Motorsports Uncategorized

DirtFish Tech: How Rally Suspension Works

Motorsports, Uncategorized | October 29, 2019

It’s no ordinary suspension that gives rally cars their first-rate ride.

Rally racing puts a car through just about every terrible experience it could have. To name just a few, rally vehicles can expect to encounter and dominate: jumps, ruts, bumps, and rocks. If you hit a pothole in your day-to-day vehicle, it’s probably not going to feel very good. Now imagine hitting that pothole at 100 mph… while racing down a dirt road… in muddy conditions. Without the properly beefy rally suspension, you’d be in serious trouble, wouldn’t you? Rally suspension is key to any would-be rally racer. Here are some of the basics.

What Is Rally Suspension?

Arguably, the suspension is what makes the rally car a rally car. Rally racing is typically defined by its use of “unpaved” and “unforgiving” roads, and what makes a vehicle capable of deftly handling that terrain is its suspension. Simply put, the suspension refers to the system of tires, springs, and shock absorbers that link the car to its wheels. The suspension’s goal is to optimize the friction between the road and the tires, which in turn provides excellent handling and steering. You’re going to need those if you’re competing in rally.

How Is Rally Suspension Different from Regular Suspension?

In a regular car, your suspension is designed mostly for your driving comfort. A rally car’s suspension, on the other hand, is less concerned with how you felt after you landed a jump and more about how your car felt.

In comparison to a normal vehicle, rally car suspensions have:
•Inverted monotube shocks
•Shocks that are over triple the diameter
•Different valving to handle high and low-speed impacts
•Mounting tabs that are twice as thick
•Shocks with adjustable compression, spring rates, and height of suspension available

These are just a few of the differences, without diving into too much detail. Suspension for a rally car is also relatively difficult to procure in the United States, as most companies in the industry are located in European countries.

Suspension-3

Maintenance Is Key

Rally suspension is also unique from regular suspension in that the shocks they utilize can, and should, be maintained on a regular basis. A regular shock can simply be run until it’s dead, and there’s no real way to service it. A rally shock, on the other hand, needs to be greased, and the nitrogen levels need to be checked and adjusted for performance. At DirtFish, rally maintenance technicians do suspension check-ups every 60 hours of drive time for class cars, performing regular tasks as well as larger replacements where they are needed. The DirtFish team has also made modifications to aspects of the suspension, such as reconfiguring the shock “breather” to the interior of the hood to prevent mud, dust and water getting inside the suspension.

Suspension-4

And the DirtFish manufacturer of choice? Reiger Racing Suspension. Learn more about rally suspensions by seeing them in action! Book with DirtFish for an unforgettable instructional rally program.

Article by Taryn Ziegler

Subaru Launch Control: Home Turf – Episode 7.8

Motorsports, Uncategorized | October 23, 2019

On this episode of Subaru Launch Control, Subaru Motorsports USA returns to their home event, the 2019 New England Forest Rally. David Higgins and Craig Drew want to cement a championship lead, but Oliver Solberg still has more to prove. Petter and Oliver then share the stage at Goodwood Festival of Speed for some fun!

SUBARU DRIVER DAVID HIGGINS SECURES TENTH U.S. RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP

Motorsports, Uncategorized | October 21, 2019

Subaru Motorsports USA driver David Higgins wrapped up his tenth career U.S. national rally championship this weekend at Michigan’s Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR), the ninth and final round of the 2019 American Rally Association (ARA) calendar. Teammate Oliver Solberg took the LSPR event win, marking three victories each for the two Subaru drivers and elevating Solberg into third place in the final championship standings. Subaru has now won thirteen of the last fourteen U.S. rally titles dating back to 2006, including a remarkable eight by Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew during their nine-year run with the team.


The 2019 rally season promised a battle of proven success versus young talent as Higgins and Drew faced off against 17-year-old Oliver Solberg and co-driver Aaron Johnston in identically prepared Open Class WRX STI rally cars. Solberg would begin the season strong with a second-place finish at 100 Acre Wood and take his first U.S. victory at the following month’s Olympus Rally, but Higgins struck back with a near-faultless drive at May’s Oregon Trail Rally to notch his first win of the year. Idaho Rally International was a near-miss for Higgins after an off on the final stage cost him the victory, but he responded in July at New England Forest Rally with a wire-to-wire win to take sole possession of the championship lead. After a win at Ojibwe Forests Rally put Higgins and Drew virtually out of reach for the rest of the field, a second-place finish at Susquehannock Trail Performance Rallyallowed the pair to mathematically secure the title with one event remaining.

With the driver’s championship a foregone conclusion heading into LSPR, the two Subaru teammates looked forward to a head-to-head fight for the last event win of the year. Higgins came out of the gate fast on Friday, winning the first four stages of the day to build a lead over Solberg and the rest of the field. Unfortunately, his car struck a tree stump on Stage 5, damaging the left front suspension and putting the win out of reach. Solberg inherited the lead and began collecting stage wins through Friday’s night stages, building a lead of more than a minute over second-place driver Barry McKenna by the end of the first day. With a consistent and fast drive on Saturday, Solberg and Johnston brought home the first-place trophy and earned enough points to move into third in the final championship standings.

