21st Aug2013

NASA Utah Round 5

by Michael Chandler

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August 10th was an extremely busy day at Miller Motorsports Park.  The Gotham Dream Car Sprint was happening in the Midway, starting at 6pm there was a Western Endurance Racing Championship six hour endurance race, and during the day the NASA locals were joined by some SCCA fellows for some laps!  Exciting right?  You betcha!  However, the arrival of the SCCA guys meant that some of your NASA heroes raced with them instead of in the NASA groups.

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This was most apparent with the open wheel guys.  It was one of the larger open wheel fields in recent memory.  And since this was a SCCA deal, I don’t have the results…  Sorry guys, but I do have more pictures!

Looks like you herped when you should've derped there Bill.

Looks like you herped when you should’ve derped there Bill.

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See?  That kinda makes up for the lack of actual information!

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I’m not 100% sure what these are, but I think they’re Club Ford cars.  Whatever they are, they’re very cool and deserve some time in the spotlight.

I don’t have results for the SCCA groups*, but I do have results for the NASA guys.  With the increase in traffic on track, they split the NASA folks in to three groups:

  • Thunder:  GTS 3, 4, 5; American Iron, Camaro Mustang Challenge, Spec Z, STR1, and ST2, 3 and U
  • Lightning:  GTS1, 2, 3; Spec Miata, Spec E30, Spec 944, and PTB, C, E and F
  • TT:  I’m not explaining this one

Let’s start with the TT group.

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Despite a momentary lack of traction control, which led to a slight off track excursion, Kyle Shick took top honors for TTU in the RaceCo/Envision Wraps GTR with a 1:59.336.  The car is fine, and Kyle was his usual smiling self about the incident at the awards dinner later in the evening.

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The TT1 crown was claimed by Steven Streimer in the Lux Performance/Streimer MotorSports/Natalie’s Estate Winery Porsche 911 with a time of 2:03.395

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Greg Valdez took #lelantos to the top of the heap in TT2 with a time of 2:09.348.  The Ziptie Dynowerks sponsored STi has been getting better over the course of the season.  Fun fact: the wing on the car is wider than Greg is tall.

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The TT3 title was claimed by this fellow: Steve Nagel in the MarVista BMW M3.  His time: 2:09.318.  I would say something witty or funny, but I know nothing about him so I shall refrain.

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Emilio Cervantes and his 949 Racing sponsored Mazda Miata took the TTB crown with a 2:13.901

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Another Miata took TTC.  This time it was Sonny Watanasirisuk with a lap time of 2:17.986

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AND Jay Kidd took first AND last in TTE by being the only competitor in the field.  The Track Speed Engineering Miata put up a 2:20.258.

Moving on to the Lightning group, and more specifically the three Spec classes that were running.

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Dan McKeever took Spec Miata in the #10 Falcon Graphics sponsored roadster.

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Larry Moore took the Spec E30 win in his wild Bavarian coupe.  Quick question: when did red and blue become the official M colors?  This came up while out shooting and nobody had a good answer.

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And Samuel Kapp was deemed the fastest  of the Spec 944s.

The Pro Touring field was pretty deep, featuring privateers and a factory backed effort.  Logically the factory team would be the fastest on the day right?  Allow me to show you why that isn’t really true.

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When you show up in a Fit, you make Miatas look like fire breathing Blancpain series Lamborghinis.  That said, it probably had to fill up once the whole weekend.  It also took the PTF class.

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Andrew Kidd put the #71 Track Speed Miata in the winner’s circle again in the PTE category.  See that Porsche he’s chasing?

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It’s the PTC class winner driven by Ed Mineau!  Eight hundredths of a second separated the fastest laps turned by your E and C class winners.

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And speaking of Porsches, Douglas Turnquist took the PTB win in his non-Spec 944.

In GTS they really turned up the wick!  Well, sort of.  These still are semi-reasonable cars we’re talking about.

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Lee Bohning took the #36 Alpine Autohaus M3 to the winners circle in GTS2.

