Mitsubishis and Subarus going head-to-head in four-wheel drive battle mode
Words: Warren Sare Photos: Danny Wood
Back when I was a young fellow many, many moons ago, there were only two types of cars that really appealed — both featured born from rally DNA, four-wheel drive, and turbochargers. I’m, of course, talking about Mitsubishi Evolutions and Subaru WRXs. Back then, you’d often find peers who were like minded and huge fans of one marque or the other, and from that a friendly banter would ensue.
Then drifting came along and drag racers decided they preferred to race mouths online, instead of at the strip. The Diamonds and the Stars became an afterthought in the wake of cool kids in a sea of Nissans, Toyotas and Commodore motors, where those of old are now dragged out once or twice a year to appear at 4&Rotary Nationals or Nightspeed Drag Wars. Internationally these cars found a new home in Time Attack, however that form of racing is still relatively small in New Zealand.
Enter friends and business partners Guy and Tony of Choice Events who decided that it was time to give Mitsubishi and Subaru owners a proving ground to settle the age old debate, “which is better?”, across a variety of disciplines at Bruce Mclaren Motorsport Park in Taupo. Perhaps not unexpectedly, initial debate was had amongst the car community as to what should be able to enter, such is the interchangeable nature of Mitsubishi's parts amongst its models, while the true diehard Subaru fans were adamant the legendary Legacy RS had to have a place.
Close to 100 keen enthusiasts entered and descended on the venue representing the full spectrum of models from early through to late generations, with the opportunity to cruise, race, drag and ‘heli’ proving too good to pass up. If you don’t know what a heli is, Youtube is your friend and you could surmise it as a four-wheel drive rolling burnout. Expectations were high for a showdown on the skid pad between Dion Clark-Hobson, Aaron Mckay, Tony Kaay and Jason Scott, but winner of the last two events Jason, had stayed home to do his hair.
Standouts among the entries were Wellington’s Amanda Short in her late model WRX, grabbing plenty of attention with its minty fresh wheel combo, Aiden Reidy in his Downtime Entertainment Evo drag car which spent the day grumpily idling and chattering away with its triple-plate drag clutch, and the Leon Scott Motorsport Evo, which in between testing laps did some passenger rides for lucky winners. The other car which personally grabbed my attention was the Mitsubishi Colt which Jarden brought over from Napier, while Ben Cole in his sleeper-spec silver Evo grabbed the overall winner award for the day as the best allrounder.
The vibe around the event as you’d expect was one of friendship, the clear bond between people with shared passion for all things Evo and Subaru evident and driven by strong club presence from the likes of Hard N Fast, Untamed Motorsport, and the Auckland, Wellington and Tauranga Evolution clubs.
This event has all the makings of a huge winner as the team learn, develop and refine, and if the weather is warmer next time some of those unicorns sitting in garages around the place might even appear. I know that, I for one, would be keen to see a 22b in full flight around the circuit ...