Steve’s STi: Doing It Right!


Stephen Deneka, making an adjustment in the STi's cabin. That grin came shortly after I asked him about the wheel horsepower of this drivetrain. 450 WHP. Grin. He couldn't help but grin. Makes you wonder …
The underside of the car from the back and we see the rear diff which houses a Cusco LSD. Custom axles from the DriveShaft Shop. And the heavy WhiteLine rear sway bar. I didn't have a tape measure or a pop can to demonstrate how low this car is, but – if you'll allow me to state the obvious – it's low! Check the axle angle!

This power is sent to the wheels via a Bully Twin Plate Cera-metallic clutch which has its own lightweight flywheel, making for a very light yet powerful clutch.  DriveShaft Shop custom axles are used and the driveshaft will soon be replaced with a one-piece carbon fibre unit. Cusco front and rear limited slip differentials ensure that power is evenly distributed to the wheels. The transmission started out as a stock USDM six speed, however, it has been enhanced with JDM fifth and sixth gear ratios. The wheels themselves are the always beautiful Enkei RPF1s that are 18×10.5 with a +15 offset.


This car is simply at home on the race track. It may still have power windows and power door locks. It still has a cup holder. But it looks like it's ready to take on all comers!

Moving to suspension, Hot Bits Sport Suspensions provides the key components.  These are custom designed piston and shock bodies. The camber plates are also custom, CNC milled to Steve’s specifications in order to gain access to more camber and caster than any commercially available plates. Swift racing springs are used – 12 kg front and 13 kg rear. Perfect for CTMP but a handful at tracks with a  bumpier surface or when cutting curbs. Whiteline rear sway bar, Whiteline Race Anti-lift kit. STi Trailing Arms rear. STi front control arms with custom heim joints. Cusco Engine and transmission mounting kit. And wherever heim joints are not used there are PowerFlex bushings. A few suspension mounting points have been relocated. The rear subframe has been replaced with a custom Moore Sport Incorporated (MSI) rear sub-frame that allows for the crazy drop this car has.


I'm really going to have to invest in a hoist so that I can get better under car pics. Here you see the front splitter extending back towards, but not past, the front axle. That is a key limitation in many time attack rule books. The header and exhaust mid-pipe are wrapped. The bright orange brake ducting stands out nicely – but only if you're lying on the ground and looking up!

Brakes are provided by StopTech. Two piece rotors, big StopTech Trophy Kit six piston front calipers with Performance Friction pads with the rear being stock Brembo calipers with Hawk DTC30 pads work together to haul the car down quickly and safely. A smaller than stock master cylinder is used to both clear the cage bars and also provide an improved braking feel. The pedal system is stock except that it has been modified to allow for adjustable brake height. Important for providing for great heel and toe action. With size 12 6E shoes some gas pedal arm bending was also necessary. The T45 alloy cage comes from Custom Cages in the U.K. It is FIA homologated, ties into the front strut towers, and is 50 to 60 pound lighter than standard CDS material, and was installed Frank Sprongl at Four Star Motorsports. Surprisingly the added chassis reinforcement induced a lot of understeer; this was dialled out through the use of various spring rates, geometry changes, and alignment settings.


Imported from Custom Cages in the U.K., the cage is built to FIA homologated standards. In addition to Time Attack, Steve is very involved in rally competition. He built this car to meet the needs of both and to provide the best of protection for himself and his navigator of the past seven years, Opal Gamble. 
The cage required tweaking the suspension setup and alignment to dial out understeer. Safety is of the utmost importance for Steve. He and his Time Attack co-driver, Trevor Hancher, will also be driving the Subaru WRX STi next September in the first ever Ontario 1500.

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