Living in Los Angeles, we're surrounded by bandwagon jumpers, namedroppers and all-around hipsters. These are the type of people who root for the Lakers becaue they made it deep into the playoffs, and it's a safe bet that wearing their jersey will get you props rather than ridicule. The sad part is, other than Kobe, they couldn't name three players from the starting line-up. The point being, it's always easy to back the team that's supposed to win. In the case of the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge, we definitely weren't the favored team, and we knew it.
With the five other competitors running boost, we were severely overshadowed in the horsepower department. In fact, the supercharged 5.0 Mustang and Super Fords entry put down a monsterous 783 horsepower, which was three and a half times more than our 221 naturally aspirated ponies. We knew from the get go we wouldn't win the horsepower department, which in turn meant we weren't going to break any records on the straight-line acceleration tests.
Knowing this, we decided to save the car for the road course portion and took it easy at the drag strip in order to avoid breaking anything. We put down a halfway decent 14.2 quarter-mile time at 96.25 mph, but compared to the $70,000 AWD Nissan GTR super car that ran 11.253, we were already pretty low on points. Crossing our fingers and hoping that one of the faster competitors might break during the drag competition didn't seem to work.
At this point in the competition, we knew statistically we didn't have much of a chance to win, so we were pushing to make sure we had a solid showing during the road course. Not only were we the only Naturally Aspirated car in this competition, we were also the only car running on a true street tire (Advan Neova AD08s), while everyone else was running R-Compounds. Unlike the others, we actually brought a true street car with true street tires. In fact, Ken's S2000 was running the same exact tires he used to set the Street FR record at the Super Lap Battle Finals in 2009.
When it came time for the time attack portion of the contest, we knew times would not be close to what the car ran last November at the SLB Finals since we were well over the 100 degree F mark during competition. We enlisted the driving expertise of S2000 expert Tim Kuo and during practice he was able to muster a 1:59s lap time. When the competition session came around, the temperature had already risen ten degrees and we knew that the combination of the high temps and worn tires wouldn't let us go any faster. After all was said and done, we were able to pull a very respectable 2:00.041, not bad for such a hot day. With all the letters received regarding import vs domestic, many of you are probably wondering how we did against the monster horsepower Mustang. They ran a 2:05.300, and our little 221 horsepower Honda that makes 3.5 times LESS power was able to go over five seconds FASTER on the road course, not bad if you ask us. Obviously the Mustang wasn't built for the turns, but every Honda fan loves to hear about a win, regardless of the situation.
At the end of the day we definitely didn't win the war, but at least we won a few battles during competition. We knew we were the underdogs coming into the this, especially since we were following the guidelines and using a true street car rather than a registered race car. It was an awesome event, and we have to thank Castrol once again for letting us run wild during this epic challenge. For everyone who supported us, we thank you.