Words and Photos by Mark Boxer (no pun intended!)
If you’ve competed in a recent South Australian hill climb event, you’ve probably been beaten by Dan Day in this very subtle looking WRX.
Growing up the eldest son of well-known Subaru builders Sean and Joanne Day, owner of Adelaide’s S&J Automotive, there was a good chance he’d become just as addicted to the Japanese flat fours as his parents. At the young age of 23, Dan has had more seat time in serious road and race cars than most of us have had hot dinners. Throw in the fact that he’s piloted V8 Supercars from the Brad Jones and HRT stables and you don’t have to put two and two together to know that this ‘kid’ can really steer!
On to the Subaru then… No, not the 98 WRX rally car, the 99 WRX road car, the 350kW Bug-eye Sti or the 06’ Spec-C tarmac rally cars, the one pictured, a tame looking 2014 Sti Spec-C WRX. After being purchased last September, it was stripped down in an amazingly fast 8 weeks and at a cost of A$125,000 was turned into the car you see today. The reality of it is that unlike a lot of race cars, this WRX is just a factory car with a cage in it combined with a lot of amazing bolt-on parts and a smart set up. So the beauty of it is that potential customers who see this car and want one the same can have exactly that because it’s a set and proven formula. All they don’t get supplied is Dan’s driving skills, although I’m sure that they could come to some sort of agreement about how not to crash their new 1000hp WRX!
What’s in it then? First and foremost the body is caged, but it’s what’s under the bonnet that makes this car special and also was the reason this project got off the ground in the first place. The engine is based around a WREJBB (Willall Racing Billet Block) made not far away in South Australia. For those of you who haven’t heard of Willall CNC it was started by Keir Wilson, an Adelaide businessman with a reputation for owning and racing some of the toughest GT-R Skylines around. With the help of industry icon Chris Smith a progression through a number of projects has led Willall CNC to this point where they are now making billet Subaru and V6 GT-R blocks, not to mention some very nice 10-cylinder items for L brand Italian cars that will be tested and launched soon. When speaking to Chris Smith about the project he said “SJ1000 is a great way for us to showcase our Billet Block in one dedicated build by one of Australia most respected Subaru workshops, with a great young top-level driver. Three good things coming together!”
It’s not just the block that makes this engine so special though. Because S&J are dedicated Manley users, Dan used a Manley 2.6L stroker crank, Manley I-beam rods and Platinum Series pistons and combined them with Kelford Cams which work together with Manley oversized valves held tight by Manley dual springs in a heavily posted head by Knight Engines. On top is a Process West inlet manifold, force fed by Precision 68/70 Gen 2 turbo and fuelled E85 by 2000cc ID injectors. A Johnny Tig intercooler, PWR/MRT radiator and Process West oil cooler all work together to keep the temperatures in check and with the Ecutek ECU and boost controller doing their thing, the sound of 550kW at the wheels screams from the titanium Invidia G5 exhaust.
Having all that power is great, but the story doesn’t end there. Behind this amazing engine is a PPG 6-speed sequential gearbox also built in Adelaide by Pfitzner Performance Gearboxes. An OS Giken triple-plate carbon clutch separates the two when necessary and puts up with everything Dan can throw at it. Once the torque gets to the STi Spec-C R180 diff, it heads towards the Rota Vector Pro wheels via a set of 900hp rated DSS billet axels. For fun Dan took the car to the drags and ran a best time of 10.1 at 144mph, but given the fact that they say it’s got more horsepower in it, a 9-second pass is probably only a matter of 1 or 2 more psi of boost if they wanted to.
Right now the car is extremely sure footed thanks to a set of Supashock coil-overs combined with Whiteline and Superpro swaybars. It pulls up thanks to some very nice looking WP Pro Pitbull 8 and 6 piston calipers mounted over WP Pro Sawtooth rotors and works through the factory STi master cylinder minus the booster.
Aesthetically the car looks a million bucks thanks to Simon Wills from Check It Out Graphics who made the great package that currently wraps the factory pearl white paint. This will all soon change soon though as the WRX will be going through a transformation with the addition of wet carbon doors, front fenders, bonnet (hood), boot (trunk) and a Time-Attack style front splitter working with side canards. All of the side windows will also be replaced with plexi glass.
The next event for the WRX will be the Subinats at Phillip Island in July where Dan hopes to test the new aero and contest the title of the ‘Fastest Subaru’, then it’s on to World Time Attack where he’ll be flying the colours for his major sponsor Fabre Competition Parts in the Link Open Class. After this the car will be reverted to the old Hill Climb body package and Dan will aim at backing up his wins at the Mount Gambier and Old Willunga events where he won last time.
To check out the car in action, have a look at this video by HoonTV with awesome footage thanks to Dan’s brother Brad Day: