Michael Vo wins the Hasport Pinks/American Diabetes Association raffle CRX!If you happen to get the Speed channel on your TV, you are no doubt familiar with the show Pinks! You've also lost approximately 67 brain cells every time you've heard the show's tagline "Lose the Race, Lose Your Ride!" Just reading it makes you want to choke me huh? But there's an undeniable attraction to watching the relatable drama unfold, like watching COPS or The A-Team.
Our favorite episode was the Season 2 Finale, where the Hasport guys built a CRX to go up against a VW Bug. Aside from being a classic match up that goes back to the early days (for Hondas anyway) of import drag racing, the show had some serious drama. Plus, the negotiator on the CRX team was our old friend, Brian Gillespie from Hasport. Who knew the guy could play hardball like that? Man, on the final race...well let's just say you might want to have a hankie near by. If you haven't seen it you can download it from iTunes.
Unlike most episodes where the winner gets to keep both of the cars, this time the cars were raffled off after the race with the money going to charity. The Hasport team raised over $15,000 for the American Diabetes Association. The car was recently delivered to the winner, Michael Vo, of San Francisco. When preparing this news blurb it became apparent that there was even more drama with the show than what made it to air. Brian was more than happy to give us the inside scoop.
"This episode almost didn't happen," said Brian.
"The first time we went out to film the show it was very obvious our H22 powered CRX wasn't in the same league as the Turbo VW. The racing wasn't even close so the producers didn't even want to use the show. We were disappointed too. After we finished I told the host, Rich Christensen, that we would have brought a faster car had we known how quick the Bug was."
According to Brian, Christensen called the Honda and VW teams a couple of weeks later and asked if they would like to redo the show. If all went well, this time it would be a special one-hour Season Finale. He liked the idea of racing for charities and really wanted to do the show.
Hasport enlisted the aid of turbo specialist Full Race to help build a car to challenge the Bug. It was decided the H22 would be replaced with a Turbo B18C. With just a few weeks to get the car built, a lot of companies were asked to help out. Everyone asked to provide products for the Pinks Race Car came through. RC engineering, Arias, Turbo XS, Turbosdirect.com, Honda Factory Performance, Manley, Exedy, Driveshaft Shop, Locash Racing, and HeadGames Motorworks all donated to the cause.
Yet again, the race almost didn't happen. The show was scheduled for taping on a Friday at 1 p.m. On the preceding Tuesday night, the engine blew up on the dyno. The boost line was left loose while troubleshooting a boost control problem. The loose line was sucked into the turbo, resulting in a 30-pound boost spike that shattered two cylinder walls. The next morning Hasport had to scrounge up another engine.
"We pulled a block we had been saving for sleeving off the rack. It had sat in a theft-recovery car in the open with no head on it for two years and was frozen solid with dirt. One can of WD-40 and one can of brake cleaner later, and the crankshaft turned somewhat freely." -Gillespie
Next, a B16 head was pulled from another engine and slapped on the block. A smaller turbo was sourced from Turbos Direct. Finally, the necessary mods were made to the piping so the car could go back to LoCash Racing's dyno Thursday afternoon. Two-and-a-half hours of tuning later and the team had 455 hp; only about 100 less than what the other B18C made right before it blew.
I won't spoil the ending but the car made the race and put on a really good show. More importantly, it brought a lot of our industry's companies together to support a good cause.