The initial kickoff is always the biggest challenge for a new car-related event. The process of getting the word out and convincing people to show up is half of the equation—the other half being how well it's received and how smooth the experience is throughout the day. As I arrived to Bakersfield's Famoso Raceway around 8:30am for the Hondata Experience, it was quite obvious that informing the masses about the event and bringing them in wasn't an issue as lines for drag racing, car show entry, and spectator parking were packed and overflowing onto the main road.
Once inside, the Hondata Experience included a full day of drag race action, a car show open to all makes and models, a few select vendors, a slot car set up for a little break in the day, and the massive Hondata booth, which offered S300 and K-Pro installs on the spot along with product and apparel sales. Across the parking lot, dyno sessions were available, and as if the obvious even needs to be stated, there was something for everyone.
With over 350 car show participants and enough drag racers to keep the action on track going throughout the day, the Hondata Experience 2019 proved to be a huge success and we're looking forward to the next one.
The event was open to all makes and models but with Hondata's name up top, that meant a 98-percent Honda affair. Of that portion, the majority fell within the 10th generation family. The enthusiasm and community for this platform has grown exponentially over the past two years and the parts seem to be rolling in.
Of course, a big part of the 10th gen. attraction comes from the FK8 Type R, and there were plenty of those at the Hondata Experience as well.
That's not to say that the 9th gen. crowd wasn't accounted for—this orange and widebody version being prime examples.
27WON Performance (pronounced 2-7-1) is an up-and-coming brand that's be churning out high-quality parts on the regular. The group is focused on the 10th gen. Civic chassis and drove their Si and CTR demo cars/daily drivers from Washington to attend the event alongside the Whiteline crew.
Their Si is currently testing their upcoming exhaust system and relies on 27WON's big brake kit and their new intake system.
Their drop-in turbo replacement, the W1, has garnered quite a bit of interest. A direct replacement for the OEM unit, the W1 doesn't require any fab work or custom bits, retains all of the factory functionality and includes everything you need for a proper install. On their display table the W1 compressor dwarfs the factory version. Also shown is their rear engine mount, an item we'll be testing on our Project Si soon.
Nick Zambrano (Ososik Media), who works with Hondata on the marketing side, helped run the event and you might remember this 2017 Si featured last year when it landed in 11-sec territory.
Since then, he's secretly been wrenching away on a whole new project, also based on a red Si sedan. This version, however, is purpose-built, with a built engine and a whole new turbo kit and intended to take Nick into the 10s.
While the car show and vendor area remained busy, the drag strip stayed active throughout the day with spectators in the stands getting a glimpse of all motor and turbo passes that only had to contend with high-70s as Bakersfield's climate remained relatively cool throughout the day.
Drag racing participants included 4th through 6th and 10th generation Civics, various Integras, and even an H-swapped Accord. In addition, the FCS Race Integra also made a few passes.
A pair of Type Rs and an Si coupe sport a fresh yellow look.
Catch a little shade and maybe hit a few laps with the little and not-so-little ones
If we had to pick a favorite from the event, it might have to be this black Si sedan on TE37 SAGA Time Attack edition wheels wrapped in 265/35s. The GReddy carbon lip and vented carbon hood and mirror caps made for slick combo.