Rally driver Sam Albert and his Ferrari V-8-swapped Subaru STI have lit the internet ablaze in recent weeks. The Forza Horizon-esque build captures everything we love about rallying and homebrew machines all in one, and just so happens to sound glorious in the process. Thanks to DirtFish on YouTube, we have a chance to see Albert tackle a stage in the car at the recent Oregon Trail Rally.
Albert has been rallying since 2010, with this 2004 Subaru STI serving as his entry point into the sport. The car has been through several iterations over the course of its racing life, but none are quite as unique as the current spec. After scouring the ARA rulebook while on deployment as a Special Forces officer in 2019, Albert discovered that there were few regulations for naturally-aspirated engines under 4.5-liters. When compared to the limits and rules surrounding turbocharged engines in particular, a powerful atmospheric engine started to sound rather tempting. The plan was initially to source a 4.5-liter V-8 from a 458 Italia, but the F126 engine is rather expensive from a junkyard. The 4.3-liter F136IB engine found in the Ferrari California is a much cheaper proposition however, and still provides a healthy 454 hp and 357 lb-ft of torque. After sourcing one from Michigan, the build began at Primitive Racing in Oregon. There were some obvious engineering challenges, including the cooling system and mating the engine to the car’s sequential box, but the end result is clearly worth that effort.
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The footage from the Oregon Trail Rally was shot on a 360 degree camera, giving us all a taste of that classic video game viewing experience. This particular superspecial stage started right on the surface of Portland International Raceway, giving the Ferrari engine a chance to relive its prior track-day glory. The course cuts and weaves across the track property, mixing together sections of the track itself, the surrounding service roads, and some gravely areas smattered in between. The car looks poised regardless of the surface below, seemingly having no trouble getting that Italian horsepower through all four wheels. The noise the car makes certainly doesn’t hurt the excitement factor, especially once some walls are nearby to reverberate those tones. If you ever needed an excuse to get into ARA racing, you’ve found it.
Born and raised in Metro Detroit, associate editor Lucas Bell has spent his entire life surrounded by the automotive industry. He may daily drive an aging Mustang, but his Porsche 944 and NB Miata both take up most of his free time.
Keyword: Watch The Ferrari-Powered STI Sling Around A Rally Stage