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     Bright and early September 19th, the Desert Street Scene team made their way to California with only one thought in mind as they traveled the hundreds of miles between Phoenix and Fontana: Subiefest! The tenth year of this event was held at Auto Club Speedway, and upon first pulling into the spectator lot it was plain to see that this was going to be a massive event just based on the plethora of pristinely modified BRZs, STIs, WRXs, Foresters, and more that were already there to simply see what others had done to their Subarus. Once inside the gates, the vehicles on show were of such quality that they did not disappoint either, as builds that ranged from those that had been obviously built for show sat parked next to those that appeared to have been modified with more of a rally purpose in mind. Hawkeyes, Blobeyes, Stinkeyes, and Bugeyes lined row after row, each looking so vastly unique from its neighbor that it was difficult at times to believe that these vehicles all shared the same lineage.

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     In addition to the show, an autocross course had been set up to allow Subaru owners the chance to test their vehicle and their skill on the timed track. This could have been the draw that pulled in Bucky Lasek, the 42 year old professional skateboarder turned professional rallycross driver, and Sverre Isachsen, the Norwegian rallycross champion of 1999 and 2000, who were also in attendance at Subiefest performing hot laps. Desert Street Scene’s own Dennis Minter was fortunate enough to not only meet with both, but to receive a ride along with Isachsen in an STI S206. The S206 is a JDM right hand drive that was released in 2013. There were only a recorded 300 having ever been built, and of that 300 a mere 100 account for the creation of the Nurburgring Challenge Package (NBR), which was what Isachsen was utilizing to tear across the track. The standard S206 surpasses the stock STI in so many ways, such as with its upgraded turbo charger, new ECU settings, and re-profiled internals, and the NBR takes the S206 a step farther by adding a carbon fiber roof and an adjustable carbon fiber spoiler, thus reducing the weight of the vehicle and offering the ability to manipulate the downforce to increase aerodynamics, both of which are rarely heard to ever be offered in a production vehicle. It was obvious that to the spectators, the combination of that specific car with that specific driver was pure magic, as they watched him perfectly execute each turn and simply give one hell of a show.

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     There were a few negative comments from spectators and those who had entered to show, which primarily focused on a perceived lack of organization. The standard issues that crop up with any large event appeared to have occurred with this one as well, including long lines, discrepancies between the number of electronically pre-purchased tickets that included bonus add-ons versus the amount that were actually available, and even that the event hadn’t been properly planned to account for the 100 degree temperatures that quickly had all vendors sold out of water by noon. DSS, however, did not personally see any of these issues though, so these negative claims cannot be validated by our team as we experienced a reasonable wait time and experienced no problems at the event that could have been related to any type of poor organization. In fact, we rather enjoyed our time at Subiefest as we meandered through the rows of creative and impressive builds, listened to the enthusiastic DJ who would randomly launch Subie merchandise into the crowds, watched participants speed their way through the autocross course, and conversed with spectacular vendors like Wilwood Brakes, Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT), and even Subaru of America, who fully sponsored the event.

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Article by: Kat Mongomery

Pictures by: Dennis Minter

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