Noted motorsports magazine Speed Sport covered the pole results of the 2019 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, mentioning my Tire Rack Pole award win. To achieve this, I broke two minute barrier with the Type R Engine Swap, taking pole with 1:59:948. Read about it and other Runoffs pole winners in the article.
When I started building the Civic Type R engine swap in January 2017, all I had was a K20C1 engine, a Civic Si white body, a lot of spare parts, and hope that I would finish it before that year's race season ended. By summer the car was driving--and the rest is history. It's now coming to the close of 2019--looking forward to another year (and perhaps another look) with the race car.
A few weeks ago, I headed out to California to help Team Honda Research West test out the team's Honda Civic Type R at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. We are preparing for this year's 25 Hours of Thunderhill, one of my favorite endurance races. The Honda Civic Type R loves the fast, winding corners at Buttonwillow and so do I. During this lap, I am testing out some new improvements to the race car. Watch the lap thru a 360° camera, mounted to the passenger side of the vehicle.
I like to tune the engine on track versus using a dyno. It allows me to better control temperatures so I can recreate the conditions I see when racing the car. This improves the robustness of the tune and still allows me to maximize power. Plus, it allows me to collect more accurate data and look for any potential issues before I head to a race.
#TBT: With three Qualifying sessions complete at the 2015 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Daytona International Speedway, I was sitting in the second position. I was about 0.2 seconds behind the number one qualifier. Did I have a chance to gain the Pole position? My odds did not look good.
Your speed on a straight isn't only determined by your horsepower. It's also influenced by the speed you went through the turn leading onto the straight and how soon you go to full throttle. Here is a perfect example, (illustrated by passing a Porsche), aided with just a little bit of a draft as well. This video was filmed in my Honda Civic Type R Engine Swap at Road America.
Watch a documentary of Honda Research and Development's associate race team at the grueling 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race in Northern California. At the event, we raced two Civic Type Rs. The team comes together from around the world--the United States, (Ohio and California), Canada, and Japan. I'm in the video too, talking about this exciting endurance race, my great teammates, and the engineering behind the Type R.
Creating a lightweight headlight for your race car is very easy. Here's how to move out of phase one and into phase two of prepping the new replacement light, using my Type R Swapped Civic Coupe race car's headlight as the example.
STEP 7: Place the first coat of paint on the back side of the lens. This is so the paint doesn't chip from flying rocks or any other moving debris you may encounter while on the race track.
Race tracks are hard on race cars. Case in point: At Road America, a rock punched its way through my headlight. Time to make a new one.
Creating a lightweight headlight is easy.
Road America is one of my favorite tracks. In July, I drove it again for an SCCA racing event, getting two poles and two first-place wins.
Here is a video from one of my fast laps. At this raceway, wide open corner exits are tempting to use, but the curbing is very rough so precision is rewarded with speed. Watch me drive this track in my Type R Swapped Civic Coupe--and also see how I keep control of acceleration and braking via the floor camera.
It's easy to see what's happening outside of a race car--but do you ever wonder what's happening on the inside?
Ross Bentley is not only one of one of the best professional race instructors in the business, he is also a genuinely kind person. He loves what he does, and it shows through he work and his demeanor. (If you don't know of him, but you're into driving race cars, then read my favorite book in his Speed Secrets Series: Ultimate Speed Secrets.)
I was lucky enough to have met him at a work training event, when I was at the beginning of my racing career, and we've stayed in touch ever since. Check out Speed Secrets episode 124 of his podcast, where we talk about the SCCA National Championships, racing, and more.
A lot of you have been asking about my new WedsSport #TC105X wheels. In this video, I explain how these wheels do two things: (1) make my car look good and (2) make me faster on track.
You would think that waiting 30-minutes for your fast food order to get filled is a bad thing--but this event led to a serendipitous turn of events.
Fast laps require more than just putting the pedal to the metal. You have to also be smooth, quick, and precise--all while adapting to the surrounding cars as well as any changing weather conditions. It's not easy, but I love the challenge of it. See what it looks like--from inside the car--as I make a lap around Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at a #GRIDLIFE Time Attack event.
Creating this video was fun. Hang on and ride along with my Civic Type R engine swap as we make a hot lap around Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at a #GRIDLIFE Time Attack event. Camera is on the roof of the car, so you can "feel" the speed and the wind whipping you in the face the entire time.Hang on and ride along with my Civic Type R engine swap as we make a hot lap around Mid-Ohio. Camera is on the roof of the car -- "feel" the speed and the wind whipping you in the face the entire time.
In April of 2019, I participated in my first #GRIDLIFE event thanks to my sponsor, Acuity Instruments. My Honda Civic K20c1 is mainly an SCCA race car, but for the #GRIDLIFE events, I change the set-up so I can run in Time Attack. We are taking part in #GRIDLIFE this year because we wanted to check out the series and learn more about it--it's wild and fun. Watch the video to get a fast, front-seat view of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
After two seasons of never losing a race, the last thing I expected was to have my race car taken away from me. However, that's exactly what happened.
In late 2018, I was very excited to receive a prototype of Acuity Instrument's 10th Gen Civic Fully Adjustable Shifter. Immediately, I put it into my Honda Civic K20C1 race car to test it out.
In October 2017, I got lucky--all of my hard work building the world's first Honda Civic Type R engine swap paid off and my car was showcased within the Honda booth at that year's SEMA show. It was a huge honor.
Tips, tricks, wins, and learnings. Go behind-the-scenes at the race shop and track-side with me.