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Meanwhile, in GTS3, Stefan Sajic piloted his E46 M3 to victory.  In addition to being M3s and winning their classes, these cars have something else in common: red roll cages.  I support that 103%.

And now on to the senior circuit: the Thunder group.

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Mark Smith piloted the Eagle Marine Boss 302 Mustang to victory in American Iron, beating an F Body with a big wing.  However, the General would have his revenge!

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And that came in the form of Joe Bogie taking the Camaro Mustang Challenge win!

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The Spec Z crown was claimed by David Dirks, seen here chasing down a CMC competitor.

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GTS was dominated by Porsches.  Gus Stribakos took his physics defying machine to glory in GTS3.

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Darrell Troester won GTS4 in his 996 GT3.

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And Les Long turned a blistering 1:58.901 on his way to a GTS5 victory!  His time was THIRD fastest of the day!

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ST3 was loudly won by Daniel Wennerberg in the Pure Performance, high visibility BMW.

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Bob beat Skip for the STR1 win.  One of my favorite moments from the day was Matt Guiver, at the awards presentation, asking “Hey Bob, where’s Skip?”  Not sure why, but I enjoyed it.

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And the Davidson Racing team took top honors in SU, the Thunder Group, and on the day.  They won their class by 1:07.978, making second place George Smith (and his fastest lap time 1:57.705) look like he was standing still.

After the NASA guys finished up, the SCCA guys got to turn some laps…

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And this happened.  Spec Miatas might not be the fastest cars on track, but they aren’t afraid to bang! Not entirely sure how, or why, but Tyler Dahl and Glenn Conser were going at it the entirety of the SCCA Small Bore race.

And on a more somber note, this was unfortunately the last NASA Utah event Regional Director Roger Miller attended.  The following weekend he traveled to Kansas City for the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.  He and co-driver Ian James finished eleventh in the race.  Tragically that evening, Roger passed away in his sleep.  Roger was a truly great man, and driver.  His passion for racing was unparalleled, and he wanted to bring more people into the fold and share that passion with them.  He will be missed, but the work he has done with NASA Utah will never be forgotten.

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*If anyone has the SCCA results, feel free to send them over and we’ll get a post up for them

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
12th Jul2013

Simple S2000

by Michael Chandler

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 Keep it simple stupid

Simplify then add lightness

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

There are hundreds of quotes talking about the greatness of simplicity, and at one point we have all said we wanted something simple.  But some of us end up with something overly complicated and regret taking the path of over complication.  Nathan Luong has taken his Honda S2000 down the path of simplicity.

 

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The most noticeable modifications the the exterior are the Voltex Type 1V Wing, the OEM hard top and front lip and the APR GT3 carbon fiber mirrors.  Most people keep Honda’s roadster as a soft top, so seeing one with a hard top is a bit of a rarity.  Seeing one with the Voltex wing is a bit more of a rarity.  And you don’t really see Modulo badges everyday either.

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Nate also popped on some clear side markers from a S2000 CR and an AP1 S2000 rear bumper.  Underneath the Voltex wing is a smaller GT Motoring duckbill spoiler.

 

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The car is a bit more stiffly sprung thanks to a set of KW Variant 3 coilovers and a Cusco strut tower bar.  It sticks and stops better thanks to the 255/40 Advan Neovas wrapped around the 17×9 Enkei PF01s.  It’s not pushing a penny across a parking lot low, nor is it a super meaty track car stance.  It’s a nice look for a street car, and capable enough to turn some laps on a track if the situation arises.

 

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The simplicity continues under the hood.  An AutoTecknic carbon fiber cooling plate helps direct airflow to the K&N intake.  From there it makes it way through the engine and out of the car by way of an HKS 75mm exhaust.

 

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Cabin wise it’s painfully simple: Bride Vios 3 seat on Buddy Club Super Low Down seat rails, J’s Racing shift plate and a Team VooDoo shift knob.  He’s had that shift knob in all of his cars, and probably will continue to keep it in all of them.

