undertrays to help smooth airflow under the car, and a complete disregard for washing his car.
Wayne’s hard work has paid off, he has more 1st place trophies than Zuma has wives, and has worked considerably harder too! For these reasons, we (the Reichstag, I mean committee) have decided that Wayne’s car should be first to be featured on the SOCSA website. Think of it as a semi-democratic winner of the “Garage” thread on the forum, only we vote more often than in government elections and it leads to more happiness.
Wayne previously traded in his aesthetically-challenged Blobeye STI for a heart-stoppingly gorgeous Hawkeye model (similiar to this author’s car) in January 2006, when it had first come out and nobody knew that ringlands weren’t a myth and that we should all mourn the loss of the 2 litre. Of course, this car was heavily used on the track (as intended), but this led to two head gasket failures. Instead of dealing with this disappointment and building the 2.5 engine, he decided to fix the problem once and for all by transplanting the much more reliable 2 litre engine and its cable throttle (the 2.5 has a drive by wire system) into his current chassis. Unfortunately he could only find a Spec C engine, so that would have to do, although he was mystified as to why local workshops were not willing to tackle the job. After putting in more work doing this transplant than Chris Barnard did, he unfortunately ruined the motor over a small spark plug issue at Phakisa 2007.
DWR and Wayne teamed up for a stroked motor, and 50 000km later, Wayne is still laughing at those of us chasing power and breaking motors. A focus on proven, reliable, JDM-type performance has allowed Wayne to spend more money on brakes, handling and safety than on breakages, and this shows in the kart-like handling of his vehicle. With Wayne’s constant urge to break records (usually just his own record from the previous year), its very difficult to gain permission to ride shotgun while he drives in anger. But the one ride I had over 2 years ago meant that I truly understood the benefits of what he was trying to achieve, and I would challenge anyone else to think differently!
Wayne’s nickname on the forum is an interesting story. After a small incident at turn 2 at Zwartkops, nobody wanted to mention him by name on the forum. He was referred to as “the guy always wearing cowboy hats” and thus, Cat in Hat was born. The incident happened because there was an attractive female in his car at the time, and Wayne confused the aircon button with the brake pedal, and thus fail was achieved.
Wayne’s car has a purposeful look that few other cars can emulate, whether it is from the extreme lowness of his car or the rollcage, nobody can tell. Some say when he puts his gloves on that the laws of physics bend to his will, all we know is, he has the hillclimb record AND the kart track record at Zwartkops!
To end off, Wayne offered some advice: “The best advice I can give to people embarking on a modifying journey is to have a clear objective as to what they want the car to be like and what they want to do with it. This is not an easy thing to do unless you attend events and expose yourself to different driving disciplines to see what you enjoy most”. Also, don’t waste money on any unneeded mods. Wayne recently sold his excellent (and huge) Hyperflow TMIC to a member with a much bigger turbo, as he has now proven that a stock turbo only requires a stock intercooler!
In short, come to events, talk to members, ask to have a ride in the cars that interest you, and take it from there!
Model - 2006 STIEngine - EJ20 semi-closed block, stroked to 2.13lHeads - Spec C polished and portedCams - OEM spec CTurbo - VF 37 twinscroll (Stock turbo for JDM cars), JDM equal length headers, JDM up-pipe, custom downpipe, HKS silent high power exhaust.Injectors - Bosch 750cc , OEM fuel rails, HKS fuel pressure regulatorOther engine bay - Pyro oil catch can , HKS oil cooler, Injen CAI, Mishimoto radiator, custom fuel surge tank.Intercooler - OEM STI TMICClutch - Exedy Lightweight flywheel and stage 1 clutch.Engine management - Autronic, HKS EVC6 boost controlSuspension - Whiteline sway bars front and rear, strut braces front and rear, KW Clubsport coilovers, Whiteline roll centre adjustment kit.Brakes - Braided lines, OEM calipers, Endless RF-650 fluid, Endless N35S pads, DBA Discs, Cusco master cylinder brace.Power - 190Kw and 400Nm (Kyoto)Wheels - 17” OZ Ultra - Potenza RE55S Semis 225 X 45 X 17Weight reduction: Carbon fibre wing, lightweight battery, aircon delete, back seats for events and a bit more.
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