Steve’s STi: Doing It Right!

Steve’s STi: Doing It Right!

by Frank Ewald 

In 2003 the sparkling new, blue Subaru  WRX STi contained enough power and handling to more than challenge Steve’s driving capability. Driving off the lot he knew that he had purchased an amazing car and that it had so much more power than he would ever fully utilize and that the AWD capabilities meant that he would have control in all situations. Then he started going to autocrosses and high performance driving schools. After that, there was no turning back. The curse of car modification hit – and it hit hard – and as the weaknesses of the once amazing STi were found, fixes were sought. Over the last decade Stephen Deneka’s Subaru WRX STi has been rebuilt into a fine machine, but over the last three years it has been transformed into a beautiful machine that almost defies belief.

 

There's no challenge recognizing this car as a Subaru WRX STi. The wing, splitter, and cage indicate that it has been “lightly” modified from when it left the showroom floor in 2003.

Steve’s STi was one of the first STi’s in Canada and he picked it up on June 30, 2003. It was a 2004 model. He was so impressed with his purchase and with this amazing performance machine that he took it out to a local track (Nelson at Shannonville Motorsport Park) with the thought, like everyone else who heads to the track for the first time in their amazing performance car, that he would blow the doors off of everyone who would ‘oooh’ and ‘aaahh’ at this amazing machine, fresh off the boat from Japan. Instead, he was beaten by his buddy Daniel who was driving a mere WRX. That was a turning point and the start of an ongoing passion for track schools. He took all instruction that was available – 25 schools between 2005 and 2006. He did not stop there, he then began instructing at the schools, and then began organizing them. Steve started participating in AutoSlalom in 2005, Navigational Rally events in 2006, and in 2006 also began participating in Ontario Time Attack events.

 

Sitting trackside at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park during a CASC event and you can sense that this car wants to be out on the track! I'm certainly looking forward to seeing it fly by the next time I'm on track with Steve.

The STi was a brilliant purchase because Steve knew that it came prepared from the factory for the kind of driving that he was going to do. He was not going to modify it nor allow anyone else to modify it. That, however, was before he got so actively involved in motorsport events. As his driving skill improved Steve began to see the inherent weaknesses of the car. For example, the 2004 model was very prone to understeer (a Cusco front differential later improved that), the suspension was too soft and squishy, and – of course – it simply did not have enough power! That began what will likely be a lifetime of upgrades and changes. We will document a few of them here.

 

I don't know about you, but I love being near corners and watching the cars as they fly by. Some struggle, some float through, and then there are cars like Steve's STi. It's made for the race track and you can tell. What an incredible car!
 

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