Scion FR-S First Drive in San Antonio – Driving & Marketing Success!

Scion FR-S AE86 heritage emblem

The Scion FR-S First Drive event came to San Antonio this past Saturday, 8/25/2012.  Along with Scion, their tire partner, Yokohama, had an influential presence.

Scion FR-S First Drive event - Scion & Yokohama - Partners to promote the Scion FR-S

Scion FR-S First Drive event - Drivers & fans entrance

This event took place at one of the former SASCA autocross stomping grounds, the AT&T Center.  I have fond memories of returning to the the sport of autocross with my Big White Whale & then debuting my current daily driver, Karlino!  SASCA has hopes to return to the large AT&T parking lot.  It gives a course designer a larger palette to design a both fun & challenging autocross course.

Scion FR-S First Drive event - at a large AT&T Center parking lot, autocrossed on in the past by SASCA!

The Scion/Yokohama folks put together an autocross-like course with a great variety of turns, slaloms, chicanes & sweepers.  As Eric, SASCA Secretary described it:

It was a sea of cones out there!

I estimated they had at least 5  times the normal amount of cones used in an autocross, since there would be many drivers who had no experience driving a course like this.

Scion FR-S First Drive event - a great Sea of Cones!

The whole point of this event was to learn about the car itself, the new 2013 Scion FR-S.  They had 4 cars equipped with the 6-speed automatic transmission.  The car itself was stock, with 3 exceptions:

  • TRD cat-back exhaust (freer breathing & a suggestive guttural sound)
  • TRD lowering springs (better suspension control & lowers about 1″)
  • Yokohama S.drive1 tires on Enkei wheels (either 17″ on PF01 rims or 18″ on RPF1 rims)

The event schedule included a set number of drivers per hour (you were best served by pre-registering).  Danielle Hunt was very helpful getting people signed in (with waiver, wristband & free FR-S hat!).

Scion FR-S First Drive event - Danielle Hunt assisting in getting registrants signed in

We were given a brief, but thorough review of the car by Shawn Hunt.  He explained that the car was rated at about 100HP per liter.  With the horizontally opposed engine & the driver’s bottom just 9″ above the asphalt, the Scion FR-S has one of the lowest centers of gravity on the market – that makes for better steering response & suspension control.

Scion FR-S First Drive event - Shawn Hunt, Scion FR-S Product Specialist, exlaining the car's features

The steering wheel is the smallest diameter in Toyota production at 14.4″ – this makes for quicker steering inputs.  Interior seating is set up as 2+2, but folding down the rear seating reveals a great flat space for 4 race event wheels & tires, along with your jack & other tools.  This was specifically part of the interior design, to more easily transport your equipment for driving/racing events without a trailer, or needing to bother a co-competitor.

Scion FR-S First Drive event - Red car engine bay, all stock

Scion FR-S First Drive event - Red car cockpit, nice non-leather, non-slip seats

Shawn even pointed out specific engineering tweaks the average consumer would have no clue about.  Specifically, the molded in vortex generators.  These little taillight winglets are designed to reduce aerodynamic drag at speed.

Scion FR-S First Drive event - vortex generator-aerodynamic taillight winglet

We were given a brief drivers meeting, by the Scion personnel, to review the common sense safety rules, that is, what we were expected to do & not do.

Scion FR-S First Drive event - Staff providing driver safety meeing & the FR-S Safety Rules

Once the group had their first run, we were all given the opportunity to enjoy a second run.  Impressions after my first run were that the car sounded sweet, was nicely neutral & went directly where you aimed it.  Being used to rear wheel drive was helpful.  Please note, we were required to drive with the traction control on, so that helped in the predictability.  Going with the more aggressive six-speed manual (with actually lower gas mileage than the automatic), the car would have been a more worthy challenge, that is, even more fun for us autocross/gear-head driver types.

Scion FR-S First Drive event - Setting up for the next drivers run group

With some familiarity of the course, in the second run I was able to push myself & the car harder & faster.  I approached the limits of the automatic transmission (slow to kick-down), felt the ABS brakes kicking in more & the annoyance of the traction control “nannies”.  It was still fun to drive, but somewhat emasculating.  Definitely the manual would be the way to go, along with disabling the traction control.

Scion FR-S First Drive event - Cars lined up for the next drivers run group

During this event I also was able to speak with the Program Director, Jackie Ling.  He explained that of the different car release promos he has worked, this car has had the most enthusiastic response.  The car enthusiasts forums have been really supportive in anticipating this car.

