JC Meynet is quite a character. He’s sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of the time attack world. He’s a quick-witted old fart who enjoys a good laugh as much as a flying hot lap, and perhaps it’s because of his light-hearted approach to racing that he sometimes doesn’t get the respect he deserves. But we suspect that’s just fine by JC, a privateer who seems to relish the underdog role, not to mention the smack talk that comes with the long list of class wins and track records he set along the way. Not that his meticulously prepared GD Impreza STI is somehow less well developed than any of the big-name shop cars in the competition (though it’s built to Modified/Limited class specifications for the various time attack series he competes in, so it’s not an Unlimited build). In fact, JC and his sponsors (most notably AQ Motorsports) have worked tirelessly at turning what was once a grocery-getting STI into one of the fastest Subies on the planet. JC’s also one of those crafty types who likes to look for an edge wherever he can find it. In the case of the Shootout, he learned a lot about what it takes to win the big trophy while competing in AQ Motorsports’ widebody Honda S2000. “We competed in the Shootout last year, so we’re familiar with the antics that make up this circus — umm, I mean competition,” JC says. “Truthfully, we consider the Tuner Shootout to be one of the two most significant events of the year (the other being the Super Lap Battle finals).”
JC and his crew also managed to find an edge on the dyno, where they posted an astounding 692.4 whp and a stump-pulling 727.3 ft-lbs of torque at all four wheels, resulting in a power-under-the-curve score of 21,661. According to JC, “As always, we had a little trick up our sleeves, this time in the form of our switch to E85. This fuel is completely legal with all sanctioning bodies we race with and allows us to crank up the timing, boost and compression thanks to its cooling qualities. To make a long story, well, a little longer, we were able to crank out 750 whp and over 700 wtq on Church’s Tuning dyno [at sea level in Long Beach, CA, in cooler conditions] and still made almost 700 whp in the 95-degree heat and slightly higher elevation at UMS Tuning. As far as we know, this is the highest horsepower ever recorded by a Subaru and the third highest power level recorded in the history of the Shootout.”
Having finished second on the dyno, our traveling circus headed from UMS Tuning over to Firebird’s NHRA dragstrip. JC and his STI continued to run strong, posting a 10.94 at 130 mph. That’s F&F fast, and it was also good for second place in the event, just 7/100th of a second off the winning time. “This was the first time this car’s ever been down a dragstrip and only the second time I’ve driven on one,” JC says. “With our car still sporting the original and unmodified transmission and rear differential, we were reluctant to throw the dice and perform a proper drag race launch, choosing instead to utilize a conservative yet sporty street-style takeoff. Our cautious approach paid off with a respectable e.t., despite a loose chargepipe hose clamp that robbed us of some power.” With an aggressive launch and no boost leak, JC thinks a low 10-second or even a high 9-second run might have been possible, but we’ll have to wait until next year for that.
With the dyno-winning Insane Speed EVO blowing up on the dragstrip (see team profile, page 43), JC was in the overall points lead heading into the autocross competition. Having only competed in a handful of autocross events before (but having spent lots of time driving like an a-hole in parking lots), JC put his hooligan training to good cone-dodging use. As JC put it, “With only three runs to set a fast time, our strategy was to set a decent time in the first run and then turn up the heat for the next two. Unfortunately, I clipped the entry cone at the start not once but during the first two runs [Editor’s note: Don’t blame it on the splitter, JC!]. This added a painful 2-second penalty to both runs, which were otherwise the best times of the event so far. This meant I had to drive the third and final run at an even more conservative pace to ensure no penalties, instead of the full tilt ‘kill’ mode we had planned for.” Nevertheless, JC’s conservative third run was still good for the event’s fastest time, scoring him a valuable and somewhat surprising 100 points (given Tage Evanson’s dominance of this event in past years).
With a commanding lead going into the time attack, it was going to take a major brain fart or a mechanical failure to stop the JC juggernaut. “Typically, I shoot for my fastest lap on the first timed lap when the tires are freshest and stickiest,” JC explains, “but because of the unknown nature of the spec Continental Grand-Am slicks, my team and I decided it would be smarter to target the third and final lap to be our ‘kill zone.’ Just as we suspected, our laps got increasingly better as the Conti endurance rubber heated up, with a 1:02.9 on the first lap and a 1:02.2 on the second lap. Things were looking good to beat the track record of 1:01.6, but, unfortunately, we caught up and lapped one of our fellow competitors who must not have seen us coming. Still, we managed to click off a respectable 1:01.9 for the win, which was our primary purpose, but I’d be lying if I said we didn’t want that overall track record as well. Next time!”
With two strong second-place finishes to go along with two event wins, JC Meynet and his team proved that a privateer can run with the big dogs. In fact, JC’s performance throughout the Shootout was so consistently strong that his overall score of 296.99 (out of a possible 300) is the highest points total in Shootout history. Not too shabby for an old fart who can’t get any respect, despite having turned his former daily driver into one of the fiercest Subarus on the planet.
'06 Subaru Wrx/Sti
Engine 2.5-liter EJ25 flat-4
Drivetrain DSS Stage 5 axles & 1-piece aluminum driveshaft; ACT XTG6 extreme duty clutch; Prolight flywheel
Suspension JRZ 3-way shocks; 750 (f), 800 (r) springs; Kaminari spherical rear lateral links & front roll/bump correctors; Hellafunctional free caster mod; AQ Motorsports sway bar (r) & rear subframe w/ roll correction; Whiteline sway bar (f) & front control arm bushings; Turn In Concepts rear trailing arm bushings; Cusco adjustable trailing arms
Wheels, Tires & Brakes 18x10.5" Enkei NT03+1 wheels; 15mm spacers; Continental 275/35R18 Grand-Am spec tires; StopTech Trophy BBKs (f/r); e-brake delete; Carbon Lorraine brake pads; Motul brake fluid; AQ Motorsports brake ducts
Interior AiM Sport digital dash; Sparco Pro-ADV seat; 6-point harness & fire-suppression system; Personal steering wheel; Bullet Fabrications rollcage
Exterior Kognition rear wing w/ adjustable chassis mounts; Kaminari carbon hood & trunk; Zero-Sport bumpers; JCM full alumilite flat-bottom & splitter, sills & diffusers; Hellafunctional aero details, intake & brake NACA ducts; Password:JDM canards; modified Pep-Boys ’79 Pinto fender flares; paint by Earl’s
Sponsors AQ Motorsports; Toyo Tires; Church Tuning; DeatschWerks; JRZ North America; Turbo by Garrett; Brian Crower; StopTech; The Driveshaft Shop; ACT; Outfront Motorsports; AEM; Motul; Essex; Moroso; Enkei Wheels; B-bar Ranch Beef; Kaminari; Kognition Design; Fluidamper; Hose Techniques; Speed Ventures HPDE; Password:JDM; JHPUSA; AFI Turbo; Hellafunctional; Novak HVAC
Engine Modifications Brian Crower 2.6-liter stroker kit & valvetrain; JE 8.5:1 pistons; Portflow heads; Cosworth H11 head studs & 12mm oil pump; AQ Motorsports GTX35 rotated turbo kit, exhaust, cold-air intake, surge tank & external oil cooler; DeatschWerks 1,600cc injectors; Fuelsafe 10-gallon fuel cell; Aeromotive fuel rails & FPR; Moroso oil pan & oil accumulator; Griffin FMIC & radiator; Fluidamper harmonic balancer; AEM engine management & sensors (tuned by Church Automotive)