I got back behind the wheel of Gobstopper II, the Roger Clark Motorsport-built Subaru Impreza, just two weeks ago – for the first time since winning in it at Goodwood in 2015. We’d done a lot to the car behind closed doors, including finding another 120bhp to take its output to over 900bhp! Most of the important work is done by my brother Matt – he’s the geek of the operation, although a handy pedaller, too. He decided he didn’t want to drive and engineer, so lucky old me gets to drive while he pores over the data.
Our love affair with Subarus started almost 25 years ago when my father, the late, great Roger Clark, and Matt started preparing rally cars. We got involved in the Impreza when it was new and soon offered power and handling upgrades. We also began to build our own demo car with huge amounts of power for the time. Following a brief interruption to help a chap from Iceland build a car to nail a nine-second quarter-mile drag run, we finished our car. There were lots of sceptics who didn’t believe we could get so much grunt out of an Impreza. And that’s the reason our first Time Attack car was called Gobstopper – to shut people up!
We finished second in Time Attack – a sprint series for highly modified cars that run against the clock at British circuits – in our first year in 2007 and won it in 2008 and ’09. More and more people wanted trick Scoobies so the business grew at a fair rate, although there are still only five of us here, including Matt and me. Mail-order parts supply is a huge element of what we do and we’re also proud to have recently helped Prodrive with Mark Higgins’ WRX Isle of Man record car, as well as Team BMR with the British Touring Car Championship Levorgs.
Once we’d outgrown the workshop at the family home, we relocated to new premises. I held off competing for a while to focus on the business, but work soon began on a new Gobstopper for Time Attack. And so Gobstopper II was born, with another Time Attack title secured in 2014.