Is this the most intensely built S2000 ever?  Not even close.  Is it a fun driving, handsome roadster?  And then some.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.”  This car embodies those words.

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
26th Jun2013

NASA 2013 Round 4

by Michael Chandler

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Another busy weekend out at Miller Motorsports Park!  NASA Utah and the United States Touring Car Championship were running on the outer loop, DRFT Utah (formerly iDrift, formerly you damn kids) were in the midway, and the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series was on the offroad course.  We were very explicitly told to stay away from the Lucas Oil stuff, which is a good thing because it allowed me to focus on the NASA and USTCC stuff and Trent to focus on filming the drifting.  Today we’re going to focus on the road racing.

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The small bore group was stacked with familiar faces, and a couple of new ones.  This meant the herd of Miatas were not only doing battle with each other, but Spec 944s, a Spec E30, a Civic hatchback and a pair of E36 BMWs that led the pack most of the day.

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The lone E30 had absolutely no problem with using every square inch of the track.  If it was paved, he was on it.  Kudos to him for charging every corner!

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Battles were happening all over the track, but the closest one and most hard fought were between the #12 Miata and the #15.  They might as well have been tied together for most of the race.  In the end the #12 pulled away.

 

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Meanwhile in the Big Bore group, the regulars were joined by German Touring Class cars and a lone Super Unlimited class prototype.

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The SU prototype was near the top of the field all day, chasing down John Potter in the Magnus Racing Porsche 911.  Unfortunately, the prototype spun out in Release which gave Mr. Potter the class win.

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We had a trio of rookies running!  Todd Ainsworth was out in his silver STi, and Brendon Stewart got his Evo together and made his race start!  It was a miraculous event.  His engine was out of the car forty five minutes before the start of the race.  Someone mistakenly installed the wrong seal, so the engine and transmission had to come out and a new seal had to be found.  George Evans of Ziptie Dynowerks stepped in and ran to find one.  A dealer in Tooele had one in stock, but the parts department was closed and the manager of the dealership refused to go back and get it for him.  Deterred but not defeated, George ran to Salt Lake (forty minutes away) to get the correct seal.  The Ziptie guys got everything back together and got him on track.

Then on Sunday his engine decided it didn’t want to keep its internals all to itself, so it shot a rod through the block which caused a bit of a fire.  Quite the downer to an otherwise awesome weekend for him.

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Jason Smith and the Innovative Garage crew got the K20 powered Civic out on the track, where it proceeded to clean up.  He won his class, passed the USTCC field, and finished mid-pack after starting towards the back of it.  Impressive feat.

 

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The TT group was paired with the HPDE 3 & 4 drivers, but that didn’t affect the quality of the on track product.  Greg Valdez made the start in TT2 his Ziptie Dynowerks sponsored STi, while Shawn Murphy began a dominating run in TT1 in his GrimmSpeed backed STi.

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Kyle Schick, fresh off his excellent showing at Global Time Attack, took the TTU win in the RaceCo GTR.

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Sally was also coming off a good weekend at Chuckwalla Raceway, and hoped the good times would continue.  And they did for a while…

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Then the car started over heating in pre-grid for the third session.  A lap later she came rolling through Wind Up, and came to a stop in the gravel on the outside of the turn.  She made it back to the pits under her own power, but the damage was done.  A blown head gasket ended her day prematurely.

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Park Beutler was turning laps with the TT group in his ST1 Corvette.  Was he quick?  Yes.  Could he drive this car home?  If he didn’t feel like driving his Porsche 911, he could.

 

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And then we come to US Touring Car.  This is odd, because it isn’t the premier touring car series in America.  Does that change anything?  Well, if you were hoping for a massive field and door banging racing and brand new chassis then I have some bad news for you…

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It was a small field.  So small that for their race they were grouped with the Big Bore group, which provided lots of passing action…  For the Big Bore guys.  The touring cars were quick, but they were lumped in to a group that had a Grand Am Porsche, a World Challenge Mustang, a former Sprint Cup Ford, and some flat out faster cars.

