Break It Down Cost: J's Racing Intake: $1,078; J's Racing Header: $1,320; J's Racing Carbon GT Wing: $1,320; J's Racing Rear Roll Center Adjusters: $320; J's Racing Front Roll Center Adjusters: $418, Fujitsubo RM01A Exhaust: $1,490 PROS: Added power combined with better suspension geometry equals much faster lap times. CONS: The only tricky part is trimming the stock hood to fit the intake, just make sure you mark the area before you start cutting. VERDICT: At this point, the car has everything it needs to do well at the track and look good for the streets.
Last year I was lucky enough to go to Japan to check out the Revspeed Time Attack at the Tsukuba circuit. This is the track where the ever-so- popular time attack term was created, and for Japanese tuners is where you can either make or break your reputation. Having just finished our Super Lap Battle events, I had the bug to get my S2000 a little more track prepped and there was no better place to pick up some info then at the track. At Tsukuba I was introduced to Mr. Murakami from J's Racing who proceeded to drop some knowledge on me.
Anyone familiar with the F20C knows that making power is no easy task; lucky for me J's has done extensive research in this department.
First thing up was to free up the breathing by getting the J's Racing Tsuchinoko intake system. The carbon-fiber intake chamber is designed to increase the low-end and mid-range response with the chambered design. Not only does this setup look sick but includes a carbon-fiber cold-air duct that draws in air from the front of the bumper. One thing to note in this install is that you will need to trim your stock hood to get the duct to fit properly.
Next on the list was the J's Racing header. With all of their research and development J's found that using large 50mm primaries really helped gains with low to mid-range power which the 2.0 Liter needs so desperately. Installation of this header is pretty straight forward, everything bolts up the way it needs to. I have a high-flow cat from Berk Technology that is waiting to be installed and would've made perfect sense to do so now but due to logistical error (my dumbass forgot to bring it to the Raceline to have Elton install) it will have to wait until next time.
To finish up things on the power end, I added a Fujitsubo RM01A after-cat exhaust system. Fujitsubo is a high-end exhaust manufactured from Japan with very strict standards and all of their exhaust systems are designed for a balance of power and sound. Since setting up a US branch, they have extensively tested all of their exhaust for sound on US spec cars. In the case of the RM01A for the S2000 it registers at a nice mellow sub-95dB. After getting the J's intake, J's header and Fujitsubo exhaust installed, I could immediately feel a difference in low-end to mid-range response. Taking it to the dyno afterwards, I was able to put down a healthy 204 whp, which in the case of bolt-on parts with no tuning, is a very respectable figure.
Seeing that all my previous articles all centered around handling, you know I had to tweak my suspension and chassis setup. This time around I was able to add on the J's Racing front and rear roll center adjusters. Installation on these units are straightforward, just keep in mind for the rears you will need to get them pressed into the factory arms. The J's roll center adjuster allows you to do two things, first off it helps correct the suspension geometry once you lower the car (when you adjust the ride height you also adjust the roll center geometry of your suspension) and two, it allows you to adjust camber.
Last but not least, is my favorite J's Racing part, the Type II Carbon 3D GT Wing. Whether or not you like the look of GT wings the fact of the matter is this is a very functional part. Aerodynamics plays a huge part in lap times and just looking at A&J Racing's Limited FR class winning S2000, they run the exact same wing.
Armed with a new setup it was time to take the car out to the track again, this time though I had a real driver to take it out. Andy Hope of Sport Compact Car was at Buttonwillow doing testing for an article so I was able to have him take out the car. In the new setup he was able to get a 2:06, which is 21 seconds faster then my personal best of 2:27. While I already knew that there is no way my novice driving abilities would come close to Andy's but having him drive the car gave me some excellent feedback. For a driver of Andy's ability that can control oversteer, my car's setup had too much understeer due to the staggered tire setup and the addition of the big wing. For competition purposes, I would need to go to the 255 front tire setup, matching the rear 255 tires, and add a front splitter to complement the downforce in the rear with the J's wing. If I did those changes Andy felt he could knock off at least two seconds. Since I'm still in the early stages of learning how to drive on the track, this setup was perfect for me. With my setup having a slight bias for understeer it is a little more forgiving when I come into a corner too hot. If I had the more aggressive setup I would be more likely to spin and going off track is never a fun thing.
At the end of the day, my car is more than setup to be able to put some decent times down at the track, now it's time to work on the driver. With road racing it's not like you can just show up to the track and one day be breaking Super Lap Battle records, it takes time to really learn how to handle a car let alone learn a specific track. Granted road racing isn't the cheapest sport to get into but you can find NASA track days for around $150-$200, you break down how much track time you get and it can come down to under $2 a minute. So next time you feel the urge to dial that 1-900 number just think how much more satisfied you'll be if you went to the track instead.