Getting the most out of what you got is a staple of sport compact drag racing. When you haven't the means to get the latest and greatest parts, you use experience and innovation to make up the difference. You pick the right parts the first time and along the way develop parts and procedures all your own that can put you ahead of the pack with less.
In the all-motor ranks, it's all about power and weight. True, drag racing in general is all about power and weight, but in other classes, the power portion of the equation is much easier to come by and power can make up for weight. All-motor tuners sweat every ounce of power and every pound of weight because their success depends on it. Consequently, the Hocus Pocus Civic tips the scales at a scant 1,690 lbs with driver. Class limits in the NHRA is 1,725 lbs. So Hocus Pocus adds some ballast and from there, it's all about making power.
On this front, Hocus Pocus runs a B20 fortified for high-rpm operation because all-natural Honda powerplants generate peak power at about 8100 to 8200. The bottom end of the engine consists of JE slugs, Eagle connecting rods and ARP hardware. There's no deck plate and no changes in bore and stroke; it's a straight-up B20.
In all-motor applications, the power is in the head and Hocus Pocus spent 60 to 70 percent of its modest budget on the top of the engine with JUN USA. JUN USA performed port matching and polishing procedures, fitted oversized Ferrea stainless-steel valves and JUN USA springs, retainers and keepers. Of course, JUN USA camshafts orchestrate valvetrain events.
For this application off-the-shelf Stage III bumpsticks are employed. Instead of a big-buck, big-plenum intake, induction is handled by an off-the-shelf Type R intake treated with the ExtrudeHone process to move maximum air.
On the fuel side, a Walbro pump feeds 440cc injectors via an AEM rail and regulator. The air/fuel mixture is zapped by a Crane Hi-6 ignition with a two-step rev-limiter. An SMS Products header evacuates post-combustion gases. SMS is a NASCAR header builder and the Hocus Pocus unit is a prototype that's being marketed by SMS.
Engine management is handled by the tried-and-true Accel DFI. Hocus Pocus' Alex Au-Yeung wired the system and power tuned the Honda to the "mid-200" range. Of all the classes, it seems the all-motor guys are the most secretive about disclosing power output. When you struggle for every foot pound you need to play it close to the vest.
An Integra GS-R gearbox from a 1994 model is employed to put the power to the pavement. The tranny was fitted with a Prodrive spool and gear transitions are handled via an ACT Xtreme clutch. Hocus Pocus has developed its own custom CV joints and axles to keep the Civic hookin' and bookin' without missing a beat.
The suspension is another system that is simple and inexpensive consisting of a Ground Control coil-over kit and KYB AGX dampers. The Civic's contact patch is provided by 22x9x13 M&H Racemaster slicks mounted on Bogart wheels. Beefy 11-inch cross-drilled Power Stop rotors, Goodridge lines and EBC Green Stuff pads bring the show to a halt.
The cockpit has been stripped and fitted with a Hocus Pocus-fabbed fiberglass dash that is home to Auto Meter and Blitz gauges. Lucas Automotive constructed the car's roll cage.
Building a racer is one thing, keeping it humming down the 1320 is another matter all together. Hocus Pocus crew members Dr. James Wellborn, Super Dave Awaise, Glen Carol, Master Tuner Alex Au-Yeung and pilot Cotorres Gee do all the dirty stuff that gets the car to the track and keeps it running pass after pass.
The team's efforts have paid dividends, despite investing only $40,000. Since 1995, Hocus Pocus has taken third in points during the 2001 NHRA season, winning two events and qualifying in the top three at nearly every event. That's getting it done. While the car has been painted since our photo shoot its mission remains the same--get more from less.
|Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT)|
Bogart Racing Wheels (Direct)
Eagle Specialty Products
EBC Brakes USA
Ferrea Racing Components
(954) 733-2505 or (888) 733-2505
Goodridge USA Inc.
JUN USA Inc.
M&H Tire Company