Written Interview with Alpena SCCA RallyX Racer – Brandon Ciupka

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?

A: No


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?

A: 2015-2016


Q: Have you ever done any other kinds of racing?(If yes, what kind?)

A: No


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

TGV Deletes

GrimmSpeed 3 Port EBCS

GrimmSpeed Catless Up Pipe

Nameless Downpipe (Uncatted)

SRS Type RE Catback (Uncatted)

Samco BOV

Mishimoto Silicone Intercooler Piping

Carberry Rom Tune which includes

Anti Lag

Launch Control

Ignition Cut

Rotational Idle



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!

Ciupka Ciupka2 Ciupka3 Ciupka4 Ciupka5

I was excited to see Brandon’s answers to these questions! I need to thank him for happily answering these for me!


-Dakota O(MiAutoFed)

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