In case you missed it, last year the brain trust that is known by the western hemisphere as Super Street magazine came up with the brilliant idea of running an event for front wheel driven Hondas. The premise was simple: round up a group of ten cars and split them into two classes - a B-series class and a K-series class. We would then put them on the same General Tires and throw them on a racetrack with professional drivers and check power on a dynamometer to sort them out. How hard could it be?
Turns out a littler harder than we anticipated. Despite some minor hiccups the first event was a great success. Taking the lessons we learned from the first battle we had high expectations for the sequel. This time around we decided to ditch the classifications so that every competitor was in the same group. We also decided that rather than providing drivers for the cars this year the owners would either have to drive the car themselves or have a hired gun ready to go. We also decided to add a 1/8th mile drag race to the series.
The entry sheet for this year's event seemed like a much stronger overall group than last year and it was evident prior to the event that this year should be a close one. With some minor tweaks in place we crossed our fingers and hoped the second FF Battle would be more like Terminator 2 than Teen Wolf Too. At any rate, now that we were experienced veterans when it came to putting on an event, we were feeling quite confident that the second FF Battle would be better than the first.
On the first day of the event, the group was to meet at Raceline Development in Temple City, California for the dyno portion. The plan was to get all of the cars on the rollers then shoot over to nearby Irwindale Speedway for the drag race battle. The cars lined up one-by-one to test their output but what we didn't account for in our schedule was exactly how long it takes to dyno nine cars, especially when two of them arrive exceptionally late. Once the field had been tested a clear power winner was determined as Andrew Moore's boosted '07 Si laid down more than twice of what most of the field was able to make. Unfortunately the processes ended up taking longer than we expected and we had to make a judgment call at the end of the day, which resulted in the cancellation of the drag portion.
So the following day everyone met at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for the deciding factor: the time attack sessions. You could sense a slight nervousness with some of the competitors but the overall feel of camaraderie prevailed. FF Battle isn't just about time sheets and dyno charts, it's about enjoying your car with like-minded enthusiasts and it is in this way that the event was a real success. Although it didn't seem to matter who would win or lose, the contestants all wanted to do as best they could and everyone wanted to see if the Full Race turbocharged Civic could turn a hot lap time.
Early going it seemed like everyone's car was running pretty well. Morgan's RHD EK9 looked a bit squirrely early on due to the suspension being set up for significantly stickier race tires. Unfortunately, by the time the Sport Car Motion team had the car sorted out, the tires were rendered unusable after being cut up by a seam (later modified) in the fenderwells. Although the car was later able to lap the course in less than two minutes, the fastest time counted during regulation scoring was a 2:04.321.
Phil Robles from Arizona was having a blast hot-lapping his J's Racing equipped EG hatch. Unfortunately for Phil, the "royal" requires big power to turn fast lap times and despite being faster through the twisty sections, Phil was only able to turn a 2:06.713. Later in the day, when turning the NASCAR banking, Phil experienced what he thought to be a blow out. It was later determined that he had actually broken an axle. In the true spirit of the event the axle was quickly replaced with help from other competitors and Phil was right back out on track.
Another competitor that suffered from a gremlin, this time electrical, was Gil Salazar. Everyone was excited to see what this fully track-prepped ITR could do. It made more power than any of the other NA cars thanks to its burly K24 build that boasted 252hp! But the ITR's day ended before it even began due to a broken TPS sensor. Fortunately, Gil was able to replace the sensor and get the car on track the following day, although the times it recorded wouldn't stand for any points.
In the end, despite facing severe traction problems, Andrew Moore's boosted K-series proved to be too potent for the rest of the field to hang with. In the hands of an experienced race driver, Andrew's own father Leroy, the car clocked an astonishing 2:00.241. Although a newer chassis with boost isn't the most common among Honda enthusiasts, it has a ton of potential.
The second day at the track was an open day for the competitors to enjoy a track session on us and to host a mini-meet. Back in the paddock area other Honda enthusiasts gathered to celebrate the glory of their vehicles. Internet legend Joey "stickydiljoe" Lee was on-site to document the festivities and with him came a group of gnarly Hondas including Bike Mike's infamous green Prelude.
So was FF Battle 2 better than the original? We think so. Although we still weren't as prepared as we would have liked to be everyone had a great time and the set backs were minor. There wasn't a person in the pit area that had a single complaint and we have received requests from every contestant to be included in future events. So if you've got a FF Honda and want to join in on the fun drop us a line, you just might be the next winner. We are indeed casting for next year's lineup.
General Tires Exclaim UHP In order to keep all cars on a level playing field and prevent any full blown race cars from entering the event we decided once again to put all competitors on General Tires' Exclaim UHP ultra-high performance street tires. Using a street tire in our event quickly sorts out any handling deficiencies a car might have that could be masked by using R compound tires and requires that the driver takes extra care in selecting the proper line.
For a tire with a treadwear rating of 380 the Exclaim UHP offers an excellent level of grip to accompany the long life of the tire. It also works extremely well in the wet (unfortunately not a factor at our event) due to its lateral wave tread design. If you're looking for the most bang for your buck in a daily street tire look no further!
|9||Gil Salazar||DC2||2||2.4L K24A||252 (49 points)||DNF (0 points)||49/100|
|8||Ryan Der||EK||5||1.8L B18C||181 (43 points)||2:07.755 (44 points)||87/100|
|7||Phil Robles||EG||12||1.8L B18C||162 (42 points)||2:06.713 (45 points)||87/100|
|6||Steven Lam||EF (CR-X)||8||1.8L B18C||187 (45 points)||2:07.861 (43 points)||88/100|
|5||Elton Lo||FA||7||2.0L K20Z3||182 (44 points)||2:03.316 (48 points)||92/100|
|4||Morgan Jade||EK9||1||2.0L K20Z1||224 (47 points)||2:04.321 (46 points)||93/100|
|3||Brian Gillespie||EK||6||3.2L J32A2||230 (48 points)||2:03.583 (47 points)||95/100|
|2||Kane Chan||EJ||3||2.0L B16B||209 (46 points)||2:02.401 (49 points)||95/100|