By displaying their passion for rally, Ted and the other DirtFish instructors were able to instill confidence in all of us, especially those with little or no prior performance-driving experience. Several members of the group have previously driven Subaru vehicles, but the day at DirtFish showed them the performance side of Subaru, and how the WRX STI is a rally beast.
All in all, I’m calling this an incredible day.
DirtFish Rally School
DirtFish Rally School has been teaching mixed-surface driving techniques in bucolic Snoqualmie, Washington, since 2009. Located on the site of a 100-year-old former Weyerhaeuser® lumber mill about an hour east of Seattle, the school offers several types of courses, ranging in intensity from simple car control to all-out stage rally driving.
- The two-hour introduction to rally class gives students the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a purpose-built rally car.
- The three-day advanced rally technique course covers advanced rally driving, culminating in a simulation of a rally stage and accreditation toward an unrestricted Rally America license.
All of the DirtFish instructors are passionate about and committed to motorsports. Their experiences range from World Rally Championship (WRC) event competition to formula car racing and almost everything in between.
The DirtFish technicians will modify a customer’s vehicle for rallying. On the day we visited in May, an owner had just dropped off his brand-new 2013 WRX STI for the shop to prepare.
WRX STI Power
Although I’ve driven turbocharged Subaru vehicles under a variety of conditions, I had driven the WRX STI only around the suburbs. The day at DirtFish was my first opportunity to really open it up – and the experience truly was worth the wait.
The 305 hp SUBARU BOXER engine produces 290 lb-ft of torque, which is difficult to experience on neighborhood streets. This car just flies off the line and keeps going. The distance from “mash” to “lift” was only about 100 yards, tops, but by the time it came for “lift,” I was going about 40 – the instructors were going closer to 60.
Chassis Mods to Help Handle the Power at DirtFish