Why Steel Wheels Are Bad for Rallycross

So you've got yourself a nice 2008 Subaru Impreza hatchback. The 2.5-liter motor purrs away nicely and you dream of being the Ken Block of your neighborhood. The only problem – the police doesn't take kindly to road rallying. No problem, said Chris from Indiana, as he took beloved hatch to a rallycross event in Attica, IN.
Rallycross crash 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
With steel wheels on and the bumpers taken off to avoid damage, it seemed the Impreza would be unstoppable on the track. Except the $20 wheels you find at Walmart are not built to take a beating. And so, just a few minutes into the event, the one on the left take a more serious knock and rips right out at the flange, with the bolts still attached to the hub.

The wheel in question had been pre-bent in an earlier race but not enough to have a noticeable effect on the handling of the car. That damage could be the reason why the Subaru now needs a new front wing. Steel wheels aren't supposed to be used in rallycross anyway as there are stronger rims available for these types of events.

No mechanical components were damaged during the slow accident. Had this taken place on the road, the Subaru would probably have "lost an arm or two". You could say that this is all part of the fun.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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