On a sunny and beautiful December 12th in Fontana, Calif., some 20 owners of modified cars brought their whips out to California Speedway to engage in the first-ever Toyo Tires Motor Skills challenge. The competition called for contestants to pilot their respective rides around the infield road course on behalf of specific magazines to record a best time. Then each owner was required to hand the keys over to a professional hot shoe to allow them a chance to top the personal best of the owner. The challenge was sweetened with cash prizes awarded to those owners who could surpass the pros.
Several magazines were represented at the Speedway, Honda Tuning among them. Our contingency was made up of Armando Aguilar and his '02 RSX Type S and Eddie Cema and Jovito La Victoria, who both campaigned EK Civic hatchbacks. The shoe assigned to throw the cars around the circuit for HT was renowned World Challenge pilot Roger Foo, who shared the spotlight with other greats at the event like fellow WC driver Will Turner, USTCC's Dave Brown, and drifter Samuel Hubinette.
The format called for the owners to drive in the first half of the day while the pros took over after the lunch break. Of the HT group, La Victoria's hatch clocked the best mark, turning out a 1:24.445 on the 15-turn track layout. Aguilar also deserves an honorable mention, though, for outpacing Foo in his S, recording a best lap of 1:28.080 versus the pro's 1:28.188.
The fastest Honda of the event was Robert Waller's '04 S2000; the car ripped off an impressive 1:17.706 for Super Street magazine (alas, Waller's fatal flaw, aligning with the wrong mag). It still wasn't enough to best the fastest vehicle of the day, however, Russ Warr's Subaru STi. Racing for Sport Compact Car, the WRX turned in an unbelievably dominant 1:14.761.Of course we have no shortage of pics from the competition, including images of some cars that were running the circuit but not competing, like the Premier Choice Motorsports S2000. We hope to one day have that, or its hot twin, featured in our print version.