When it comes to track days, the arrival of fall often acts as a call to action, and enthusiasts come out of the woodwork to get their last laps in for the year. Us included. We pulled our Four Seasons 2015 Subaru WRX into a crowded paddock at GingerMan Raceway’s end-of-the-year event in South Haven, Michigan, and found a spot between a 2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition and an Austin-Healey. Weekend mechanics tinkered with their cars, hoping to shave a tenth of a second from their lap times, while we moved our belongings from the trunk to the ground behind the Subaru -- prep work complete.
Getting into the scrum of an open track day is a balancing act between going fast, negotiating traffic, and trying to keep your car intact, which means keeping a safe distance from other drivers -- like the driver of the C4 Corvette that ran wide and spun in front of us, or the driver of an E92 M3 that tried (and failed) to execute a Scandinavian flick before entering a chicane. Clear of traffic, we got to see how the WRX did during the 15-minute sessions around GingerMan’s 2.1-mile road course.
Off throttle into turns, the 2015 Subaru WRX rotates predictably and is eager to dive into corners. Clip the apex, get back on the throttle, and the all-wheel-drive system tends to push wide. Time it right with the 2.0-liter engine’s turbo lag, though, and the 2015 Subaru WRX follows the same line every time. Quick shifts snick into gear confidently, and the new interior is easier to see out of than its predecessor. The standard Dunlop Sport Maxx tires are fine for daily driving, but a set of stickier aftermarket tire should be first on anyone’s upgrade list.
Actually, second. Brakes should be first. Ten minutes into our third session, the WRX’s brake pads were roasted, its brake fluid boiling. We made our way around the track for a cooldown lap, waving by the cars we’d passed, which included the 2015 Subaru WRX STI we’d parked next to. In the long list of bits that make the STI about $10,000 more expensive than our standard 2015 Subaru WRX is a set of upgraded Brembo brakes.
Fortunately, our next track day will be held on a frozen lake when we take the 2015 Subaru WRX ice racing, so we won’t have to worry about hot brakes. Tires, though, are a different story, and we’ll get our Subie a set of winter boots in the coming weeks.
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