What goes around...


...More wheels of course! Yet again, I managed to blag some bargains on eBay. This time it was in the form of two sets of Ultralite A-TEC alloy wheels in 7" x 17" size with an ET48 offset and PCD to suit a Subaru Impreza.

It just meant a hectic day on Saturday driving in convoy with Rexy to drop it off for the work at XSpec, and then continuing on to Preston in Lancashire to collect the wheels.

We're still uncertain of the tyre requirements for either the Subaru production class or the Nippon Challenge itself next year, so hopefully when the suspension is replaced we'll be able to use Darren's STi alloys and then get the control tyres fitted to the new alloys in the near future. (Or at least in time for the first race next year).

Rexy Goes the Full Monty.


Karen's Impreza WRX has been christened Rexy, and with her old race car now gone it was time for Rexy to begin the process of being converted into her latest racing car. Time to start stripping!

I removed the rear seats, belts and then all the trim in the boot. That was followed by the centre console and then both front seats. The carpet was then removed and various door trim parts. The passenger seat belt was removed, but the driver's one remains as the seat will need to be put back in to drive the car to XSpec in Hinkley for the rollcage install and various other work.

Everything does look a bit of a mess at the moment, but you can't make an omlette without breaking some eggs, as the saying goes. Karen's seen me prepare cars before but still manages to roll her eyes and ask if I know what I'm doing - When obviously, I don't have a clue...

In the next couple of days all the removed items will be disposed of and hopefully if the weather allows then myself and Darren will start chipping out all the sound deadening from inside the car. It's surprising how much that stuff weighs.

A Fond Farewell to an Old Friend...


Sunday was a sad day, as Karen's first race car that saw her through two eventful seasons of the MR2 Challenge was collected by its new owner. Shane will be driving the car in the MR2 Racing series, hopefully starting with an appearance at Snetterton in October.

It was quite emotional preparing the car for collection. Even Darren came over to pay his respects before it went...

Shane arrived at about 4.30pm and we did all the paperwork and talked him through the use of his new trailer. Soon it was time to say goodbye to Karen's faithful first racer and good luck to her new owner Shane.

All we could do then was to wave them goodbye...

We're looking forward to seeing Shane racing and will support him where possible. Here's hoping he has as much fun beginning his racing as Karen did with that car.

A Wheely Good Deal!


Darren made a flying visit today and kindly delivered four Subaru Impreza STi late model alloy wheels. Darren's going to lend them to us for the foreseeable future to help in getting Karen's Impreza racing as soon as possible.

They've been supplied in natty nylon wheel bags to keep things tidy when they're off the car. They're wearing Bridgestone Potenza RE040 tyres which have a decent aount of tread on them and are apparently great in the dry, but not too good in the wet.

The tyres are sized 225/45 x 17, which may be slightly too big and will possibly foul on the struts. There's only one way to find out, and that's to fit them. We're hoping to get them refurbished in time for next season with a colour change to brilliant white which will contrast nicely with the blue of Karen's car.

The shocking revelation to Richard was the heavy weight and size of wheels & tyres for the Impreza. He certainly won't be able to carry a couple at a time like he did for the Toyota MR2 Mk1 cars. Finding space in a towing vehicle or for more spares could be very tricky!

Brake it down...


Having spoken to Graham Poultney about the regulations for the proposed Subaru Cup production series, we felt more confident about sourcing some suitable brake upgrades that would be within the series regulations.

Once again, we've manged to find a decent deal on eBay. This time we blagged a pair of Subaru Impreza front 4-pot calipers and a pair of rear calipers. Total cost including delivery of £166.99.

They'll be tidied up and re-painted to a suitable colour and matched up to some new discs and pads from XSpec as well as some braided hoses. They'll be a vast improvement over the current sliding caliper setup, yet are fairly cheap compared to other brake kits available and of course will be series legal.

McRae Gathering 31st August 2008


We attended a tribute to the late Colin McRae that was held at Prodrive headquarters in Banbury and then later at their proving ground in Warwickshire. The event was attended by over one thousand Subarus of which most were the Impreza model.

A world record was broken by 1086 of the cars being used to form a mosaic spelling out Colin's name and displaying the Saltaire. It was a fantastic day with a great atmosphere (depsite wet weather in the afternoon). We even posed for a photograph with Colin's iconic rally cars and we'll be framing that and a copy of the mosaic photograph that is soon to be released. In the meantime, check out this version released to the newspapers:

If you want to know where we were, check out the cars in the 'C' of Colin. We were on the far right-hand side of the middle part!

Congratulatons to the organisers of the McRae Gathering and all those that took part in this fantastic tribute to Colin McRae.

About Karen Phillips

  • Karen races her Impreza WRX in the Classic and Sports Car Club (CSCC) Modern Classics series, with her husband Richard as a 2nd Driver. The races are mini-endurance events involving a driver-swap. Karen has previously raced in the Nippon Challenge, a race series for Japanese and Asian cars. Karen has been racing since 2006, having started in the MR2 Challenge.
  • Please check this site regularly for updates on Karen's progress through the season and developments with her race car.

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