SP Rides: Down and Dirty
By Michael Kitchens
Name: Anthony Tsui
Occupation: Sales consultant at Servco
Hobbies: Hiking, camping, sports, rally crossing
Year/Make/Model: 1998 Subaru GC8 STI Swap
Color: Arctic Camo
Exterior: Primitive Racing aluminum front skid plate, Primitive Racing aluminum rear diff protection plate, Rally Armor mud flaps
Engine: 2.0-liter Subaru boxer motor, T3 sized IHI Turbo, STI up pipe, STI catted down pipe, STI top mount intercooler, Cusco turbo heat shield, KN air filter, Napa gold oil filter, Perrin Cat back exhaust
Drivetrain: Subaru symmetrical all-wheel drive, 5-speed manual transmission, Cusco engine and transmission mounts, Kart Boy short shifter, Kart Boy shifter bushings, Turn In Concepts 5MT shifter linkage bushings
Suspension: AGX front and rear shocks, Subaru Forrester springs, Kart Boy rear sway bar end links, WRX sway bars, front and rear, WRX brakes
Tires and Rims: Team Dynamics rally rims, DMACK rally tires — RallyCross, stock WRX Rims-Street
Interior: Working A/C, Sparco steering wheel – RallyCross, stock WRX air bag equipped steering wheel-Street, Sparco lightweight seat mounting brackets, Corbeau lightweight racing seats
Shout-outs: My father for his help with the Subaru. Thanks also to the SCCA Hawaii Rally folks, and Kalaeloa Raceway Park and Kualoa Ranch for the use of their facilities to hold events.
Most of the rides featured in StreetPulse are incredible daily driven streetcars, modified for looks and performance. This week’s ride is a little different, but no less of a performance-oriented vehicle. In fact, this 1998 Subaru Impreza GC8, owned by Anthony Tsui, is one of the most hardcore rides we’ve featured. It’s part daily driver, and part rallycross racecar through and through. In short, it’s a down and dirty beast!
Anthony has been involved in motorsports before he even had a license to drive. His father, Avery, has included Anthony in his racing endeavors since he was 6 years old. Most of us are influenced by our parent’s hobbies, but getting behind the wheel of a rallycross car has its own intoxicating effects.
Take the Impreza here: It’s practically synonymous with the world of RallyCross. It was at the forefront of rallying since 1989 and was arguably the face of the WRC for many years. Although no longer a part of the WRC, the Impreza platform is still used today in rally events throughout the globe. There’s arguably no better car to drive.
RallyCross takes on many different forms, but the local version includes off-road racing on a mixed-surface course at Kalaeloa Raceway Park sponsored and run by the local SCCA Hawaii RallyCross chapter. It’s currently in its fourth season of racing. Anthony purchased this modified Subaru as a daily driver as well as to help support the current RallyCross program. He considers this to be the perfect daily driver when it pertains to the pothole minefield we sometimes encounter in our commutes here.
When not being daily driven, the car is run to its limits on the rallycross track. This isn’t your normal from-the-factory GC8, but one that has been thoroughly modified, with the car now sporting a full engine and drivetrain transplant from a 2002 WRX STi. It also features a 2.0L Boxer engine fitted with a T3 Sized IHI Turbo with STi up pipe, catted down pipe, top mount intercooler and all the fittings that go with it.
This car is made to race and features all of the components necessary to do so. The interior cockpit features a Sparco steering wheel and seat mounting brackets plus a set of Corbeau lightweight racing seats. The drivetrain includes many upgrades including a Cusco engine and transmission mounts, a Kart Boy short shifter and shifter bushings, as well as upgraded shifter linkage bushings by Turn In Concepts.
In order to take the rigors of daily driving as well as the rough and tumble rallycross track, the suspension has been fully upgraded with AGX front and rear shocks, and Subaru Forester springs for added ground clearance. Kart Boy rear sway bar end links, swapped WRX front and rear sway bars, and WRX brakes add further performance enhancements. When rallying, the car uses Team Dynamics Rally Rims fitted with DMACK rally tires.
Anthony recommends everyone try RallyCross, citing its defensive driving benefits as well as overall entertainment factor. “I enjoy it because I get to be with my family,” he says. “The driving is fun, but difficult. I mean my parents beat me.”
If you’re interested in giving it a shot, co-drives are offered using this very car. Visit scchawaii.org for more information.