Member Profiles

Learn more about your WRXSA club members, their passion for Subies, club meets, motorsport, and their rides.

Introducing

WRXSA member

Ben Wilden

Around the age of 11 I remember seeing the wide world of sports on weekend television. While I saw so many cool sports the WRC really drew me in when it was played. The noise the cars made as they zoomed past the TV cameras, the whine of the mechanics and communications in the car and the absolute elegance of seeing the pro rally drivers dance their cars around the corners. I think this is when I started to really appreciate cars as more than something your parents drove you around in. My eyes were glued to the TV seeing Colin McRae do his thing in a fierce battle with Tommi Makinin. Both of which are 2 of my favourite cars to this day! This passion grew for cars an d as other at school couldn’t wait to have a VL the humble Morris Mini drew my eye.

In 1998 I bought my first car. A 1970 Morris Mini K in baby poo brown also known as Californian gold. The engine was shot and it needed a bunch of work but to the shell but over the years I fixed it up. First was a new 1100cc engine as per the original . When a 1275cc found its way available many years later it got some treatment with a 1330cc bore, cams, roller rockers, a sweet exhaust, dry suspension, CV joints and disc brakes. What a beast!

While I loved it wasn’t practical as an everyday car so in 2004 I bought my first Subaru!! A 1999 impreza RX. I was young and still on traineeship wages training to be a jeweller, so I couldn’t afford the “W” in the WRX range. In 2006 I was forced to change jobs from jewellery with an increase in a hectic training regime in the sport of trampolining. So I sold the Subaru and bought a 1993 Suzuki swift GTI for $700. It was running on 3 cylinders when I got it but it was only a spark plug and lead change at away it went!! It lasted me a good few years of abuse and getting me around on the cheap before it went bang and became scrap metal.

In August 2008 I was selected to compete in the Beijing Olympics for trampolining. I finished 13th in the games and am proud to have reached that goal despite not having stood on the podium. Enter 2010, the time had come… Time for the real thing! A silver 1999 Subaru Impreza WRX!!!! It had a freshly rebuilt ej205 with an ekutec level 2 tune running thru a freshly built box with PPG straight cut first and second gear. It was love at first whine. The sound that thing made was incredible!

In 2011 I ran away to join the circus…. No joke. I moved to Las Vegas and performed in the Cirque Du Soleil show ‘Mystere’ for nearly 2 years. A friend of mine in an Evo had entered the OzGymkhana series when it started it wasn’t  long before I jumped on board to join him out on the racetrack. Later dragging Brendan Moore out to get amongst it too!

It was this event that got onto the WRXSA club and I joined up to get my CAMS. I’d had good success in the series for a car running 156kw on standard suspension and made the top 8 shoot out a couple of times.

Late 2013 I got the call from the circus to again join them…so……I ran away to join the circus. This time I was on tour and spent a few months in Taiwan and 2 years in Japan. When I got home late 2015 I bought myself a 1998 Nissan Pulsar sss to get me around as I started back in my career as a manufacturing Jeweller. Not a bad little car but it was in need of some work that I just wasn’t willing to do. It was only with me few months before I bought my beloved SpongeBob. A 2000 impreza WRX club spec evo 4 wagon!!! 300 of the custard yellow club spec evo 4’s were released with 250 being sedans and only 50 being wagons.

Subaru Car Club Member Profile

The previous owner, Glen Breugem, had done an amazing job with building this car. It’s the complete package he has proven great results in it. A huge credit goes out to him for this build. Since owning the car I’ve not done too many mods to it. I had to replace the gear box after I broke 2nd gear in the 03 6MT STi box that was in there at Mt Alma Hill Climb. Also replaced the brake discs and front pads. I’ve given the paint work a meticulous detail and maintain anything that might be wearing out.

SpongeBob

  • stroked ej207 to make a 2200cc displacement
  • ej257crankshaft
  • Mahle forged Pistons + ring kit
  • scat billet con rod set
  • ACL race series bearings
  • 11mm ARP headstuds
  • 11mm Hi-flow oil pump
  • vf28 turbo with p20 rear housing and billet wheel
  • 2003 STi TMIC
  • fuel upgrades to support e85
  • external surge tank with Bosch 044 fuel pump
  • 2003 JDM STi 6MT with DCCD 3.9 final drive
  • Possum Bourne Motor sports DCCD controller
  • Tein coil overs
  • STi carbon front strut brace
  • Whiteline 22mm rear sway bar with whiteline brackets and bushes
  • DBA t3 discs all round With CL5 pads front and Mrt pads on the back Dixel race/gymkhana handbrake shoes
  • Output motorsport weighted gear knob. (South Aussie made!!)
  • Yokohama AD08R in 215/45/r17
  • 17x 7 work emotion cr kai rims

This build yields great power and heaps of fun at around the 220kw mark on 98ron and 240kw on e85 on 17psi while maintaining good daily drivability. It has been properly tuned for 20psi for hill climb events but I have yet to run it on this boost yet. Its quiet punchy and with the 6 speed it feels like it goes thru the gears mighty quickly!!

I LOVE the versatility of the wagon. The night before time attack I had a dishwasher loaded in the back to bring home and then in the morning it was ready to drive to Mallala with all the club merchandise loaded up. After unloading I headed straight onto the track for the come and try…after checking tyre pressure of course.

The adventures I’ve had with this car are still in the early stages but a big credit to all the guys and gals at WRXSA for making me feel a welcome part of the Subaru family and I look forward to building more friendships with everyone as we adventure on cruises and motorsport events together.

Want to read more?

Enjoy finding out a bit more about the people who make up our Subaru family at WRXSA? More member profiles like these in every issue of Rex Driver which you can enjoy on your mobile and tablet as part of your WRXSA membership

Want to share your story about how your passion came to be? Get in touch and send some pics of your Subie!