San Marcos, Calif.'s, Sportcar Motion began as nothing more than an office and a mail-order Web site, catering mostly to the Mazda RX-7 crowd, but has since grown into something entirely different. Its small rotary-based clientele relied on owner Loi Song for turbo upgrades, intercoolers, and exhaust systems, as well as hard-to-find aero pieces. Song, a longtime car guy previously addicted to raw Mustang V-8 power, eventually made the switch to the dark side after a few friends introduced him to boosted Japanese power. His 500-plus horsepower FEED-turbocharged FD RX-7 served as a rolling billboard for the small business. The only problem was that 500 ponies and such a sultry chassis attracted far too much unwanted attention at every turn. A healthy pile of fix-it tickets handed out by San Diego's finest proved as much and was what ultimately led to Song calling it quits with the Mazda for something new. "I couldn't even drive the FD on the street anymore because, even with a silencer, you could still feel the exhaust from a few blocks away," Song says. An encounter with a couple of local Honda heads and a quick lesson in SOHC-to-DOHC engine swaps was all it took for Song to finally see the Honda light.
It was about 2003 when Song got the itch to build his first Honda, a daily driven 400hp Del Sol that consistently clicked off high 11-second quarter-mile blasts and managed to embarrass a few of his close friend's supercars (think Skylines). Much of this is what managed to rope Song into the Honda world for good. "They are just so simple and reliable, even with boost. I could never get that with a project like the FD. I realized there was so much potential with a Honda engine, it blew me away," Song says.
It didn't take long for Song to start saying to himself: Mazda what? Just a few short months later, Sportcar Motion's storefront and garage doors opened up, offering appearance and hardcore performance parts for all imports, even though the guys secretly specialize in all things Honda. Many shops in San Diego have come and gone but Sportcar Motion still stands. The shop was once noted for it's quarter-mile prowess but attention has since turned toward its well-deserved Time Attack records. With two shop cars currently making waves on the circuit, Song and Sportcar Motion are once again making their mark on the race front, only this time it's from the Honda side of things.
1The backup engine: Song's grunt engine is built top to bottom and incorporates much of what Skunk2 has to offer. The Sportcar boys take the K24 block/K20 head setup to just about every track event and can swap it in the race car on the fly.
2 The head mechanic: Vesko Rabinowitz is Song's righthand man and gets his hands dirty on everything from basic suspension swaps to fully built and boosted race engines. Vesko's also a key player in the pits on race days.
3 Extra fluids: Oil, coolant, and brake and transmission fluids are brought to every event and fresh fluids make their way into the race car as often as possible for increased reliability and performance.
4 The race car: The '95 Civic CX hatchback was built exclusively for Time Attack. Power is rated at 300 hp and 230 lb-ft of torque. The team's best effort so far: 1:58 at Buttonwillow Raceway-that's the Modified Class track record, mind you.
5 Corner balancing equipment: Song uses the shop's portable corner balancing machine to help dial in the suspension and account for any weight changes that the chassis may have been subjected to.
6 The cell phone: The majority of Song's business is conducted over the phone via text messaging or e-mail, which means a multi-functional cell is mandatory. His weapon of choice: a RIM BlackBerry.
7 The owner: Sportcar Motion's owner and founder, Loi Song, also owns both Time Attack race cars as well as a fully built drag car that has yet to debut.
8The shade: An E-Z Up canopy and comfortable chairs are put to good use in the pits, protecting the driver, crew, and the Civic from baking in the hot sun.
9 The laptop: Used for data logging information needed to make adjustments and manage changes on race day. An overview is reviewed following each session.
10The ice chest: Helps fight dehydration and keeps the team cool. Sportcar's cooler is always packed with ice-cold water and Song's favorite drink, iced tea.
11 Spare tires: Sportcar relies on sticky Toyo R888 R compounds for time attacking. A spare set is always tossed in the trailer.
12 The axles: Drive Shaft Shop axles have held up so well for Song and team that they've yet to break a set, even with the massive power numbers the K makes. Spare sets are always brought but never needed.
13The jack stands: Used primarily for changing tires, undercar inspections, corner balancing, brake pad swaps, and fluid changes in-between sessions.
14 Tire pressure gauge: Used to check pressure after every other lap. Pressures are adjusted according to track conditions.
15 Skunk2: Since sponsoring the project, Skunk2 performance and suspension products have helped catapult the little hatchback toward incredible performance records.
16 The splitter: Song's custom plywood splitter placed underneath the front bumper improves aerodynamics and stability. A spare is always kept on hand just in case the original gets lost in a lap.