Many people in the business reckon this Subaru is the best the UK has to offer-and with good reason. The facts and figures speak for themselves. This car won the '07 TOTB-the UK's prestigious handling, top speed and dragstrip competition- the Scooby Shootout Handling competition and finished second overall at the '07 Time Attack. It produces 605 bhp at the wheels or 722 when the gas is switched on; so figure on about 800 at the flywheel. To build, the car cost 150,000 and has reached 194 mph and a recorded 9.59-second quarter-mile. Despite that multitasking competitive pedigree, it's still road legal and immaculate enough to be entered in concours.
"The whole concept for the car was that it had to be a show car, a race car and a drag car," says Roger Clark Motorsport's Matt Clark, who built the car. "We wanted to build an all-round car, which could do anything." That's a great description of the Subaru and the results confirm it. Bear in mind, however, that the car runs in basically the same spec regardless of what the event is, so some kind of compromise is inevitable.
The car is the result of four months of Matt's hard work and is an "Evo" version of an earlier customer's car that produced 800 bhp and was the first Subaru in the world to clock a 9.8-second quarter-mile with a manual gearbox.
"We wanted to stick with an old Subaru shape because it's still the car that everybody loves, especially with those wide arches," he says. "Those arches are a '99 WRC kit and so are the bumpers and boot spoiler. We had to add strengthening struts to the wing regarding midrange power. And because it was bigger than the GT35 it replaced, it didn't need to work as hard." He says the twin scroll helped to cancel out any extra lag.
A lot of this car was fabricated to meet Matt's specifications, and he's especially proud of the six-speed sequential gearbox that he had designed and built. You can now buy one from RCMS with the same spec for 18,000.
"It's reliable, fast and very strong," Matt says. "The big turbo cars are frantic once they get going and the engines are high strung. With a dog box, you can change into any gear at any speed and it blows your engine in the process. It's happened to a couple of people I know this season, but you can't do that with our box." The car is also fitted with an optional paddle shift system for when the driver-Olly, Matt's brother-is too busy to take his hands off the steering wheel. Although, he hasn't really had enough practice to feel comfortable using it.
So what does Olly make of the car his brother built? "It's been built in the ruthless pursuit of perfection," he replies. "If it's not absolutely perfect then Matt won't compromise and the whole car reflects that." Despite a successful rally career, following in the footsteps of his late father, Roger Clark, Olly has limited experience on the track but, as results show, he has adapted quickly and been a consistent front-runner.
So what's the car like to drive? "It's impossible to describe how fast that car is," Olly says. "It did 194 mph at TOTB from a standing start and since then we have added some more ignition at the top end, so it should be good for 200 mph now." He also says that the car is still docile enough to take your granny to the shops. Although, that would be a waste of its impressive potential. "It's absolutely brutal when the power kicks in between 4,500 and 5,000 rpm," he says. "And then it keeps pulling all the way round to 8,500." He describes the suspension as "awesome with some understeer," but admits that is an area that they plan to develop further.
Early teething problems with the nitrous bursting alloy boost pipes was resolved by switching to a direct-port system with individual jets for each cylinder, which has been successfully used on the dragstrip and the long straights at Silverstone.