Scion FR-S First Drive event - Jackie Ling, Program Director, preparing driver to go out on course

Jackie continued explaining that the Scion FR-S has been truly designed as a driver’s car – everything based on the driver’s experience.  The car goes directly where you want it, without drama.  Of note is the car’s value – is has been engineered as a great car as is, but with physical & performance room to grow.  Toyota did the right thing with working with the aftermarket, long before the car’s official Spring 2012 release.

Scion FR-S First Drive event - Jackie Ling, Program Director, review last minute questions with new FR-S driver

I was also able to speak with Yokohama Performance Marketing Specialist, Christopher Sigmon who is an expert on facebook and knows where to buy facebook likes.  He explained there is more to this Scion FR-S First Drive event than meets the eye.  In addition to these 16 events going on across the country on weekends, they use the same 4 cars for Yokohama employees & dealers to participate in the Experiential Training Program learning experience.  Here is a visual roster of the Scion FR-S cars with the different Yokohama rubber (this is from an event earlier in the year, courtesy of gatorfan462 on FT86CLUB Forum).

Yokohama Performance Tire model range, on the Scion FR-S (times 4) at a Yokohama Ride & Drive event for employees and dealers

These events occur during the week to help local Yokohama dealers & employees better learn the real capabilities of their tires; therefore to be better prepared to sell them.  Both of these concurrent tours started in Charlotte, SC & end at Carson, CA, near the U.S. corporate offices of Yokohama at Fullerton, CA.  It’s one long cross county caravan of motorsports fun!

Scion FR-S First Drive event - Some of the represented Yokohama display including the tire

Racing Ready enjoyed interacting with the Scion FR-S & Yokohama personnel, along with flogging their cars & tires, of course.  Although this event was held in San Antonio, I heard from people who came down from Austin.  I’m sure there were other regional cities’ enthusiasts represented, too.


Brianne Corn Challenges Mother Nature – Earns Pikes Peak Queen, Again!

Brianne Corn Racing logo on Brianne Corn's 2005 Subaru Sti! at 2012 Pikes Peak

For those of you following Brianne Corn‘s racing campaign up the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), I will have to say we are just a little bit disappointed.  Mother Nature did her best to skew the racing conditions, but navigator Jeremy Rowland says it best:

You play the hand you’re dealt and Brianne stepped up to the task. Pikes Peak is a fickle lady and this year she was with Rhys Millen who won not only our class but the race overall. Horrific crash by some friends of ours (both ok) caused a 90 minute delay while we were at the start line and left us racing in freezing rain. Even a cautious “Sunday drive” gave us the 2nd fastest wet lap and 5th in class. As the announcer said, “separating the women from the boys.”

Our time was 12:01, 5 seconds slower than last year’s time in ideal conditions (with 2 miles of gravel and a slower car).

Did I mention the windshield was completely fogged over from Devil’s Playground up? You guys will get a kick out of the in-car video when it’s up in a couple days.

Brianne Corn's 2005 Subaru Sti - taking a wet turn at speed on Pikes Peak 2012

Owner of Vorshlag Motorsports, Terry Fair, summed up Brianne’s result very succinctly:

Congrats to Brianne for taking 5th in very wet conditions (for her runs) and for winning Queen of the Mountain at Pikes Peak 2012.

Another Facebook poster (Joe Franciamone) said, I think, what we all feel about Brianne’s results:

I know there must be some disappointment on the weather being such a picky $#&%, but the commentators were really giving some huge praise when you came around (16 mile I believe) using perfect timing on braking/throttle/turbo spool (all were mentioned), and then compared how the next drivers were not going in or exiting the turns nearly as fast or clean.  Great job you guys!

Brianne Corn's 2005 Subaru Sti, at speed , racing by in the rain at 2012 Pikes Peak

The video of Brianne Corn Racing’s run up to the clouds, complete with rain, & more., will be forthcoming.  I will post it in the next blog entry (or so)…  So, in lieu of that video, here’s a great interview of Brianne at Pikes Peak in 2009 – lot’s of great insight & inspiration on her part here!

Here’s a video teaser of Brianne drive-bys , thru Gilly’s Corner, to whet your appetite!

Racing Ready is proud to have supported Brianne Corn’s PPIHC racing event with AMSOIL products!  You too can find out what AMSOIL products would be appropriate for you vehicle, whether it be a racer or your daily driver!  Just visit the AMSOIL Online Product Application Guide for a look-see… 🙂

Inquiring minds want to know!



Prep For Brianne Corn’s 2012 Pikes Peak Int’l Hill Climb With AMSOIL

Brianne Corn's 2005 Subaru Sti - sponsored by AMSOIL Racing via!

