You could call this win a much-needed bit of redemption for Sportcar Motion. Being the champion of our first FF Battle, they were highly-favored to win FF Battle 2 with a new competition car, a “subtle”, more street-able replacement to their famed Integra—this EK9 Civic Type R. Stripped down and rebuilt, it’s actually more simplistic than one might think. What you see is what you get; it’s heart and soul being a 234hp K20Z1 with high-quality bolt-ons and internals. At FF Battle 2, while this particular setup was proper, the car’s suspension was not an ideal setup for street tires, which hurt their overall lap time. Once remedied, the car turned a 1:59, good enough for first place, but it was in a non-official session and instead, the car finished fourth with a time of 2:04.321 being the fastest lap time counted.
This year, they made small but very effective changes to the engine. By switching over to Skunk2’s Pro Series intake manifold, throttle body and fuel rail, they were able to pick up an extra 15hp while tuning on their own. A Type-S transmission was also upgraded with a 4.78 final drive and limited-slip differential. Other changes were done to improve aerodynamics, such as adding rear wing brackets to lift the wing up for more downforce and a front splitter, and at a super bargain—just by sourcing materials from Home Depot. As car owner Morgan says, “Nothing’s crazy, no top secret stuff.” On Raceline’s dyno, we were able to record an official 234.81hp, good enough for the power department.
At the track, we were excited to see how well every car would do; Morgan’s car was no exception. Again, Oscar Jackson Jr. was brought in to do the driving honors despite the ever-increasing debate from other competitors who drove their own cars to make this a more owner-owned/owner-driven type event. Morgan answered back smartly: “I think the battle of owners driving their own cars is an on-going battle every year. I encourage owners to drive their own cars, part of truly understanding your car is being able to handle it out there on the track. But, I think in a competitive event such as FF Battle, many owners are more concerned with winning and choose to put a hired gun in the driver’s seat. I don’t see any problem with that given that everyone equally has the option of having a driver in their car. Personally, I chose to sit out the past two years due to injuries sustained in a car accident in early 2010. This is a very sensitive subject to me personally as I am very disappointed that to this current day I’m unable to run my own car on the track. I’ve spent the past three years building the ultimate track car that I can’t even drive. It’s very frustrating. Many people are quick to discredit me since I’m not out there driving due to this. I am confident, that hopefully next year, I will be able to drive my own car again. Until then, there is one man I trust behind the wheel of the car, and he is an amazing driver. I have been very fortunate to have Oscar Jackson Jr. supporting me and stepping in to do a great job out there.”
Oscar Jr. definitely had his work cut out for him this year with twice the amount of competition as FF Battle 2. Early on in the practice round, the front bumper began to give way, hence the “Duct Taps” incident. With only zip ties holding the bumper in place, the bumper holes holding it all together ripped apart. Why? Because race car. How to fix? Duh, Home Depot. A couple rolls of duct tape was enough to keep the bumper attached so the car could complete a full session and get its runs in. Needless to say, Morgan’s EK would pull the fastest lap of the day in the last session, good enough to take the win for FF Battle 3. As she explained at the event’s end, “I’m completely shocked we won! This year’s lineup was very competitive and I had no expectation to how we would finish. We don’t give up that easy and I’m used to everyone having doubts. It’s been a battle of time and money but the car has come a very long way over the past two years. I feel the car has reached its ultimate potential.” Indeed it has and redemption is all theirs. Sportcar Motion, literally, FTW. Because “duct taps” and RACE CAR.