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Go Fast or Go Broke: VTEC Club USA 2019 Rd. 2

The NorCal vs SoCal battle remains one of the best ways to spend a hard-earned weekend

Luke Munnell
Aug 2, 2019

Last Sunday morning was rough. My head was pounding, the dry heaves were unstoppable, and all I could manage to do in the morning was lay in bed and try not to die. Later, when the good people of the world were having lunch I got up, stumbled onto the Internet, and checked my bank account. After the previous night of several old fashions for myself and my buds, some shots for these random girls ("Thanks, byeeeee!!"), a door charge here and there, and the obligatory late-night grubbing, I was down $200. My first thought was, "I should just join VTEC Club."

No matter what you're into, you're going to spend money to have a good time these days. It's just a sad fact of trying to have fun and be social. Snowboarding or skiing, traveling, golfing, gym membership, fine dining, nights on the town—none of it is cheap. But for roughly the same cost as what you might blow in a night of regret, you could enjoy a weekend of time-attack competition at the track with friends, food, fast cars (wayyyy better than golf), girls, and you might just roll away feeling like a better driver, and a better person, doing it all.

Figure as little as $99 for the daily track fee, half that in gas to get out to a track like Buttonwillow and back, $45 to stay in one of the town's finest two-star lodges for a night, and maybe another $30 to feed yourself, and you're in. And before you say, "Yeah, but race cars are expensive!" they don't necessarily have to be. VTEC Club's N2 class is pretty much open to anything Honda-powered that will pass tech. Buy an approved helmet instead of that new Xbox, and you're good to go—even in a car like my busted-ass, non-VTEC, DC2 Integra LS.

Class competition at VTEC Club's latest throw-down was won this time around by Chris Garay and his almost-as-busted DC2, (but with an impressive 2:09.542 quickest lap). And right behind him were Javier Rodriguez in another stock-ish DC2, and Rocco Pedreira in a friggin' Honda Fit.

"Yeah, but I don't really have much experience with my Honda on track, and I'm still getting it set up," you might say. Well, Muoi Tran was in just that sort of position not too long ago, and this time she won Group N1 competition in her no. 47 EK Civic by nearly a full four seconds. Just behind her were E46 M3 transplant Tony Jackson in an Acura TSX, and Michael "Stubz" Hillo guest-driving an EK Civic instead of his usual Nissan 350Z.

Or maybe you do have a decently quick, dialed-in project FWD Honda that would slot into VTEC Club's Group N class, but you're a little put off by the amount of fast S2000s on the grid. That didn't stop Thomas Van from making life extremely difficult for class winner Billy Jang and his S2000, by running just 0.042 seconds behind him (with a 1:59.930 to Billy's 1:59.888) to take Second in class, knocking out rival S2000 wheelman AJ Jaquias (2:00.354) in the process.

But if you are fast on the track, and you have a built track or street Honda and it's fast, you really owe it to yourself to get involved. VTEC Club's A2 class was won handily by SoCal resident Jason Kim, who belted out a 1:58.292 in his no. 69 S2000, but just below him was a heck of a battle. Crossing the stripe in second place was Jesse Jia with a 1:59.993 from his no. 554 S2000, just barely ahead of Ivan Cai, who wrung a 2:00.032 out of his no. 564 Honda roadster.If that was enough, just behind Ivan and also in two-minute-flat territory was John Cruz in his freakishly fast "Goldy" EG Civic, with a 2:00.628.

Or maybe we got you all wrong. Maybe you're a seasoned vet at the track, and have one of the most highly tuned and fastest Hondas around. Maybe you know exactly what's involved with time-attack competition, but just can't find enough competition on you level to stay engaged. Well, meet VTEC Club's Group A crew.

VTEC Club USA 2019 Rd 2 TE37 SLs Photo 82/82   |   Go Fast or Go Broke: VTEC Club USA 2019 Rd. 2

In the first-round throwdown at Chuckwalla, Chris Elders and his no. 140 turbocharged S2000 emerged as the fastest mere mortal in contention (Kam Urquhart's turbo K24/VTEC-powered Noble M400 notwithstanding). And while he ran and impressive 1:56.919 in near triple-digit heat at Buttonwillow, running a 1:56.001 was David Lara in his no. 587 S2K. And blowing them both out of the proverbial water was Dustin Dessero and his no. 138 S2000, with a mind-numbing 1:49.499, captured on digital film here by the one and only Thomas Lee.

So whether you fancy yourself too cool for school, or if you need a little remedial help to get up to speed, there really are few better ways for the speed-obsessed to spend their free time than at the track with VTEC Club's unique blend of competition, fun, friends, and eclectic stage-setting. This Buttonwillow round was their annual NorCal vs SoCal event, and next up is the much-anticipated Night Race at Streets of Willow, followed by another CA vs AZ battle at Chuckwalla, and the growing Autumn Speed Festival at Big Willow to close out the points season.

VTEC Club USA 2019 Rd 2 CTR Photo 82/82   |   Go Fast or Go Broke: VTEC Club USA 2019 Rd. 2
VTEC Club USA 2019 Rd 2 Sparco seat Photo 82/82   |   Go Fast or Go Broke: VTEC Club USA 2019 Rd. 2

Learn more, get involved, and see the light at: https://www.facebook.com/vtecclubusa/, and be sure to follow Super Street for more of the best of everything, at:

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By Luke Munnell
321 Articles

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