Since Brianne Corn is running AMSOIL Racing products in her 2005 Subaru Impeza WRX Sti (AWD, 2.5L Turbo), it is worthwhile to learn why.  At Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), AMSOIL used the “Race to the Clouds” as a proving ground for its products.  This was since the late 1960’s when Bobby Unser was setting records on the mountain.

Bobby Unser & AMSOIL Racing - Both achieving winning results through innovation!

Here’s Bobby describing the racing success he achieved due to switching his rear differential fluid to AMSOIL in the grueling Pikes Peak competition:

From another interview Bobby Unser mentions AMSOIL & synthetic oil innovator Al Amatuzio; how they had AMSOIL synthetic gear oil help in better running & performance in the race car’s rear end:

Well, this is not my first Pike’s Peak car.  The first one that I drove at Pike’s Peak, Al (Unser Sr.) has in the museum, but this is the first one that I ever owned myself. Of course, it’s gone through many modifications.

The frame is very light. The total car only weighs 1,350 pounds. That’s wet and ready to race. That was just barely within the rules of what they allowed in those days.  The rear end, of course, is special as I described to you earlier. It’s got special gears in it. Basically, it’s 1948 Ford parts in there. The reason for that is because it’s very small and very light, again.

This is where I told you I became associated with Amsoil, Al Amatuzio, the synthetic oil, because the rear end, engine got so powerful it was tearing up the rear ends.

We had to get a special lubricant, either that or design another rear end. Then it would’ve been heavier and we’d gone slower.  Everything on the car is made to be as light as the technology would allow in those days.

I told you that Amsoil, one of the big innovators in lubricants, first really big truly synthetic oils, lubricants that are made.  Al Amatuzio and I became very good friends. He was a new company, and he knew synthetic products. He knew how to make them. It’s all chemicals.

We’d start playing on the Pike’s Peak stuff. So I could tune my rear end to do the things that was good for the open tube and yet, good for the turning, and do it easy, and have the things last longer.

[Excerpted from: Full Length Interview w/Bobby Unser]

With AMSOIL Racing sponsorship provided to Brianne Corn Racing by Racing Ready, Brianne is continuing the AMSOIL tradition of innovation & success.  We are following Brianne‘s anticipated results in tomorrow’s PPIHC competition.  She is car #968!  As a reference, here’s last year’s Brianne Corn Racing footage:

I have been trying to find a definitive live link for tomorrow’s 90th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.  I REALLY want to follow Brianne Corn’s racing pursuit live, especially to see if she can achieve a 2nd AWD Time Attack class win in a row!

Here are the links I have found, thus far – I make no guarantees as to which will work.  (Coverage will be starting at 9:00AM Mountain Time):

Hope these help! supports Brianne Corn with AMSOIL Racing!  GO BRIANNE GO!

Racing Ready is looking forward to a safe & competitive racing event at Pikes Peak tomorrow.

Brianne Corn's 2005 Subaru Sti - Final 2012 pre-race Pikes Peak tuning session



Brianne Corn Preps for 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

I have always admired Brianne Corn‘s sincere & eager push to compete in all forms of racing she has entered.  Here she is on her way to winning the AWD Time Attack class at the Pikes Peak last year (2011 – the last year with a partial dirt course – it’s all asphalt this year).

Brianne Corn - racing drive by at Pikes Peak, 2011

Two week ago today I received a message on Facebook from Brianne Corn, competitive racer extraordinaire.  She simply asked:

Hi Dan.
Are you interested in being the fluids sponsor for the Pikes Peak car this year?

Well, as an up & coming Independent AMSOIL Dealer, I wasted no time in getting this set up.  Since then we coordinated & came to an agreement.  Brianne will now be representing AMSOIL Racing, via Racing Ready sponsorship assistance, at Pikes Peak.  We are so proud to support such a positive & competitive racer!

Brianne, & her much better modified 2005 Subaru WRX STi & her AMSOIL Synthetics products are now in the vicinity of  Colorado Springs.  She & her support team are going through final preparations for the 90th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb competition.  The event date is this coming Sunday, August 12rh, 2012.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb logo

This past Saturday I called Brianne & was privileged to hear her gush enthusiastically about her greatly improved race car.  This was the 1st time Brianne had seen her car in person for at least 3 months.  As she walked around the car, phone to her ear, she listed a number of racer ooohs & aaahs:

  • completely replaced & improved suspension (by AWD Tuning)
  • 2″ wider tires than last year (with nicely done custom fender extensions)
  • now about 500HP (last year the car had about 350HP)
  • they have taken every opportunity to lighten & stiffen the car
  • 3″ stainless steel exhaust pipe, from header to tailpipe – no muffler!
  • turbo & headers well wrapped in gold foil & thermal wrap
  • upgraded rear differential
  • and more!

