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Honda S2000 AP2 - The Chosen One

Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge - Wrenchin

Aug 30, 2010
Photographer: Henry Z. De Kuyper

The Castrol competition is just weeks away, and as the other competitors are no doubt scrambling to squeeze out a few more horsepower, improve braking, and add additional rigidity to their vehicles, Ken Chitwood is carrying on with business as usual. No last minute turmoil, no online hunting for new this or shiny that. Instead, he's daily driving his AP2 as if the looming war that's set to occur between magazines isn't just a heartbeat away. We'd be lying if we said we weren't a bit nervous about the hungry competition. Even with the few high quality bolt-ons that adorn this S2000, the closest competitor in terms of horsepower is about two times that of the blue roadster. But what this car lacks in brute force, it more than makes up for with a solid balance. Well thought out aero upgrades combined with a lightweight chassis and the bare essentials have transformed this innocent convertible into a scrappy brawler. Here's a breakdown of what makes Chitwood's car tick:

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Aero efficiency
While those outside the realm of road racing and the complex physics that surround aero efficiency on track may equate aero pieces to nothing more than useless ornaments, those in the know are well aware of the benefits that come from Voltex body armor. Some of the fastest cars in the world rely on their kits and massive rear wings, and Chitwood's car is a rolling testament to their vast knowledge. A Voltex front bumper, side skirts, rear diffuser, and Type 7 GT wing give this S2K a "juice head" appearance while improving lap times. The road race portion of the event is one that we expect to do well in, even with the underpowered, naturally aspirated power plant. Chitwood has already laid down some impressive lap times during his weekend adventures and we're hoping he can do the same on game day.

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Under the hood
The factory 2.2L motor breathes slightly deeper due to some very basic upgrades. The factory exhaust manifold, piping, and muffler were of course swapped out for a much higher flowing Toda header and HKS exhaust system. Cooler air is ingested thanks to the J's Racing carbon fiber intake that Chitwood and Evasive covered with thermal insulated wrap in order to keep intake temperatures as low as possible. Also controlling temperature is a Koyo aluminum radiator that trumps the factory offering in cooling efficiency. Putting the power to the pavement is an Exedy Hyper Single clutch, J's Racing two-way differential, and 4.44 final drive. Not exactly a powerhouse, but the balance this car possesses should help make up some of the difference, while still retaining that legendary Honda reliability. That's important when you factor in the lengthy street driving portion of the competition that takes place in the middle of the summer, in Southern California, heading into the desert.

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Footwork and stopping power
To attack the corners at will, Tein SRC (Evasive spec) coilovers with the patented EDFC system are employed at all four corners, and rely on Evasive Motorsports' bump-steer kit and J's Racing camber joints. Replacing the factory bushings are Mugen Urethanes and body roll is tamed with Swift's front and rear anti-sway bar package. AP front brakes and Stop tech rear slotted rotors with Project MU 999 race pads are punished during weekend track days. That's it. We know it doesn't sound like much, but this car tears up the road course, is extremely reliable, and unlike some competitors, doesn't require a trailer to get from point A to point B. Ken Chitwood, with the help of Evasive Motorsports, has pieced together a "Jekyll and Hyde" build that's reliable enough to drive to work during the week, yet able to hold its own on the weekend. That's what this competition called for, and that's exactly why this car was chosen. Keep your fingers crossed as we send Chitwood into battle to see if we can hang with the high-horsepower big boys.

By Rodrez
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