This weekend we finally debuted the car at the now world famous Gatebil event at Rudskogen in Norway. We made some last minute changes to the front suspension, but unfortunately the MX32 4-links from Techno Toy Tuning that we wanted to fit to the rear end didn't fit at all, and there was no time or money left to find an alternative. So the rear end was still stock, apart from the panhard rod and welded diff.
As I had never really driven the car hard previous to the event, we didn't really know what to expect. However, nothing could have prepared us for what we had coming. The car was beyond awesome! The handling with the Tokico HTS dampers and Ohlins springs was amazing and the Toyo R888's provided enough grip to be fast, yet allowing for some awesome drifts. Sure, I wouldn't mind a bit more power than the stock 224hp, but I have to think twice before spending money, and power is not on the top of my list yet.
In short, the car caused quite the stir at an event where most cars are amazing and expensive monsters with 800hp and more bling than your average Kardashian. For some reason (that I kind of understand now), both the crowd, the photographers and the organizers fell in love with this old, scarred, cheap and underpowered build from Underground Garage. It seems that attitude and fun factor still goes a long way. For some of us, the Bride seats, Takata belts, Nardi wheel and SSR Longchamps is a well known recipe for a true JDM homage, but even those with no knowledge of JDM car culture seemed to "get it". Even parked in the paddock the car looked proud, and unphazed by the million dollar machinery it was surrounded by. The fact that it was one of the fastest regular street cars (the show is divided in street/extreme) didn't hurt either. So far, the list of defeated cars includes a Dodge Viper, a few EVOs and Imprezas, some Porsches, a dozen BMW M3/5s and many, many more. The announcers probably interviewed me 5 or 6 times, and claimed my car to be the car of the show! As my mechanic's name is David, I think we can safely say that this weekend, David beat Goliath!
Enough bragging, I'm just so thrilled that it all went so well. I'll leave you with some pictures and a short video from the event. There will be plenty more to come in the next couple of days! Also, check out this 120mph drift entry from the fastest corner on the track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeUdOw9ClEw
Oh, and I almost forgot. Gatebil Magazine will feature the car this fall and they used it for the photoshoot of this years Gatebil Babe!