The smell of racing fuel, abused clutches, and utterly defeated tire rubber, all in the name of intense competition, can mean only one thing: it's the Global Time Attack x Super Lap Battle finals! And regardless of what you read on the internet about how someone's soda bottle has more torque than your Honda and how these cars have no place on the track (usually posted by a guy living in his parents' basement, driving an automatic Yugo, mind you), the Honda presence was heavy once again this year and the records, well, they fell once again.
The most talked about class of the entire two-day event was undoubtedly Unlimited FWD. Dominated by a Honda roster, the battle for the 2016 top spot was only overshadowed by the fact that the previous record, set by Spoon Sports USA/GoTuning Unlimited in 2015, was once again broken, set, and then broken again.
Browse through the gallery below to view not only the Hondas competing at the finals, but random cars scattered about the paddock.
Sharing the driving duties for the event, Matt Rojana and Tony "I'll grow a beard in under one week, just watch" Jackson put the Eibach Springs/Ballade Sports S2000 though its paces and ended the event with a second-place finish in Limited RWD.
In the Limited FWD class, it was Boersma Racing's event to win. The early part of Friday's session saw the team reset their previous record and walk away champs with a 1:49.8.
Taking a break between sessions, the PZ Tuning/Vibrant Performance 9th gen. coupe ended the week as the newly crowned Unlimited FWD champ before heading home to Canada.
Jason Owens and his K20-powered Fit made the trek to Buttonwillow all the way from Georgia. Working with American Honda, he was able to borrow a brand new Ridgeline to make the cross-country journey. By far one of the loudest Hondas we've ever heard in our entire lives, this little Fit moves, and rallied for a third-place finish in Street FWD. Our ears are still ringing.
This hard charging, Jackson Racing-equipped ITR ran into a few issues during the two-day affair, but still managed to surpass the previous Unlimited FWD class record and flirted with first place, coming up just shy of the fastest FWD lap of the day.
Cooper Pierce's Civic EH is living proof a properly set up J-series swap can in fact handle just fine on track. He finessed his V6 hatch to a 1:56.935 - good enough to nab a second-place finish in Street FWD.
Blacktrax Performance was well represented with Graham Downey in his matte blue S2K and Tom Tang putting "Irene" to work.
A newly designed seating position placed wheel ace Dai Yoshihara right in the middle of the chassis, surrounded by an all-new custom roll cage in the Spoon Sports USA/GoTuning Unlimited Civic FD. And though the team couldn't pull off a repeat performance from last year, additional R&D could result in an even more intense GTAxSLB battle next year if the car makes another appearance.
Ken "G'day mate" Suen rarely misses a track event. This time around he brought out his K24/K20 powered 9th gen. (mostly because he'll get painfully close to finishing his 8th gen, then completely tear it down and start all over again) and managed to seal the deal on a first-place finish in the Street FWD class. Just four days later, Ken made his way to Streets of Willow to compete in FF Battle 8.