Before you read any further, flip to the official Castrol insert after page 18 for competition results-we will, too, because it'll also be the first chance we get to see the them. The truth is that we have no idea how we've placed, now that all the points have been tallied, but one thing we do know: Murphy's not excluding us from his Law anytime soon.
With our (Jim Cozzolino's) FXMD-widebody NSX comfortably making 617 whp and registering low(ish) emissions as of the first day of competition, held at K&N Filters in Corona, CA, we were beginning to feel confident. Our drive to Buttonwillow Raceway for day two was uneventful, as were the first two rounds of testing: vehicle cost (less being worth more points), which we won, and power-to-weight, which our 2,886-pound NSX nearly won. The drag strip followed, and although our 11.82-second quarter-mile pass wasn't the quickest, our 128.64mph trap speed was the fastest, earning us more valuable points in three categories (E.T., trap speed, 0-60mph acceleration). Braking, the next event, was too close to call on the spot, though we'd heard rumors that our NSX was the car to beat. Eventually only the time-attack segment of the competition remained, which was something our NSX was built specifically to dominate. We were getting cocky.
And just as we were, it happened. On driver Matt Andrews' second practice lap (clocking a 2:00.490 in his warm-up) the hose connecting our NSX's mid-mounted engine to its front-mounted radiator-the only hose no one thought to replace with an upgraded silicone unit-split, gradually depleting the NSX's cooling system, leading to complete C30A destruction prior to judged competition. We received zero of 200 points.
That, as they say, is racing; we'll leave it at that. But what went wrong? With the NSX torn apart at Autowave in Huntington Beach, CA, tuner/builder Mike Lapier notes that one of the C30A's headgaskets also failed-common in situations of overheating, but we're left wondering if the headgasket wasn't the first to go, leaching cylinder pressure into the cooling system and causing it to blow.
We close the saga of our collaboration with Jim Cozzolino and his NSX for the second coming of the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge with nothing but gratitude for the people and companies involved with seeing us through to the finish (or at least as far as we got). And to all our readers who put their chips on us to come through-it means the world. Jim's sentiment: "I put 30K miles on that 700hp engine, racing and beating the crap out of it on the streets-it was due to be freshened up!" We get the feeling we'll be hearing more from him and his (soon to be 800hp?) NSX soon. Get the whole scoop: Visit www.syntectopcarchallenge.com