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These were the newest cars in the field.  And they were willing to go door to door with anyone, which is always a good thing.

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They were definitely some of the more competitive guys on track.  I’ve been out there many times, but never have I seen someone cut someone off heading in to pit entrance.  Let me repeat that: one of the USTCC guys swung in front of another one, who had his hand out and was heading in.  No hand out, cut over the red and white painted section right before the Armco, nothing.  The game was on, and it was awesome to watch.

 

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There were a few new cars in Open Wheel, but unfortunately it was its usually small field.

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The small fields are disappointing because these are brilliant little machines.  They’re quick, handle well and are the next step up in the racing evolutionary chart.

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That, and they look really cool.  Hopefully as our little community grows we will see more people jumping in to these little formula cars and going wheel to wheel.

It was a good weekend.  No event in July, but we’ll be back out there in August for Round 5!

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.
23rd Apr2013

NASA Racing April 20

by Michael Chandler

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It wasn’t the most ideal day for racing: It rained.  It hailed.  It was cold and miserable for a while.  Not everyone had rain tires.  But eventually it did dry up, warm up, and nobody (that I saw or heard about) had a serious wreck.  It ended up being a good Saturday.

 

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The TurboLabs S2000 had some issues with Clubhouse in qualifying.

 

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HPDE Groups 1 and 2 got to run in the rain.  For some this was a bit hairier than it was for others.

 

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A legitimate Aplina B9 was out running.  Might not have been the best tool for the job, but it might have been the prettiest.

 

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This LS7 powered SLP Camaro made the trip down from Idaho, making it the second fourth generation Camaro to race this season!

 

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Sally broke her transmission during the first TT session.  We were all a little saddened.  Being unable to race left her plenty of time to instruct Megan and give me the peace sign!

There was more.  Much more.  Too much to jam into a post here, so we dumped the photos into a MASSIVE Facebook album for you to enjoy.  The next event is May 3-5 on the outer loop.  Head over to NASAUtah.com to see the full schedule and to register.

 

Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.

 

04th Oct2012

First Start: Innovative Garage Civic

by Michael Chandler

A few weeks ago Jason Smith, of Innovative Garage, texted me and asked if we wanted to film him starting his long awaited Civic race car.  I said yes, and so began the rolling ball.

The car is a pretty basic thing: K series motor, cage, big brakes, fancy suspension and slicks.  All of that stuffed into an EK hatchback with nothing in it to begin with makes for something that looks to be very quick.

This thing is really all about Trent’s video, because a car starting up translates better on video than it does in stills.

 

This thing, along with the Black Pearl, will be out on track on Saturday.  Come check it out if you can, but if you can’t then you gotta wait til I post the photos from Lap Battle

Video by Trent Bray, words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article, photos and video are copyright of CAMautoMag.com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.com

08th Jun2012

Photo Friday

by Michael Chandler

Ahh the weekend is almost upon us!  I know, you gotta slog through this last day of the work week.. We’ve all been there, but hopefully these purdy new wallpapers will help make today a little less painful.  You know the drill by now: right/control click and view image, then right/control click and save as.

JDM Legends is all about the old school.  Old Skylines, Celicas and 510’s are the usual fare.  Sometimes those cars come with awesome stuff under the hood, such as these Mikuni carburetors.  They were hanging off an old Toyota motor.  It’s in black and white for two reasons: #1 it keeps with the old school feel and #2 black and white is just so awesome sometimes…  Like right now

 

We go from the classic to the going-to-become-classic.  Despite being an impostor, this base model RSX looks just as good (if not better than) the more sought after Type-S’s and Type-R’s.  Nothing too crazy going on, just the right amount of modifications to get this thing going down the path to being a classic.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com

 

 

Off
06th Jun2012

Impostor!

by Michael Chandler

 

I know some of you are going to just look at these pictures. I’m ok with that. What I’m not ok with is the odd chance that you’ll mis-label this base model RSX as a Type-S or a Type-R clone. It’s neither of those. It’s better than those.

