In its latest attempt to gain an advantage on Hoonigan’s Ken Block, Subaru Motorsports USA and Vermont SportsCar has developed a new wing for its WRX STI Open Class rally cars.
The new wing, which pushes the edges of the American Rally Association rulebook, is based on the wing Subaru had previously been using in rallycross, but with modifications to push the wing higher towards the roof-line of the car.
Dan Anctil, motorsport director for Subaru Motorsports USA spoke, with DirtFish ahead of shakedown at New England Forest Rally about the changes.
“We haven’t developed a lot on these cars, just small incremental things over the years,” Anctil explained. “Recently with Barry [McKenna]’s car, and now Ken [Block]’s car, we’re taking full advantage of where the aero can be in the rule book.
“We had to make a few changes to step up the pace.
“We haven’t done much with the front of the car, aside from the canards we did last year. But in the rear, we had a little bit of room to, literally, grow.
“So, within the rule book, you can be at the roof line or a little bit above and we did some testing with that and it’s really tricky because you have to get the balance right.
“It’s easy to throw a larger wing on the back, but if you take away grip from the front, the car can understeer, push or whatever. So you have to find more downforce, but keep the balance in a happy place.
“So there are a couple of mechanical things. We’ve done a few aero things we’ve done and it’s just all in the name of trying to stay at the front.”
Only one of Subaru’s drivers got the chance to test the package however, as other commitments ruled out Travis Pastrana from attending the team’s test session.
“Brandon did the testing for this package and we just finished the Gymkhana filming with Travis, so Travis was not able to drive the car,” said Anctil.
“So this is a little bit new to Travis and we’ve obviously gone through a lot of meetings with him to make sure he’s happy with the direction we’ve gone. And he puts a lot of trust with Brandon on that. So it’ll be interesting going to shakedown.”
Pastrana and Brandon sit eight and three points ahead of Block respectively going into this weekend’s rally. Block has won the previous two rallies in his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.