Pair of Hondas Set New Records at Tsukuba Maximum Challenge
Civics and S2000s were out in force to claim time attack gold.
Nestled about 40 miles north of Tokyo’s center lies Tsukuba circuit. For decades, the fastest and coolest Japan has to offer has come from this tiny, 2 kilometer-long race track. And now, with all eyes on time attack style events, the Maximum Challenge at Tsukuba becomes an annual pilgrimage to show off driving talent and tuning tech.
Every flavor of Honda was present during the February event, but the real stand out rides were the Civic’s and S2000s. Although there was a class specifically for turbo cars, there was another for NA cars as well, and that’s where the fastest of the group were at. Let’s break it down by model.
It takes no great stretch of the imagination to see how the S2000 would be perfectly suited to the tight and technical layout of Tsukuba. Narrow dimensions and a short wheelbase, plus Honda’s brilliant suspension tuning mean this is the ideal base for tuners and three were in the top running. ASM, Arvou, and Aya teams were represented. The fastest times came in the dense cool air of the morning, and one of the two-lap attack runs stood out. ASM’s S2000 took back the title and set the record of fastest NA S2000 with a time of 57.051. The Arvou S2000 was only a half second behind, and the Aya entry was 60.185.
This JDM FF battle was one for the ages.
Just when you thought you’d seen some of the faster time attack cars, then the Civics hit the track. However, just take a look at the aero some of these cars are running, and remember it’s a handling, not a horsepower track.
Two entries stood out: the contending fastest NA front drive car, an EK4, and a game changing EG6. Going into the event, the white EK4 (pictured above) was the title defender. As they say though, everyone has their day, and this wasn’t the day for the Garage WORKS entry. After a poor first lap, the car ended up off track and into the wall. Day done. ASLAN’s EG6 stole the show, however. With a time of 56.546, it became the fastest NA front wheel drive car ever at Tsukuba. Mind you, that’s also faster than the ASM S2000! What a drive!