 We’ve been following this car for a few years now. We used to see it at Supremacy Racing a lot, but we never really followed the build in detail. We would just ask “How is Ryan’s DC5 coming?” and Frank or Kel would say “It’s going good” and that was that. As you can see here, it has become very good.

 

Now, back to dispelling those Type-R/S myths: outside it’s sporting some, SOME, JDM ITR pieces such as the front bumper, red H badges and the Integra badge on the back. The fenders are just plain old JDM pieces, along with the sidemarkers. It’s sporting a full VIS Type R lip kit (front and rear lips and the side skirts), which accentuate the fine lines this RSX already has, and a TopOne splitter sits below said lip to help this thing move alone smoothly. A Buddy Club hood with Aero Catch hood pins round out the exterior modifications and keep the beating heart of this thing out of site, but not out of mind.

 

Much like the Telltale Heart, the motor lies out of sight. Tormenting those that attempt to cross it. That heart is a K24A2 with an RBC intake manifold and a SSR Race header, which dumps into a three inch K Teller exhaust. It might not seem like much, but like the red Civic from our Odd Couple article there’s not much to this car. That 2.4 liter mill resides in a wire-tucked engine bay (courtesy of Alex Prasop) and is held in place by a set of Innovative motor mounts. A RyWire millspec wiring harness connect, among other things, the Hondata ECU to the necessary bits of the engine. Necessary bits like the fuel injectors, which are attached and fed via a Golden Eagle Pro Series fuel rail. That jet black fuel rail sits in front of the trademark Wrinkle Red ITR valve cover, which sports a matching ITR spark plug cover.

Hanging off the engine is a six speed transmission from an RSX Type-S, which has been stuffed with oh so many goodies. An ITR limited slip diff has been added, along with the 5.0 final drive from a Honda CRV. The synchros have been upgraded to carbon pieces and the stock clutch has been tossed in favor of an Exedy piece.

The car rests upon a set of Enkei RPF1’s. The rears are 17×9 +22 with 235/45 Falken tires, while the fronts are almost the same, except they’re +35 and wrapped in fatter 255/45 Falkens. Behind those front split six spoke wheels is a Stoptech big brake kit and ITR control arms with PCI bushings. Behind the rear split six spoke wheels are Powerslot rotors and Hawk brake pads, Skunk2 control arms, a Beaks tie bar, an ASR subframe brace and a SPC camber kit. Tein Type Flex coilovers provide the stance, Stoptech steel braided brake lines provide the hydraulic pressure to reel this coupe in, and an Autopower 6 point roll cage keeps the occupants safe in case things go horribly wrong.

 

Speaking of the occupants, they sit in F1 Spec Type 3 seats and are held in place by Sparco harnesses. Course adjustments are made with the MOMO steering wheel, which is attached to an NRG adapter hub and quick release. Pertinent information is gathered from the Autometer Oil Presure and Water temperature gauges, the AEM UEGO wideband, and the Type-S gauge cluster. You perform your fancy footwork on a set of Mugen pedals.

 

This car started life as a ho-hum base model RSX, but after an infusion from it’s Type-R and Type-S brothers (and TSX and CRV cousins) this DC5 is better than the both of them.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com
08th May2012

Rally Sport Direct Eat, Greet & Swap Meet

by Michael Chandler

It was that time of year for Rally Sport Direct to conquer their street and let their customers, fans, well wishers, and people who wanted pizza to come and hang out.  This is a big draw every year, and thankfully RSD’s neighbors let them use their respective parking lots.  Everything from Hondas to Mazdas to Nissans and even a Chrysler 300C SRT8 came to join the Subaru and Mitsubishi faithful.  Check out the gallery, and check out the meet next year if you’re in town!

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-Michael Chandler

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com
27th Apr2012

Photo Friday

by Michael Chandler

Welcome to the weekend my friends!  Got a couple of photos from the last Lap Battle/NASA weekend for you to enjoy.  Downloading remains the same: right click (or control click if you’re on a Mac) then view image, right click again and save image.  Then set it as your desktop background and make all of your friends/co-workers/classmates/cats jealous!

