1997 SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI TYPE R
NAME: JAMES DALY // AGE: 23 LOCATION: CHRISTCHURCH // OCCUPATION: TECHNICIAN AT BRIDGESTONE
NZ Performance Car: Hi, James. Sweet STi — have you always been into cars?
James: Hey. Yeah, I’ve always liked cars and tinkering with engines, as my dad is very mechanical, but I was never really into the performance side of things, apart from a passing interest in intense supercars. That was until a customer of my dad, Stan Redmond, invited us to go to a F5000 race meeting at Ruapuna which he was competing in. The noise and speed of those things are insane, and ever since I’ve had a burning desire to go faster.
And the STi was the answer to that?
Not really; I wasn’t a huge Subaru fan to begin with, and I used to drive an Evo. That got sold and I test drove this STi, which I thought was pretty clean, and [I] liked the fact [that] it was two-door. The more I drove it, the more I fell in love.
So, you never really planned to make near-on 400kW out of a stroker motor?
Nah, not at all. I did want something to go bloody fast and scare me, but I had about 400hp in mind, not kW. But once you start, your goals normally change pretty quick.
Ain’t that the truth. How does it fare as a track hack, then?
I’ve only managed to do a handful of track days since the motor was finished. From what I’ve seen so far, it’s a bloody good time, and I definitely want to get some more seat time in.
Do you reckon people underestimate it due to the fairly standard look of the exterior?
Hell yes. It looks like your run-of-the-mill STi with a sound that’s a little more aggressive. The plate doesn’t help, and I get a few odd looks, but it speaks for itself when it comes down to business.
So it should. Thanks for the chat, James.