Back in 2001, Mike Torricelli started a Subaru specialty shop in Kenilworth, N.J., as a way to subsidize his track habit. What started out as a hobby shop has since become something much greater, with five employees.
Of course, that has allowed Torricelli to take advantage Subaru’s newest track toy, the BRZ, and build it into a bonafide racer. Torricelli and his team built the car, wrote a set of rules for Spec 86, which is neither official with NASA Northeast nor with NASA National, but there are a few other Scion FRSs and Subaru BRZs racing in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions.
“We wrote those rules so that it would fall into PTD. Right now it’s a gentleman’s class,” Torricelli said. “Right now the guys that are in that class agreed to run according to the rules that we wrote, and we wrote them with the guys from Great Lakes, also. It’s starting to catch on a little bit here and there as the donor cars come down in price there’s more and more of them popping up, so we’re pretty happy with that.”
Torricelli tested many of the parts and development concepts on the street car he was driving. He said it was critical to ensure reliability in the car they were developing. For example, he measured oil temperatures while out on track. They were unacceptable at 305 degrees, so they installed a Perrin Performance oil cooler kit, which brought them down to 235 degrees. He also added a Crawford catch can system to keep the backs of the intake valves from getting gummed up with oil from crankcase vapors.
“That was our main thing, to make sure it was reliable,” Torricelli said. “It costs a lot to go to the track in terms of taking time off work, driving up there and whatnot, and for the car to break is the last thing you want to happen.”
Once they had done substantial testing on his street car, they decided to build a dedicated racecar, sponsored by none other than AZP Installs. Torricelli added coil-overs at each corner, a set of Tomei headers blanketed with header wrap and tuned the ECU. The car now makes about 180 horsepower at the rear wheels.
NASA Northeast’s tech inspector Jeff Ricca built the cage for the car in his shop, Genracer. The cage is fitted with hefty NASCAR-style door bars, but they don’t protrude into the door shell itself. That means the windows and regulators can stay in place. So far, all the “86” cars racing in the Northeast and Great Lakes are built this way. That way, the car can be hauled on an open trailer through summer rainstorms and stay dry inside. Torricelli’s car is even registered and tagged with Florida plates.
During testing, Torricelli also discovered the stock brakes worked well enough, but they upgraded the fronts to Stoptech calipers with 328 mm rotors. They were concerned with wear and replacement intervals. The end result was that the car only used one set of pads and rotors in one full season of racing.
“We didn’t want to have to replace brake pads every two events so we tested with my street car and we were burning them up in two to three events,” he said. “We were getting a lot of pad deposits and things like that. We said, ‘You know what? Let’s just go to the bigger brakes’ and hopefully we won’t have to worry about it.”
After one full season of racing, Toricelli’s BRZ tied for first place in the Regional Championship in PTD with the Scion FRS. With driver Adam Mouradian at the wheel and prepping the car at AZP Installs, the car ran without a hiccup all season long.
“The reliability of them so far has been spot on. Out of us and the other FRS that runs in our region, we were in 10 or 11 races last season, we went through one set of brake pads and a couple of sets of tires, and that’s it. No mechanical issues, no anything. That’s one of the nice things about running a new car. We set it up to be as consumable-friendly as possible.“
|2,850 lbs. w/driver
|FA20 H4 Boxer
|Front: Race Comp Engineering, Whiteline
Rear: Race Comp Engineering, Whiteline
|Front: Maxxis RC1 255-40-17
Rear: Maxxis RC1 255-40-17
|Front: Stoptech ST40 328mm, Hawk race pads
Rear: OEM calipers w/Hawk pads
|AIM Solo DL
|AZP Installs, Subaru Added Security, Crawford Performance, Stoptech, Mach V, Turn In Concepts, Whiteline Performance, Raceseng, Maxxis Tire, Turn 14, Motovicity, VAC Motorsports, Applied Grafx, STi Mikey, Moto-East, Subaru CPO, Subaru Drive, Subaru Drive Performance, AiM Sports, Subaru BRZ, Subaru Insider, Team Subaru, Gen Racer, Nameless Performance.