“From the beginning of the season our focus has been on the championship,” said Higgins after the event. “Of course it’s disappointing not to end the season with the performance we wanted, especially here at LSPR where we’ve won in the past, but I’m very proud to have earned my tenth title. We put together strong events when we needed to, and lots of credit to Craig and the rest of the team for all their hard work this year as well.”

“It’s been a long season, and a fantastic season!” Solberg said. “Last race of the year, and we won it. It’s just amazing to end it on this high. Thanks to Subaru and thanks to Vermont SportsCar for this incredible experience.”

With Higgins’ ARA driver’s title and the Americas Rallycross (ARX) team championship secured earlier this month, Subaru Motorsports USA becomes the first team ever to win U.S. national championships in both rally and rallycross in the same year.

About Subaru Motorsports USA
Subaru Motorsports USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Idemitsu LubricantsYokohama TiresMethod Race WheelsDirtFish Rally SchoolKÜHL and RECARO. Follow the team online at www.subaru.com/motorsports.

Follow Subaru Motorsports USA on Facebook, on Instagram @subarumotorsportsusa, and on Twitter @subarums_usa.

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 630 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise, which is the company’s vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $145 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged more than 40,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.

For additional information visit media.subaru.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

DirtFish Wins 2nd Consecutive ARX2 Championship with McConnell

Motorsports, Uncategorized | October 08, 2019

Lexington, OH, October 7, 2019 – DirtFish Motorsports is pleased to announce that driver, Fraser McConnell has clinched the 2019 Americas Rallycross ARX2 Championship at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course!

After dominating Round 7 during the ARX of Austin at Circuit of the Americas, McConnell came away from the weekend with a 33-point lead over championship rival, Cole Keatts, and 53 points over reigning 2018 ARX2 Champion, Conner Martell. By no means did that mean the Championship was sealed, and McConnell still had his work cut out for him at Mid-Ohio. 

Day 1 of the weekend was a difficult day for McConnell and the DirtFish team. To have any chance of winning a race on Saturday, drivers needed to beat everyone else off of the start. Thanks to an immense amount of hanging dust in the dirt sections, it became difficult for drivers to see unless they were leading. This allowed the leader of each race to pull away from the rest of the field. After fighting the dusting in each round of qualifying, McConnell pulled out a semifinal win, placing him on the front row for the Final. During that race, there were a lot of challenging battles from start to finish. Unfortunately, he was on the losing end of one of those battles with driver, Alex Keyes, and ended up with damaged suspension on the front left of the car that dropped him back to 6th place by the time they crossed the finish line.

McConnell-ARX2-Championship-Win-4

Day 2 brought much more good fortune and even more exciting racing. There was no dust to contend with; instead, the drivers had to handle some of the slickest conditions anyone has seen in American rallycross. Following heavy rainstorms overnight, the dirt sections became extraordinarily muddy and nearly undrivable. This typically favors the DirtFish Motorsports drivers, thanks to the loose surface training they are able to take advantage of at the DirtFish headquarters in Snoqualmie, Washington. By the end of the day, McConnell was able to prove why he is one of the best drivers in the ARX Championship; leaving with a win in the Semifinal, a win in the Final, and more importantly, the 2019 overall Americas Rallycross ARX2 Championship!

McConnell says, “I wouldn’t have any other flag on my car, I wouldn’t want to be in any other paddock with any other team, and I wouldn’t want to be surrounded by any other people. The entire team pushed me to do my best all season, they gave me the best package, and they made the best out of every situation. It means so much to me to bring DirtFish Motorsports their second ARX2 Championship in a row, and I’m honored to be a part of that accomplishment.”

For the final two events of the season, McConnell was supported by Jamaican resort giant, Sandals Resorts. We were incredibly pleased to have such a strong and well-known brand on the car because it shows the genuine support that McConnell brings with him from his home. The Jamaican pride was the strongest it’s been this season with a large group of fans in attendance showing their support for McConnell and DirtFish. Their enthusiasm added to the already excited atmosphere of the weekend. McConnell has made history by becoming the first Jamaican rallycross driver to win a championship. This was such an important milestone that Prime Minister, Andrew Holness has shown his support across social media throughout the season.

McConnell-ARX2-Championship-Win-2

For 2019, DirtFish Motorsports teamed up with world-renown rallycross team, Olsbergs MSE. The combined expertise of two championship-winning teams provided McConnell with an unrivaled opportunity to bring home the 2019 championship.

DirtFish Motorsports Manager, Sean Medcroft, stated, “During his inaugural rallycross season in 2018, Fraser proved that he was a race-winning driver. This year he proved that he was a championship-winning driver.”

