ProRally: CPD Racing receives 1st Prodrive car

Minneapolis, Minnesota CPD Racing will be at the start line of this weekend's Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Rim of the World ProRally in Palmdale, California with their long awaited, custom-built Subaru WRX. The car was created by Prodrive in...

Minneapolis, Minnesota CPD Racing will be at the start line of this weekend's Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Rim of the World ProRally in Palmdale, California with their long awaited, custom-built Subaru WRX. The car was created by Prodrive in England, the same company that builds and maintains the cars for Subaru's World Rally Championship effort and for Subaru Rally Team USA, specifically for the SCCA Open class. Driver Doug Havir and co-driver Scott Putnam are looking forward to their first event in their new ride.

"Prodrive provided us with a couple of different cars to run the first three events this year while our car was being put together," said Havir. "The WRX we drove at Cherokee Trails and Oregon Trail was more of a Group N-plus specification. It was plenty fast, but more importantly it was reliable. Our new car weighs 300 pounds less and has 100 more horsepower, so it is considerably quicker."

Prodrive engineered the CPD Racing Subaru specifically to meet SCCA Open class rules, which, unlike FIA regulations, have few restrictions. According to Ed Bentley of Prodrive USA (located in Dearborn, Michigan), the CPD Racing WRX is a Group N Subaru Sti body shell with many FIA Group A and WRC modifications.

"We used technology from the WRC cars to create a safety cage that offers greater rigidity and a lower center of gravity," said Bentley. "Carbon fiber has been used where ever possible to reduce weight."

The engine is a medley of proven parts from the Prodrive shelves, and rated at over 350 horsepower. The car currently has a Group N 6-speed gearbox, but will soon have the latest 5-speed dogbox homologated for Group N. The front differential has a clutch-style limited slip, the center viscous diff is electronically adjustable, while the rear diff is also mechanical. The driveshafts are the latest development as well, providing more reliability under the rigorous conditions common to rallying.

The suspension utilizes three-way adjustable shock absorbers by Ohlins of Sweden. Brakes, from Alcon, are bigger than those for Group N, but not quite as large or exotic as on the WRC cars. Pirelli rally tires on Speedline wheels provide the final connection between powerplant and road.

Havir and Putnam will be sitting on Sparco rally seats to protect them from impacts. The dash panel has been replaced with a Pi Research electronic display for the driver, while the co-driver will be assisted by the Coralba C-Giant and C-View rally odometers. The wiring harness has been re-engineered to aircraft specs to minimize problems from vibration and moisture.

The color chosen by Havir and Putnam is a bright yellow. The CPD Racing logo will be featured prominently on both sides, as well as the banners of sponsors Bloomington Subaru (of Bloomington, Minnesota) and www.Subaru.net.

Rim of the World is only the fourth SCCA ProRally for Havir and Putnam, but they have already proven quite capable of competing with many rally veterans. Their 11th place out of 27 finishers at Oregon Trail has moved them up in the SCCA driver seeding, meaning they will start farther toward the front of the pack in future rallies. The preliminary start list for Rim of the World shows them in 24th starting position out of 80 entries.

-cpdr/tw-

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Series SCCA
Drivers Doug Havir