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AutoGuide’s high-performance test driver Dave Pratte and his Speed Academy partner Peter Tarach continue their mad thrash on the Scion FR-S they’re preparing for Targa Newfoundland, this time by upgrading the sway bars, bushings and ball joints.
And as you’ll see at the end of Episode 6 of their YouTube series documenting the entire build process of the FR-S, they also start to gear up to meet the safety requirements for Targa NL by wrapping themselves in Alpinestars’ new entry-level GP Start race apparel.
When Dave and Peter adopted this hand-me-down FR-S (used in Scion’s Tuner Challenge program last year), it was missing a few parts, including a front sway bar. This, of course, meant they had the perfect excuse to upgrade to Eibach’s anti-roll kit, which includes larger diameter and much stiffer cold-formed tubular front and rear sway bars that keep the FR-S’s amazing handling balance intact but reduce body roll in the process. Both bars are adjustable (two positions) so that roll rates can be fine-tuned and come with greaseable urethane bushings for faster response from the bars.
Virtually all of the relatively soft OEM bushings on the car have been replaced by Whiteline urethane bushings, which reduce compliance in these joints for greater handling precision and improved suspension geometry control. To put it simpler terms, less movement in these joints allows the tires to work better, and a better working tire means more grip. And more grip is good!
Safety is, of course, also a big concern any time you go racing, especially at an event like Targa NL where there’s no gravel sand traps or padded walls to absorb the energy in case of a big off-track excursion. In case of an in-car fire, both Dave and Peter will be wearing Alpinestars GP Start suits, which are constructed from 2 layers of fire-retardant Aramid fabric, plus a Nomex fire-retardant layer of underwear for good measure. Add to that GP Start gloves and shoes and they should be both safe and comfortable during the 43 flat-out Targa race stages next week.
GALLERY: Targa Newfoundland Scion FR-S Suspension Modifications
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