The success this season wouldn’t have been possible without the support of everyone from DirtFish, Olsbergs MSE, the McConnell family, Sandals, Tru-Juice, Motul, all of the technicians, truck drivers, and Americas Rallycross. Everyone involved put in a tremendous effort to achieve a second consecutive DirtFish championship win.

Click-Here-ARX2-Car

About DirtFish Motorsports

DirtFish Motorsports is a developmental driver program competing in the Americas Rallycross ARX2 series, World Rallycross, and stage rally in the United States and Canada. DirtFish Motorsports strives to develop well-rounded drivers and providing a team culture that fosters growth and development. Cross-discipline training develops skill, confidence, and huge rewards in the racing world. A professional racer is more than a driver behind the wheel, and as such our program touches on developing the complete athlete package in all aspects of racing including driving fast, health and fitness, personal presentation, business, and finance, as well as understanding the power and presentation of social media.

About DirtFish

Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range in the scenic town of Snoqualmie, WA, DirtFish Rally School is the only full-time rally school on the West Coast and boasts an impressive array of rally cars, rally driving programs and memorabilia to suit enthusiasts of all ages. Based at the former Weyerhaeuser Lumber Mill site, the property itself boasts a rich history, having been the second all-electric lumber mill in the country in 1914. A century later, in October 2010, DirtFish opened its doors with the goal of offering unparalleled training in top-level vehicles, as well as provide unequaled opportunities for vehicle testing, specialized training, corporate/team events, and more. Rally heaven awaits any student enrolled in one of DirtFish’s many programs, from the simple Two Hour Taste of Rally program all the way up to the Three Day Ultimate Rally Experience and onto advanced and private training in both rally and rallycross, in either all-wheel-drive Subaru STI’s or rear-wheel drive Subaru BRZ’s.

Check out what DirtFish is up too on social media at:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dirtfishrally
Instagram: @DirtFishRally
Twitter: @DirtFishRally

Find Fraser on social media at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Fraser-McConnell-655096054829105/
Instagram: @FraserMcConnell

SUBARU MOTORSPORTS USA EARNS SEVENTH ARX SEASON PODIUM AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS

Motorsports, Uncategorized | October 04, 2019

Subaru Motorsports USA driver Patrik Sandell earned a second-place finish at the fifth round of the Americas Rallycross (ARX) season at Circuit of the Americas (COTA), marking the team’s seventh podium finish of the ARX season and the third for Sandell. With previous ARX driver’s championship leader Scott Speed sidelined by a back injury, Sandell’s finish moves the Swedish driver and former Junior World Rally Champion into second overall in the standings with teammate Chris Atkinson sitting third. FIA World Rallycross Championship driver Andreas Bakkerud, joining the four-car Subaru effort for the last two rounds of the season, also earned a semi-final heat win and became the fourth different Subaru driver to do so this year.

Following Speed’s back injury sustained at August’s Nitro Rallycross event, Subaru Motorsports USA rolled out a four-car strategy aimed at challenging de facto ARX championship leader Tanner Foust to try to capture the team’s first rallycross title. World RX star Bakkerud and former U.S. champion Joni Wiman joined the team in Austin and immediately showed pace in the qualifying heats. Bakkerud sat second after the hard-fought qualifying rounds and would win his semi-final heat from pole position, earning a front-row grid position in the final. Atkinson and Sandell, third and fifth through qualifying, also went through to the final to put three Subaru WRX STI rallycross cars on the grid.

In the final race, Bakkerud took an early lead and held it for two laps, but was unable to defend against a hard-charging Foust on lap three. Sandell, after an early joker lap, ran quick and clean laps to catch up to Bakkerud and pass him into second when the Norwegian took his joker. Sandell pushed Foust for the lead through the final lap but could not complete a pass in the closing corners, settling for second. Bakkerud crossed the line in third before being penalized five seconds for early-race contact, dropping him to fourth overall, one slot ahead of Atkinson.

“I’m stoked to be on the podium!” said Sandell after the event. “Every podium is great, and I’m very glad for Subaru that we once again showed that we were up there fighting. It’s been a long journey for Subaru but this year we’ve been up on the podium all the time. It’s going to be very hard to close the gap to Tanner at this point, but Mid-Ohio is a little better for our cars, so hopefully we can put on a really good show for the end of the season.”

Sandell, Atkinson, Bakkerud and Wiman will return to the ARX grid to close out the season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, October 5-6.

About Subaru Motorsports USA
Subaru Motorsports USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Idemitsu LubricantsYokohama TiresMethod Race WheelsDirtFish Rally SchoolKÜHL and RECARO. Follow the team online at www.subaru.com/motorsports.

Follow Subaru Motorsports USA on Facebook, on Instagram @subarumotorsportsusa, and on Twitter @subarums_usa.

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 630 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise, which is the company’s vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $145 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged more than 40,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.

For additional information visit media.subaru.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.