Nippon Challenge 2008 Video


Sitting Pretty.


Despite some bad weather over the weekend, a decent amount was achieved on preparing Rexy. Our friend David had come to stay for the weekend, and Darren also turned up to help work on the car.

On Saturday, having serviced David's Forester Turbo, we swapped the wheels on Rexy for the set of Sti 17" ones lent to us by Darren. These were secured with some natty looking lightweight blue wheelnuts.

Karen, David and I then took the opportunity to try Rexy out with his new boots. David was certainly very impressed, having never driven such a powerful car before. Karen and I were very happy with the upgrade.

Next on the list of things to do was swap out the standard Driver's seat and install the pair of racing bucket seats. Once that was done, a spare (non-MSA legal) Sabelt harness was fixed into position for the passenger seat. The Driver's side is still using the standard inertia-reel item until we get a race legal 5-point Sabelt harness soon.

Sunday saw Darren take charge of the brake upgrade. With the new coilovers and wheel package, we could now fit the larger XSpec 295mm discs and 4-pot calipers. the flexible brake lines were also replaced with the HEL braided lines in a fancy electric blue finish.

For now we fitted some half-worn pads from my own Impreza Turbo road car. We're probably going to use CarboTech XP8 pads when we come to use the car in anger on track. The passenger side gave us some concern as the nut on the end of the fixed brake pipe didn't want to come off and it was just beginning to round off. After several different methods of removing it were tried and failed, David and Darren visited Halfords and returned with a proper brake pipe spanner in 10mm. This had very little trouble in allowing the pipe to be disconnected from the old flexible line and onto the new one.

Only the rear brake discs and flexible lines need replacing and then the entire system will need bleeding. Then we can carefully check the brakes work properly. it looks like Christmas will see Rexy with lots of presents: Extinguisher kit, electrical cut-out, vinyl graphics, etc!

Rexy's Return Home.


Having just returned from a great holiday in the 'States, Karen and I made our way to XSpec in Hinkley with bleary eyes on Saturday morning. Graham gave us a warm welcome with hot drinks and chat. Lots of good news on Karen's WRX and a bill that wasn't as extensive as we'd feared!

Rexy is now MOT'd for another 12 months which will come in handy getting used to how it performs and for wearing in new tyres. We don't currently have a trailer so at least we can still move it around legally and get it to trackdays, etc.

Work done included MOT preparation, fitting an uprated fuel pump, fitting and setting the geometry for the XSpec Coilovers, fitting the rollcage, supplying new XSpec brake discs and finally getting the power checked/set on the rolling road. Headline figures were 203bhp & 192 lbs/ft at 4500rpm at the wheels! (Putting engine power somewhere in the region of 270bhp which is good for a WRX of that age).

I drove Rexy home in convoy with Karen who drove my 1999 UK model Impreza Turbo. I'd never really noticed before much difference between Impreza models, but Rexy could now lay waste to my car!

So, when the weather allows all the bits lying about in the study and garage will be fitted and we'll be looking for a trackday to try it out...

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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