With me personally growing up in Alpena, I have known Brandon for quite some time now. I met him when he first started getting interested in automotive when he had his Jetta and I have to say he is one of the most down to earth enthusiasts I have met.
Thinking of types of racing to cover, he was the first one that came to mind when I thought of rally.
Here are some questions I asked, and advice he gave to other young enthusiasts!
Full Name: Brandon Lee Ciupka
Where You Live: Alpena, MI
A Little Bit About You (How you got into cars)
Currently 20 years old, 6’ 3’’. I got into cars about two years ago when I was introduced to rally racing. There are two events here in Michigan. Sno* Drift and the Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR). From a young age I had always been interested in extreme sports and motor sports. From skateboarding, snowboarding, snowmobiling, bike riding, etc. I always loved to be outdoors as a kid so naturally Rally racing is the motor sport that defined me.
Q: Current Car(Make, Model, Year)
A: 2003 Subaru Impreza WRX Wagon (5 Speed)
Q: Previous Cars(Make, Model, Year)
A: 2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
Q: Favorite Owned Car
A: The Subaru hands down
Q: Dream Car
A: I have many! But here’s a few
1.) Subaru 22B
2.) Lancia Sratos
3.) Fiat 131 Abarth
4.) R33 Skyline
5.) WRC prepared 2007 STI
Q:What form of racing do you do?
A: SCCA RallyX
Q: Do You Race For A Team? If yes, What Team?
Q: How Did You Get Into Your Current Form of Racing?
A: Watching SRT USA, and FY Racing and multiple other race teams compete in Rally America and other Rally events.
Q: What Is The Suspension Setup on Your Car Currently?
A: Lifted (1.5”) King Springs from Primitive Racing, Along with KYB AGX’s
Q: What are your current power-train specifications?
A: 5 Speed Manual Transmission
Kartboy Short Shifter along with Kartboy front and rear shifter bushings
Group N Transmission mount, Exedy Clutch and OEM Flywheel
Q: What is your current wheel/tire setup? Do you race on this setup? If no, what do you use?
A: Sparco Terra Rally Wheels with Dunlop Signature Series All Season Tires (205/55/16)
Subaru OEM 16” Wheels with Firestone Winterforce Studless Tires (205/55/16)
Silverstone Rallye Gravel Tires mounted to 15×6 Subaru wheels
The Gravel Tires and Winter Tires get raced on.
Q: Do you drive this car on a daily basis?
A: This car is my daily
Q: Are you part of any car clubs?(Aside from the team if you’re on one)
A: Michigan Automotive Federation
Q: Do you have any advice for younger enthusiasts, who may be interested in the racing you do?
A: Do you, don’t be afraid of what others will think of your car, your modifications or what you think is cool. Be different, that is what the car culture is all about.
Q: How long have you been doing this kind of racing?
Q: Have you ever done any other kinds of racing?(If yes, what kind?)
Q: Do you have any changes planned for your car in the 2016 season?(If yes, what? If you want to tell)
A: I plan on getting a tune for the WRX soon. The parts list for said tune are as followed:
Perrin Turbo Inlet
GrimmSpeed 3 Port EBCS
GrimmSpeed Catless Up Pipe
Nameless Downpipe (Uncatted)
SRS Type RE Catback (Uncatted)
Mishimoto Silicone Intercooler Piping
Carberry Rom Tune which includes
Q: Would you recommend your platform of car to any new-comers?
A: The WRX or STI is a great for a Rally Platform. Even just the base model Impreza would be fantastic. So, Yes I would.
Q: When you got your current car, did you plan to get into the racing you do? Or did it slowly grow on you?
A: Planned on this type of Racing since day one, it was the reason for choosing this car.
Q: Do you prefer automatic, or manual transmissions?
A: Save the Manuals!!!
Q: Do you personally prefer import, or domestic?
A: Personally, Imports. However, I have no issues with domestic vehicles and completely understand why people would enjoy owning and modifying their domestic vehicle as much as I enjoy modifying my personal car.
Q: Did the type of racing you’re currently in, introduce you to new people?
A: YES! I have made so many new friends due to owning my car and racing my car.
Q: Do you race for fun, or do you do it for competition?
A: A little of both but mainly for fun. However, given the opportunity I would definitely do this for the rest of my life in Rally America, CRC, or even WRC. Like I said… given the opportunity.
Following his explained current build, here are a few pictures of his Wagon!
I was excited to see Brandon’s answers to these questions! I need to thank him for happily answering these for me!