While we still get the feeling that you'd get laughed out of pit lane if you showed up to an American track in this thing, Oaktec's efforts to develop a truly thrifty race car are commendable. After all, less money spent on petrol means more cash for tires, parts, and post-race hookers.
Mitsubishi Evo X Makes Its Circuit Debut At Silverstone
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X has been with us for well over a year now, and dozens are already slogging it out on racetracks worldwide. In September, Mitsubishi U.K. decided to up the ante and sent a mildly tuned Evo X out onto the battlefield that is 24-hour endurance racing. Not only did they want to see how it fared against the more-established competition, but Mitsubishi also wanted to know how well the all-new 4B11 engine and S-AWC drivetrain would hold up against the rigors of non-stop competition.
The race in question was the annual Silverstone Britcar 24-hour race, and after an inauspicious qualifying round that saw the turbocharger set itself on fire, the stripped-out Evolution completed the race in Twenty-Fifth place overall and Fifth in class. Not bad when you consider that a problem with the fuel tank meant the car couldn't be completely filled up nor let to run close to empty--meaning the Mitsubishi team had to endure a total of 45 time-wasting pit stops.
However, mechanical failures were notable by their absence, and the internally standard 4B11 mill and factory-issued S-AWC all-wheel-drive drivetrain took the punishment with no complaint. In fact, bar the new turbo, bigger injectors, and ECUtek computer, and racing the Evo's engine was not all that far from stock condition.
RIP Hideki Tanabe
On Sept. 20, Hideki Tanabe, the founder and owner of the world-renowned Japanese tuning house Powerhouse Amuse, passed away after enduring a long battle with an unknown illness.
Famous for the featherweight R34 GT-R-based Carbon-R time attack car and the S2000 GT1, which was arguably one of the best tuner cars in Gran Turismo 4, Tanabe was also Amuse's own parts designer, dyno tuner, and race driver, and always relished getting his hands dirty in the course of running his business. It's tragic that his life was cut short in such a way, particularly because he was a refreshingly honest and down-to-earth individual who embodied the very essence of his company and the whole car-tuning scene in general.
Tanabe's wife will continue to run Powerhouse Amuse as she had done throughout her husband's illness. Our thoughts are with her and their family in this time. Rest in peace.
Subaru ContemplatingWorld Touring Car Campaign?
While Subaru's iconic WRX STI may be better known for its successes in the World Rally Championship, the Japanese automaker may soon be considering campaigning the turbocharged all-wheel-drive hatchback on the smooth tarmac circuits of the World Touring Car Championship.
Proposals to share the same set of rules between the WRC and WTCC disciplines have opened up the possibility for Subaru to field its WRX-based WRC 2008 rally car in the popular touring car series, with only minor modifications. At the time of this writing, Subaru's WRC team wasn't exactly going from strength to strength, so a move into the world of circuit racing may be just the thing to help bring in the trophies, and the sales. Then again, branching out into a new racing series just might stress Subaru's already-overstretched motorsports division, which is scrambling to produce some consistent victories.
If you're too impatient to wait for Subaru to get their act together, then perhaps a move to Japan is advised. Over there you can get your fill of touring car action in the form of the local Super GT championship, which features a GDB Impreza WRX running in and winning the GT300 category.