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#SS2Gridlife Day One

Sailing through the Southwest

Mike Sabounchi
Aug 23, 2016

As you know by now (or maybe you don’t), we’re headed out to Gridlife South this weekend and couldn’t be more excited about it. There is really nothing quite like Gridlife in the U.S., and there was no chance we were going to miss it this year. Instead of flying there, giving you coverage, and flying home, we wanted to do something a little different. I decided to take a cross-country road trip with a few others planning to fly out to meet me right before the big event. To top it off, I even built up our Death Wagon (Subaru Legacy Project car) to fling around Road Atlanta.

Threw Photo 2/14   |   Threw

The plan was simple: build an engine, throw it in the car, and tow it to Gridlife to shred at the track. Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan. The night I was supposed to leave, my friends and I were up until 2am throwing an engine in the wagon. While we pushed as hard as we humanly could, we just couldn’t get all of the plumbing finished in time before I had to leave. To top things off, my road trip buddy had to bail on me for the trip, which meant I was about to do the entire 4,500 mile journey to Atlanta and back all alone.

For the long journey, I sourced a trailer from a new friend named Luis from House of Pain customs, along with a brand new Toyota Sequoia from our friends at Toyota as a tow rig.

Coffee Photo 3/14   |   Coffee

Departure time from LA was 7am and it was a 355-mile straight shot to Snail Performance in Arizona. Thank goodness for giant gas station coffee cups.

Gas Photo 4/14   |   Gas

Five hours and two tanks of gas later I arrived at Snail Performance in Phoenix.

Showroom Photo 5/14   |   Showroom

I met up with Taylor so he could give me the shop tour while Rich Kim from RA Worx looked over the wagon.

Turboengine copy Photo 6/14   |   Turboengine Copy
Whitegc Photo 7/14   |   Whitegc

Some pretty amazing Subaru’s were at Snail getting some upgrades in preparation for the remaining 2016 Global Time Attack rounds.

Perfs Photo 8/14   |   Perfs
Sally Photo 9/14   |   Sally

It also turns out that two of these cars are owned and operated by Taylor and Sally from Snail performance. If you want to be fast on the track, it helps having a huge support team behind you and that’s exactly what the Snail Performance crew is all about.

Richtaylor.JPG Photo 10/14   |   Richtaylor

Sadly, it turns out my Subaru engine is not in perfect shape to run at Road Atlanta, so I’ll be dead in the water at Gridlife this weekend.

Dmscreenshot Photo 11/14   |   Dmscreenshot

Sally from Snail Performance offered up her 2017 STI for me to drive this weekend but I couldn’t switch cars because some of our sponsors were expecting to see my car at the track, running or not.

Rooffix Photo 12/14   |   Rooffix

However, we did manage to do a pretty slick weather proofing mod over my sunroof hole. The different duct tape colors weren’t by choice; we actually ran out of tape three different times.

Arizonaroad1 Photo 13/14   |   Arizonaroad1

My next destination was Albuquerque, New Mexico, so after a few social media posts I hit the road and headed for the hills. Man, oh, man, the Arizona hills are freaking gorgeous!

Finalmiles copy Photo 14/14   |   Finalmiles Copy

After I made it through Arizona, it was time to call it a night in New Mexico. The Sequoia performed admirably, average 14.1 miles per gallon while towing roughly 5,000 lbs. at 70mph. Not bad at all! On to Oklahoma – more from the road to Gridlife tomorrow!

By Mike Sabounchi
91 Articles

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