Motorsports is constantly evolving. New technological innovations, adjustments to rule books, wrecks on the track, changes of heart - there are lots of reasons why cars come and go from the world of racing. Other times, a car starts life with modest intentions and slowly transforms into a full-fledged track beast. Loi Song of Sportcar Motion is no stranger to racing Hondas; his latest Civic is a combined result of many previous builds and learned experiences along the way.
Loi hasn't always been a Honda guy. Back in the day, the now famous "Tea Father" was actually a Mustang man. After tinkering around with a few muscle cars and building one of the most unique and groundbreaking FD RX-7s of its time, Loi met a man who changed his automotive life. Matt Rodriguez, aka Rodrez of Honda Tuning, is credited as the man who got Loi into Honda for the first time.
"I was always intrigued by FF Hondas, but it wasn't until I met Matt that I actually bought one and took the dive. My first Honda was a turbo (Civic) Del Sol that I was able to get into the mid-11s as a street car," Loi recalls.
When the Honda bug bites, it bites hard. Loi has been a fan ever since and has built many cars over the last decade or so, ranging from mild to wild. The Civic you see before you started life with modest intentions. At the time the build commenced, Loi and Sportcar Motion already had two dedicated time attack cars in its stable: an Unlimited class turbocharged K20 EG Civic and a NA K24-powered (at the time) Limited class Integra Type-R. Loi wanted to build his newest Civic as a true street car, something he could track for fun but also drive home without attracting the entire San Diego police department to his front doorstep. This idea quickly flew out the window, however, when Loi was contacted by Oscar Jackson and Oscar Jr. at Kraftwerks to inquire as to whether or not the Tea Father wanted to use his new "street car" EG as a test mule for a fully race-prepped K-series supercharger kit. As any true racer would, Loi obliged and the deed was done.
"We were the test car for the [Kraftwerks] race kit," Loi says. "No one else had the kit at the time, and we were really impressed with how it performed." Loi's cars are always evolving, and at the time of our photo shoot, the car was powered by a 10.5/1 compression built K24 mated to a K20A2 head. Making just over 440 hp, the EG can certainly move. A slew of goodies from Skunk 2, Eagle, Earls, Kraftwerks and Sportcar Motion in-house specials make whatever motor setup Loi runs a sure winner.
As the car transitioned away from street and toward track, the decision was made to partially gut the interior and shoot for the Limited class of time attack competition. Sporting an Autopower bolt-in rollcage, a Sparco bucket seat and an Accusump oil accumulator with braided lines in plain view, it's immediately apparent that his car is no daily driver. DEFI gauges keep Renzo Marsano (Sportcar Motion's race driver) informed, while a Personal steering wheel keeps everything on the proper line.
On the outside, the car is all race. It's also all white. In fact, Loi always builds white cars - if you take a look at his past projects, you'll notice the pattern right away. Why, you may ask? There's no secret reason - Loi just likes white cars! A custom Sportcar Motion front splitter, front canards and vented hood set the front end off nicely while keeping function at the center of everything. The exposed oil cooler and front-mount intercooler remind us of the all-business, all-the-time mantra that Loi lives by, as does the custom rear wing bracket. Loi likes downforce, and with a car like this, you really need it. This ain't your grandma's hatchback, this is a true race car through and through.
"The wing helps keep the rear end planted at high speeds," Loi says. "The front end aero package is good for this car because it provides the right amount of downforce to keep the car stable and handle in a predictable way. The side skirts help to eliminate side wind gusts and therefore aid in high-speed stability. The theme here is stability."
To keep the car cornering like it should, Loi turned to his long-time friend and partner in crime Philip at TEIN. A set of off-the-shelf SRC coilovers keeps the EG dialed in and tight through the twisties, with the added bonus of custom Sportcar Motion spherical bearings and a fully redesigned custom race suspension setup. The wheel and tire package was a set of 16x8-inch Advan RGs paired with sticky Toyo R888 tires. "We change the setup depending on the rule book, track configuration and weather and track conditions of each event we compete in," Loi says. The brake system has also been upgraded and changed several times. With a guy like Loi, who's always striving for the next best thing, it's hard to keep up!
Hard to keep up is a common theme it would seem, as Loi's car sets records and wins races regularly. Competing in the Super Lap Battle and Redline Time Attack series, you can always spot the Sportcar Motion crew easily. They're the white Hondas that go fast, win races and make the AWD guys scratch their heads in wonder. We can't wait to see how the car continues to change and bust records throughout the rest of the 2010 season and the next.
Specs & Details
'94 Honda Civic
Engine Honda K24 inline-4
Engine Modifications 10.5/1 compression CP pistons; Eagle Rods; stock K20A head; Skunk Stage 2 cams, 74mm throttle body, Version 2 intake manifold, Mega Power K-swap header, exhaust; Kraftwerks supercharger; RC injectors; Koyo radiator; Earl's Performance oil cooler
Engine Management Kpro
Drivetrain Exedy twin-plate clutch; RSX Type-S transmission w/ 4.764 final drive; Kaaz 1.5-way LSD
Interior DEFI gauges; AEM wideband sensor; Summit Racing shift light; Sparco seat; Personal steering wheel; Autopower bolt-in rollcage
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Advan RG wheels 16x8" (f/r); Toyo R888 tires 225/45R16 (f/r); Wilwood Dynapro 6-piston big brake kit (f)
Numbers 440 hp & 265 tq
Thanks To Renzo Marsano, Tony at Skunk2, Miguel at Wilwood, Nestor at K&N, Edwin at Hawk Performance, Philip at TEIN, Oscar Jr. & Sr. at Kraftwerks, Morgan, Matt Rodriguez, Cole, Scotty, Tristen, Shawn Moore, Daniel Butler at Church's Automotive Testing, Tom at Port Flow Design, Nick at BDL
Suspension TEIN SRC coilovers; Sportcar Motion spherical bearings on all suspension parts , Sportcar Motion front lower control arm, rear lower control arm, front & rear camber kit, rear trailing arm bushing, toe kit, roll-center adjuster