Without boring the average reader but to throw the motor heads a bone, the changes Paul made this year over last year were these:
*New bumpers were fabricated by Ray, owner of New West Welding. Ray also strengthened the radiator support. This came in handy on day two as some Mexicans blocked off the main course in a remote area and made the cars climb a near vertical hill (they do stuff like this if they feel the already impassable road is not hard enough… The Subie did fine clawing up the hill and nearly getting high centered. On the down side it was just as steep. When Paul crested the top of the hill the car went straight down on its new nose. The new bumper, skid plate and core support held and just tweaked the new LED light bar. I’m sure the locals took videos on their i-Phones and posted them on a website such as “Bendejo Gringos in Baja.”
*New coil-overs that worked fantastic until they didn’t.
*New LED light bars, in case the sun went down before the next town.
* Cop lights (blue flashers), cop siren, cop tires, AKA Blue’s brothers.
*New GPS tracker required by NORRA…didn’t work so well. Mostly did not.
*Performance cams to see if all the hype on the Subaru blogs were right. Paul said it seemed to have torque available where before he usually had to downshift. This change probably saved his bacon in the silt beds.
*The under-dive crank pulley was changed to a full size lightweight pulley to keep the AC churning at the correct RPM at slower speeds. The AC really is necessary on this type of racing. Not only is the air temp 100+ during the day, the dust and silt will blind you if the windows are down. Breathing this fine dust for hundreds of miles also cannot be good. Most of the other cars—buggies and vintage racers do not have any glass in them at all. To combat dust and heat, the helmets are sort of sealed at the neck and fresh air is pumped by a fan into the helmet to cool the driver/co-driver’s head and to give them a giddy, lightheaded feeling I think.
In Netarts, Oregon. Ready to go with a new look and improvements.