the 'answer' to 'race gas' is e85. Assuming the fuel system can deliver or that it can be modified to deliver. i run it in my WRX and get 300 whp from a 2.0L.
I used to have a modified 240z running a 280z motor with a custom turbo setup and adjustable boost. i could run regular and turn the boost down or run race gas and turn it up past 25psi. this was in the 90s and i was paying 5 or 6 bucks a gallon then and it was drinking the stuff. nowadays race gas can be as much as 20 bucks a gallon. e85 is as good as medium grade race gas (105 to 110 octane) and cost about as much to run as high test (not as expensive but it takes more).
and you can get 100 octane no-lead race gas. i used to run it in my sportbikes during track days.
if possible, a slightly larger turbo, bigger intercooler, big cat down pipe, bigger turbo back exhaust, e85 tune would be nice.
i await cobb's access tuner race, and turbo back exhaust before i buy. this is what i run on my WRX. you could take their '93 octane' map and tweak it a bit if its a bit too aggressive for you local 93 gas.
Thanks for this. When I was tuning my 370Z, I ran into a few guys doing the E85 routine (over at Sean Church's place).
Anyhow, E85 takes some consideration. I don't know if our fuel system is E85 ready -- is our car a "flex fuel" car? If not, that's something to sort out.
100 octane no-lead is available, but just not convenient. Back in 90s and early 2000s, I could get it from my local 76 in a pump. I recall thinking how expensive $4.50 a gallon was! I'd kill for that price now.
I really don't want a bigger turbo right now. I think part of the fun is the super fast spooling -- but I totally get that we can install a bigger turbo with superior characteristics (spool, flow, etc.). The turbo-back exhaust and down-pipe (and big cat) is good stuff and I'll probably do that.
Also, I had two WRX cars! I love them. If my dealer had a "base" STi, I might be driving that now (great deals on those right now). I had an early Cobb tune on my "265HP WRX" and it was good fun. My early 2001 WRX was more built, but frankly didn't make big power (I ran a lot of the AUS rally scene stuff).
This is a great conversation, and I'm looking forward to more on this topic. I hear that E85 is a lot easier to find, so that could be a real alternative.