We receive so many e-mails and letters from readers asking how they can convert their cars into racecars. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it's not as simple as it looks. Just ask our homie and marketing manager at Tein USA, Philip "Philippe Chavez" Chase, who has been trying to build a track car out of his '93 Civic CX. Why a CX, you ask? Two reasons immediately pop into our minds: They're cheap and light on the scales (just how we like our women) because of the lack of any options such as power windows, sunroof or even door moldings.
Philippe's original intention was to build his Civic as a fast street car that he could also take to the track, so right off the bat, Philippe yanked out the very underpowered 1.5L 70hp non-VTEC engine. Going back into the engine bay of the EG hatch was a B16A teamed up with a PYR head, CTR cams and a grip of bolt-ons. After one and a half years with this setup, the motor decided to call it quits during a dyno session. Then came the built Erick's Racing GS-R block, Alaniz Competition head, and ITR tranny. Slowly the Civic was straying away from its streetability, mainly because of cops, and Phil decided to go all in and turn it into a full racecar. He stripped the entire chassis of any sound deadening tar, then slapped on a carbon fiber hood and hatch to lighten it further. Phil knew that racing required speed, safety and handling so he spent the next two years working on those issues. Hordes of parts were added on like a Cusco LSD, weld-in rollcage, fire system, StopTech brakes and an Accusump system. The exterior was sprayed in Championship White and then plastered the notorious Tein graphic scheme. He also took advantage of his position at Tein and had the guys in the back re-valve a set of Type Flex coilovers to his liking, then slam on ITR sway bars and a Beak subframe reinforcement kit to further stiffen up the chassis. But all of those trimmings still weren't enough to make the car run competitively on the track since another one of Phil's motors gave way on the dyno.
This put Phil at engine number three and he'd lost track of how many trannies, cams, fuel management systems and wheels the Civic had gone through at this point. His latest motor setup consists of a Zero Factory balanced B18C block stuffed with CTR pistons, the same Alaniz head, but running a complete Skunk2 valve train and RC Engineering 550cc injectors. A Hondata S300 tuned ECU keeps everything running as smooth as possible while it cranks out 207hp at the wheels.
Phil's Civic was completely dialed in and track ready the first time it ran in the Super Street Time Attack. With West Coast Honda Challenge driver Dennis Caco behind the wheel, it seemed like nothing could go wrong-that is until the experimental electrical water pump system failed and caused the car to overheat in what could have been its fastest lap of the day. Later that same day on another super lap attempt at the Time Attack the car fell victim to a broken axle coming out of a low-speed corner. Phil's is undoubtedly one of the most extensively built and well put together EGs we've ever seen. Unfortunately, this just shows that no car is bug-free no matter how much time, money, research and effort you put into it.
With a few more minor tweaks, Phil's Civic should prove to be quite a contender for the next Time Attack, though his intense work schedule of 11-plus hours a day hardly leaves him any time to devote to his personal car. So before you decide to jump into building a racecar with high expectations, remember that it's not as cut and dry as it seems. Phil can vouch for that many times over. But to this day, he still hasn't given up on his elaborate project. Everything is dialed in just the way he wants, so barring any more unforeseen circumstances, don't be surprised when you see Phil's Civic throwing down aggressive laps in the '07 Time Attacks.
Owner Philip "Philippe Chavez" Chase
Hometown Lomita, CA
Daily Grind Tein USA Sales and Marketing Manager
Under The Hood Zero Factory balanced B18C block; JDM CTR pistons; Alaniz Competition ported and polished B16A head; Skunk 2 Pro 1+ cams, valve springs and Pro Series cam gears; ITR port matched intake manifold; K&N custom intake and filter; AEM fuel rail and pressure regulator; RC engineering 550cc injectors; Holley in-tank fuel pump; Honda N1 crank pulley; Unorthodox Racing alternator pulley; Erick's Racing equal length header and 70mm throttle body; Embee stage 3 heat coating; GReddy timing belt and catch can; Hasport motor mounts; 3 qt Accusump system; Setrab oil cooler; Koyo radiator; FAL fan; Spoon thermostat; Mugen fan switch; Samco silicone radiator hoses; Earl's braided lines and fittings; dry cell battery; Moroso baffled oil pan and pickup; Endyne breather kit
Drivetrain 1996 ITR gear set; Cusco differential; ATS 4.929 final drive; Exedy stage 2 clutch and lightened flywheel
Brains Hondata S300
Stiff Stuff Tein Type Flex coilovers with custom valving and spring rates (front-18kg, rear-14kg) and EDFC; SPC aluminum front upper control arm, rear camber kit, and rear toe kit; ITR front and rear sway bars and rear lower control arms; Beaks subframe reinforcement kit
Rollers 17x7 +42 Motegi TrakLite forged wheels; 215/40ZR17 Falken Azenis RT-615 tires
Stoppers '00 Si front hub, brake assembly, rear trailing arm and brakes; StopTech big brake kit; Earl's stainless steel brake lines; Hawk brake pads; Integra 1-inch master cylinder and brake booster; ARP extended studs; H&R 20mm front and 10mm rear wheel spacers
Outside Championship White paint; GTP carbon fiber hood; NIN carbon fiber hatch; VIS carbon fiber rear wing; ABS Dynamics carbon fiber front lip and side skirts; custom wide fenders (for Time Attack); APR Performance mirrors; Euphoric Designs graphics; all tar, sound deadening and glue removed from under car, wheel wells and inside the vehicle
Inside Fully gutted and painted interior; DEFI Link Meter with white faces (tachometer, water temperature, oil temperature, oil pressure and EGT) and Control Unit II; Sparco Evo racing seat, steering wheel and six-point harness; NRG quick release; SPA 3 nozzle fire system; AutoCannon/RothsChild Fab eight-point weld-in cage which goes through the firewall and includes pillar gussets