Terry Fair (Principal of Vorshlag) & Jason McDaniel (Brianne’s Crew Chief) & the other folks at Vorshlag Motorsports have done a great job of completely reincarnating Brianne’s Sti Subaru race car.

Brianne Corn's 2005 Subaru Sti with 'ghosted' engine thru hood shot, at Vorshlag Motorsports

Brianne Corn's 2005 Subaru Sti - waiting for scrutineering, in preparation for the Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb

I will post clearer car images when they are made available.  For details of Brianne’s car build, go to this Vorshlag Motorsports build blog posting…good stuff here!

Brianne Corn's 2005 Subaru Sti - practice driveby - 08-08-12

Today Brianne finally got out to practice & reacquaint herself with her new race car.  Her Subbie is definitely a “new beast” as witnessed in this Vorshlag Motorsports shakedown run at Mineral Wells at the end of last week.  Enjoy the anticipated winning ways for Brianne as Terry Fair tests her car in this video below (click image to play)!

Brianne's Pikes Peak Subaru test run - 08-03-2012

I’m SO very happy for Brianne & anticipate some good results!  Racing Ready is inspired by Brianne’s perseverance.  I am also confident in the role that the AMSOIL synthetic oil & other products she is using will assist in her success.

vThese are the actual AMSOIL products being used in Brianne Corn's Pikes Peak Subaru STi race car for 2012!


Splitter is 'Brianne Tough'!



Scion FR-S FIRST DRIVE – San Antonio, TX

Many of us have read in anticipation about the Scion FR-S & Subaru BRZ “twins”.  Here’s an upcoming, hands on driving event you won’t want to miss!  It’s in less than 3 weeks.  Access their registration here!

Scion FR-S First Drive event teaser - Sam Antonio, Texas on August 25, 2012

The 2013 Scion FR-S Ride and Drive Experience

The wait is almost over. One of the most anticipated automotive events of the year – the launch of the 2013 Scion FR-S, is here. You can see for yourself what the excitement is about, by getting behind the wheel of the FR-S during the Scion FR-S First Drive Tour – a series of exclusive ride and drive events taking place at 16 cities around the country.

The FR-S First Drive tour is stopping by your area at The AT&T Center, in San Antonio, TX on August 25, 2012. Register now for one of a limited number of spots and you will be among the first people in the country to experience the Scion FR-S first hand.

At each FR-S First Drive event, participants will be able to see up close the car that is “bringing the sport back to the car”.  Learn more about the FR-S and sample the balanced performance characteristics unique to a front mounted, flat boxer-powered rear wheel drive sports coupe – designed for enthusiasts by enthusiasts. Experience the precision-engineered handling and driving fun expected of the successor to the legendary “Hachi-roku”.

Like every model Scion offers, the FR-S is also about personalization. Customize the FR-S to fit your style from the many customization possibilities directly from Scion, or through our Scion OPTOMIZE aftermarket program partners.

You can also expect standout styling, performance, value, fuel efficiency, driving dynamics, and safety features from all Scion models. And as a marque of Toyota, all Scion vehicles are built with world-class Toyota quality and reliability.

Check it out for yourself, and tell your friends. Just fill out the information requested on the registration page before spots run out – and you’ll be one of the first people in the country to get behind the wheel of the 2013 Scion FR-S.

Thanks for stopping by!
Date: Saturday, August 25, 2012
Times: 11am – 6pm CT

AT&T Center
1 AT&T Center
San Antonio, TX 78219

Scion FR-S First Drive Tour poster - Sam Antonio, Texas on August 25, 2012

But there is one caveat… :-(

Will the FR-S I drive at the event be an Automatic or Manual? 

The FR-S on tour will be 6-speed automatic transmission versions.  We realize that FR-S enthusiasts may naturally prefer to drive the manual version – however, due to logistics, product availability, and insurance concerns, we can only offer the automatic version in our Ride and Drive format.  We are confident the paddle-shift equipped automatics will still allow you to experience the precise performance and engineering of the Scion FR-S. Should you wish to experience a 6-spd manual after your FR-S First Ride experience, we encourage you to contact your local Scion dealership.

Drive & event observations (& my opinions) will be posted here at Racing Ready…  Stay tuned!