Cody Miles’ Subaru STi at The Speed Ring Event

We’re dropping the mic..and letting Cody Miles tell everyone about his #lifeonair as he embarks on another winning year  on the track with his 2007 Subaru STi fitted with our Subaru STi air suspension kit and the latest Air Lift Performance 3H control system: After participating in the 2016 Speed Ring event at AAA Speedway, […]

By: Air Lift Published: October 16, 2017 Comments: View

We’re dropping the mic..and letting Cody Miles tell everyone about his #lifeonair as he embarks on another winning year  on the track with his 2007 Subaru STi fitted with our Subaru STi air suspension kit and the latest Air Lift Performance 3H control system:

After participating in the 2016 Speed Ring event at AAA Speedway, and having an absolute blast, I knew this year’s event was bound to be even better! The biggest difference this year is it was now being held in Detroit instead of… my backyard in California. This meant that a 2,300 mile leap was in store for myself, and all of my gear. Luckily, I’m surrounded by amazing people that continue to make things like this possible! So after all of the endless planning and coordinating, I had once again arrived in Michigan ready to battle with the best.

Upon arriving to M1 Concourse, one thing became very clear… The track is tiny! Not only is the track narrow and tight, it has almost no runoff in case of a mistake. When charging a corner and attempting to find that fine line that puts you on the edge of control and speed, having an open area to runoff into in case things go bad… is a nice confidence booster. As many of you have seen, I’ve gone off track plenty of times at speeds up to 90mph, which is generally fine as the surrounding area allows for it. Simply put, this track doesn’t provide the luxury of allowing you to walk away from a mistake unscathed. With all of that in mind, it was time to run some practice laps first thing Saturday morning and begin learning the course. The schedule for the day consisted of two qualifying sessions, followed by two Time Attack sessions. Qualifying was looking good and I appeared to be on pace with other drivers that I typically compare to, which was the 1:12 range. Once we were into timed sessions, I obviously wanted to turn things up a notch and make it count. I ran two hot laps the first session and had a few mistakes, combined with an overall line that I wasn’t completely happy with. There were several areas where I just felt undeniably slow, which can be a bit frustrating since some corners require patience to be fast. The other thing to keep in mind with small courses like M1, is that they are extremely hard on brakes. I can usually get away with multiple hot laps per session, but in this case my brake pedal was beginning to fall farther and farther toward the floor at the end of each lap, which certainly doesn’t inspire confidence. But enough with the excuses, the rest of the car was eager and ready for action. The suspension had me feeling right at home, and the engine was happily blasting me out of each apex upon command. I ended the first timed session about .5 seconds behind my immediate competition, which meant the pressure was now on for the next and final session! I had a few areas specifically that I wanted to focus on since I was now off pace. One being braking later on the straights, which was harder than it sounded due to the lack of room for error! So with a more aggressive plan, I ventured out for my last chance at claiming victory. I did my best to push harder than I was previously, and in some spots, it worked. In others, not so much. On my very last lap, I wanted to hold throttle longer across the finish line instead of braking for the immediate corner following it. It sounded like a good idea at the time… but as soon as I crossed the line it resulted in a grand state of “oh sh*t!”. I now had too much speed entering turn 1, and ended up going through it and into the tire barrier with the front of the car =(. Cant say I wasn’t trying I guess… Hardest part was, I still didn’t cut enough time for first place! It could’ve been worth it if I managed to claim victory as I barreled across the line and off into the wall… but this isn’t Hollywood. With that being said, day 1 ended with a second place finish in TrackMod AWD with a time of 1:11.5… a trip to Home Depot… and a few hours of gluing things back together in prep for Touge Battles the following day =)

Now, the format for Touge Battles took a little explaining, but it ended up being simple and most of all awesome! It worked very similar to drift competitions in the way that two cars are going head to head with the track to themselves. Basically, the lead car needs to pull away while the chase car tries to catch up and close the time gap between them. Once one lap is completed, the cars switch position and repeat. To advance on, you need to run a faster lap than your competitor in both the lead and chase position. If you each win once, you go One More Time (similar to drifting). Best of three advances on and eliminates the competitor. So now that that’s out of the way, lets get into it! My first battle was against a turbo Miata sporting somewhere around 330whp. I led our first run and off we went. The fun part about battling like this is that the fans can actually visualize the time difference between the two competitors and feel much more involved, which is something that traditional Time Attack has always lacked. So during my lead run, I felt confident in the fact that I was lengthening the gap as the Miata chased. Then suddenly, as we crossed the finish line completing our first battle, I glanced in my mirror and saw the Miata spin off into Turn 1! Because the Miata put all four tires off track, it was an automatic disqualification.

I was definitely looking forward to chasing the next round, but due to the DQ I was now moving on. Next up, I ran against a BMW E36. Not sure of the specs on this car, so I just stayed in my own head and tried to focus on laying down solid consistent laps. I led first and ended up pulling away slightly with a faster time, which meant that it was now time to chase. In my chase run, I consciously gave the other car some space so that any mistake he made didn’t translate into my lap as much. This strategy paid off as I was able to get two clean laps in and take the victory! At this point I was just happy that my front aero was holding together, since it was held together with tape, epoxy, and expanding foam! Next up was the Semi Final battle against my immediate competitor, Richard Grossi, who beat me clean and clear the previous day. I knew he had found speed that I was seemingly still looking for, so I was going to have to hang it way out there while keeping it clean if I wanted any chance at moving on. I did my best to keep things clean, controlled, and smart which certainly proved to be effective since it dropped my best lap to a 1:10.3… it just wasn’t enough to take the win and advance on to the Finals. Richard was running 1:09’s by this point, so mad respect goes to him! I was now eliminated at this point, but had the privilege of watching the Final round with Grossi against one of my close friends, Tony Fuentes. Both drivers were in the 1:09 realm which built all kinds of hype around their battle. Fuentes had to drop .5 seconds to be on par with Grossi, which meant he was about let things hang way out! He did just that… went hard and quickly blew through a corner putting all four tires in the dirt, which meant that he was immediately disqualified! The final stack on the podium for the Touge Battle resulted in myself sitting in 3rd, Tony Fuentes in 2nd, and Richard Grossi in 1st with a new TrackMod track record of 1:09.0!

Overall, the event was an absolute blast, despite being unable to sit atop the podium, and heading home with a car in need of repair. The bigger experience that I’m taking away from this is appreciating all of the truly awesome people I have around me that make this stuff possible in the first place. From sponsors, to friends and family. If you for a second think that the driver of each car is the only force responsible for his/her accomplishments, then I’m here to inform you otherwise. Progression in racing very quickly becomes a team effort, and although I may not have walked away with a 1st place trophy this time, I’m extremely thankful and more hungry than ever to fight for a better result given the next opportunity. I want to thank the entire Motovicity crew for every ounce of effort they put into making the 2017 Speed Ring possible. I’m not alone when I say that I can’t wait for next year.

Photo Credits: Paddy McGrath – SpeedHunters & Daily Driver Media