It has been just over 1 year since we acquired the IPGparts.com BRZ and it has continued to give us nothing but positive results. So far there are just under 5k miles on it including 23 track days and we have done nothing but replace consumables and put gas in it. All told we have gone through about 3 sets of tires between the RE71r and NT01 tires that we have run on it, on its 3rd set of front brake pads, its 2nd set of rear brake pads, has had 1 front rotor replacement and its 3rd oil change and 2nd transmission / differential fluid change were just performed with great results from Blackstone Lab on their condition. The car has been to Sebring International Raceway several times, Daytona International Speedway, The FIRM, Roebling Road, Road Atlanta, and Barber Motorsports Park. What more can we ask for?
The horsepower bug finally started itching and parts were acquired. The BRZ / FR-S platforms have a known power band issue with a huge torque dip in the midrange. This is quite noticeable on the street but on the track not so much as you are generally in the higher RPM range and out of the power dip area. Even still a header and a tune are the quickest bang for the buck changes you can make on these engines. After a bit of research an Ace Type-A 350 header was purchased and installed with the rest of the exhaust system remaining stock. These engines can get quite loud when the exhaust is fully opened up and that is not on the agenda so keeping it quiet is important. An EcuTek was secured and after the parts installed we relied on Bob at Circuit Motorsports and his expertise to do the tuning. The results are impressive, especially in the midrange. Yes, you may only see a 13-14 horsepower and torque increase at peak numbers but the midrange gains get closer to 30 ft lbs of torque. Driving the car on the street in normal stoplight to stoplight traffic is a night and day difference. Dare I say the car actually feels quick now.
This past Saturday we were able to take it down to Sebring International Raceway as well for some before and after testing. The car had RE71r tires mounted back on it so we could just drive it to the track and back, it is all about the ease of use. With loads of track time data on this car and in general at Sebring we consistently saw a 1.5-2 second per lap quicker time with the increased power, turning a new personal best of 2:37.5. We know we are leaving some on the table with the stock exhaust system behind the header and are considering doing a resonated front pipe on the car to free up a bit more power but the car sounds great how it is. It is a very mild tone during low RPM and partial throttle driving but gets a nice wail going during high RPM action.
And so begins the slippery slope of changing parts and testing with the car. The flood gates will open soon as we have some great ideas on setups and before and after tests we want to pursue. The testing will revolve around making it a quicker car on the race track and in particular at Sebring Intl Raceway as we want to take advantage of the world class track in our back yard as much as possible.