I came in with caution. Lots of guys talk about bringing there daily drivers out to rally-x. Lots of guys drive 100hp 2WD cars. Lots of people drive brand new Subaru’s. My experience is that stuff breaks. Prior to this event I had attended three rally-x events in two different cars… and replaced on those two cars, one clutch, two axles, one set of engine mounts, two blown stuts and one urethane side skirt. Not that I’m complaining. These weren’t new cars, and they weren’t cars that had really been driven hard before either. Just like this Celica. So I came in with caution.
I’m not sure how committed I really am here. Blowing things up could easily over extend my patience. That meant I was pretty gentle with the throttle in bumpy areas. I typically run 15 pounds of boost, but I turned it down to 10 for the day. The car held together, and is probably ready for a little more. For better or worse though, it won’t get the chance. As you read this I’m in Japan eating radiated oranges and praying that earth will remain still.
It took me a fair number of runs to familiarize myself with the car and loose surface driving. I hit a lot of cones, and pushed much to hard. I actually came in with the mindset that this big fat car would be impossible to spin, but I found out on my second run that was false. Not that I got all the way around, but it certainly rotated much further than I expected and ran me well off the line into uncharted ground. Behavior at low speed was absolutely predictable though: push push push. Turning around single cones makes me realize my driving needs a lot of improvement. Coming in slow and accelerating out is probably a decent enough strategy, but it sure feels awful. Without the LSD rear end of the RC I probably would have parked it and asked for Andrew’s keys. And my new helmet is a little tall. I thought I’d have no problem with headroom, but that wasn’t the case. Real buckets will be a requisite of keeping the car long term.