I started out working for an engine reconditioning workshop as an apprentice Fitter Machinist. I built Holden & Chevy engines for competition purposes along with working on all of my own cars. I owned a XU1 Holden Torana, a VL Walkinshaw Commodore and a Holden Calais VL turbo during my 10 years as an apprentice. During this time, I had also obtained an Engine Reconditioner & Engineer trade certificate. Engines that I had built were being used in sprintcars, modified rods, HQ racing, Group-E racing, formula Ford, rally cars and many quick street cars and drag cars.
I was truely a Holden man to begin with. Even though I loved my “all muscle” Holdens, I had always liked the idea of a turbocharged engine. Turbochargers made it easy to gain power and torque while still keeping the car as a good daily driver. A mate let me take his MY94 WRX wagon for a spin one day (it was raining as well…) and I was just absolutely blown away by the traction it had in the wet! It was truly amazing. What happened next? I bought my first Subaru – that’s what happened. It was a MY97 WRX Club Spec. While I owned this car, I was reluctant to do too much to it as my work was over an hour’s drive away from where I lived.
After a while though, I decided to run a little bit more boost and added a rear muffler. This kept me happy as most of my driving was on the highway. In 1999, Subaru Australia released the Version 5 Impreza WRX STI and I just knew that it was the car that I had to have! I bought one in a heartbeat and joined the NSW WRX Club. THIS… was the beginning of my researching, developing and testing in order to unleash the beast within. I started off with a full exhaust system. I felt that this modification did not do much for improving torque. It did rev well with the exhaust but I love torque… the push in the seat.
I then set about testing different exhaust setups with particular attention to the down pipe. After 2 years of flat-out researching, developing and testing 30 different variations of exhaust systems, I finally found what I felt was the best exhaust system for horsepower, torque and off-boost drivability. I had also tested other modifications such as cold air intakes, intercooler (IC) tilting, different IC air splitters, larger bonnet scoops and waterspray. I participated in supersprint events with the NSW WRX Club. After the first year, although I missed the first 4 events, I still had a chance of taking the class win.
So I focused on improving the car’s power and handling. I tested all sorts of suspensions settings by adjusting camber, toe and ride height settings, all whilst developing my exhaust system and cold air intake duct in order to maximise efficiency from the standard turbo and intercooler. All the hard work and effort seemed to have paid off as I won! I was more than happy with that result. The following year, I competed in the class above and set about learning how to set up the car for dirt as well.
I had won all 7 tarmac events and broke all lap records on the way. The NSW WRX Club also held an event with the VIC WRX Club. I also won the class I was competing in. I had also won 2 of 3 dirt events (2nd place in the other). This was more than enough to win the club championship. Today, I continue to find ways to improve the performance of Subaru engines. I also compete in rally events with my built Version 8 STI Spec C rally car and have won numerous events over the years. This is my testimonial to you about the quality and reliability of my work with proven results.