"Because Race Car"


"Because Race Car" is a derogatory phrase mostly used to describe ill fitting panels, scuffed bodywork, or other bodges deemed acceptable because it's a race car. Well most of the time we'd tried to avoid this and have Karen's car turned out as best we could. However, we've now proudly joined the ranks of such cars by having only one working headlight. The other has been replaced by a duct to blow cool air over the new K&N air filter cone.

Having originally been nicknamed "Rexy", Karen's race car has now been called "Blinky" in honour of the new duct! Having completed all the over winter modifications to fit the Front Mount Intercooler and the new Induction filter it was time to give the car a shakedown.

Castle Combe was the venue chosen and our sponsors TenguDo Motorsport were also in attendance to give their car a run out as well. Unfortunately the circuit was covered in a blanket of fog. This lasted until well into the afternoon. Before that, However, Karen had driven out behind the circuit car to get some sighting laps in. After only one and a half laps she lost power and struggled to keep the car running as she limped back into the paddock.

There was a small amount of black smoke. Several theories were considered, including a boost hose leak, overfuelling due to a faulty fuel pressure regulator, etc. Certainly the car wouldn't idle but after leaving it for an hour it did idle ok so we assumed that it had overfuelled.

We had to admit defeat. The following weekend, the car was delivered to Powerstation in nearby Tewkesbury for full diagnostics. In addition we'd asked for upgrading the injectors, fitting of a fuel swirlpot setup and finally fitment of a Simtek ECU and a bespoke map to get towards the magic 300bhp barrier.

Unfortunately, the diagnostics revealed low compression in cylinder number four. With the engine removed it was revealed that number four piston had suffered Land Ring failure. The bore had only received minor scoring that a light hone would resolve. The solution was to fit a new piston and get it all back together again but it's never that simple, is it? The pistons could not be identified and were assumed to be some kind of aftermarket items. The only available solution was to replace all four pistons with a completely new matched set! Impreza P1 pistons were deemed a suitable OEM replacement and they're forged so should help prevent this ever happening again..."Because Race Car"!

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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