Remember a couple of years ago when I followed Kris McCoy and Randy Gibb during Honda Challenge?  Well, since then Randy has tried selling his DC5 and Kris has started racing in a S2000.  I saw Kris at the Enduro and snapped a few shots, but this is the first time I’ve seen them racing together in a while.  Just like old times.

 

This pretty much sums up Lap Battle: M3, fun track day car; S2000, fun track day car; gutted STi, weapon of terror.  They are turning into Release, which spits you out onto the front straight.  Guess what happened next.

 

-Michael Chandler

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com
25th Apr2012

Yes SiR: Honda Integra SiR-G

by Michael Chandler

 

We all face dilemmas: what am I going to have for lunch?  Should I put on pants today?  Whatever, but some of us have more unique problems.  Problems like: should I drive my VIP RL or my right hand drive Integra?  Omar had this problem, and he chose the Integra.

This Accord Integra comes straight from Japan, where we can only assume it lived a decent life.  It then came here, where dreams come true and everything is set up for the LHD life.  Not deterred, Omar began making this slightly used ’97 Integra his.

The first thing you notice about this DC2, other than the steering wheel being on the wrong side, are the bright white 16×8 Gab Sports wheels.  Those white wheels have black Falken Azenis tires mounted on them, and the whole wheel/tire combo is mounted on 4×114 Integra Type R hubs!  Those hubs came with the brakes and all the other what-have-you you get (except for the lower control arms!  Those are BLOX pieces) when you pull them off of an ITR.  Holding the car up, or keeping it down, are a set of Raceland coilovers.  Rounding out the suspension set up is an ASR subframe brace, which stiffens the rear and looks mighty fine while doing so.

 

The next things you’ll see when perusing the car are the little body accents that have been fitted.  Small, hardly noticeable things such as the Backyard Special front bumper and Carbon/Kevlar lip or the replica Mugen generation two spoiler or the OEM Honda window visors, side skirts and rear valences.  These, minute details pale in comparison to the pronounced carbon fiber hood and Integra Type R headlights.  To be frank, if you didn’t know what you were looking for you would think that this is how they come stock.

 

 

So we have established that it looks pretty, but how does it get along?  Is it still rocking the B18C mill it brought with it on the boat ride over?  Does it have some obnoxious, straight pipe exhaust?  Is there anything else under the hood besides the vin tag and radiator cap?!?  Allow me to answer all these questions, starting with the last one: yes.

The 1.8L VTEC mill has been replaced with a new hybrid motor!  A K24 block has been fitted with a K20 head and has been jammed under the hood.  Air conditioning and power steering did not make it under the hood, but a Karcepts A/C and power steering delete kit did.  The OEM intake manifold and throttle body are being used elsewhere (doorstop?) because Skunk2 pieces have replaced them.  The old fuel rail has also been turned into a giant comb upgraded to a Golden Eagle piece.  An SSR header exits to a 3 inch APEX’i exhaust now for a few reasons, but mostly because this whole setup is more powerful and sounds better.  A pair of Drive Shaft Shop axles get the power to the wheels, allowing this whole thing to get to moving.

 

Inside the cabin is where the magic happens!  Or it would have if this shoot of ours didn’t get rained out.  While I cant show you, I can tell you.  You sit in red Recaro seats, while Takata harnesses hold you firmly in place.  You grip a Personal steering wheel attached to a NRG quick release hub, and you change gears with a Circuit Hero shift knob atop the stock shifter wrapped in an ITR shift boot.  Your feet, when not on the pedals, rest upon ITR floor mats.

 

And there you have it.  A man was faced with a dilemma, and after some coaxing, he made the decision to drive his other awesome car that day.  Now should I have a can of frosting for lunch?..

 

 

-Words and Photos by Michael Chandler, Video by Trent Bray

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