Yes, We Own Hondas, Too, Meet Project Honda Civic Si
Normally, we focus on other people’s VTEC machines, now you get to judge, mock and laugh at the editor’s own Civic Si.
Hi there. It’s your friendly neighborhood Honda-Tech editor, Jake Stumph, here to tell you about my own car. You see, normally, the staff here at H-T looks outward, focusing on new cars from Honda, or other people’s rides that they have made their own. That’s great, however, today, here, with you, I want to tell you about my car.
My car, or, well, at least, one of them, is a bone-stock 2010 Honda Civic Si. I have owned my FA5 for the better part of five years now, and, for the most part, it’s been reliable (and fun) transportation, capable of shuffling me too and from the H-T offices when my stupid BMWs are broken, which is all the time.
After years of fooling around with an, admittedly, quick but finicky 135i, I decided to do the old switcheroo, and make my track car into my daily driver, and my daily driver into a track car. A brief stint in stock class SCCA autocross showed me the potential of the FA5 platform, and it makes more financial sense to run a Honda on the track than a BMW. We’re on a tight budget here, after all.
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However, when it comes to setting a car up for track work, my general preference is to start with the car as close to stock as possible. It shows what the car can do out the box, and doesn’t mask any possible shortcomings. It also, generally, means that things will improve as the car improves, so consider it a morale booster.
So that’s what I did. I picked up a new set of tires, since the worn all-weather rubber on the car would likely fall apart on track with my aggressive driving style. I ended up with an inexpensive set of Falken Azenis RT615K that were on close-out from Tire Rack, and hit the track. For those wondering, the newer RT615K+ (note the “plus”) compound has since superseded the regular RT615K, hence the discount.
My track of choice is Willow Springs International Raceway. Specifically, the smaller Streets of Willow track. This is one track that I have always struggled to drive fast at, so what better place to start with a back-to-basics track build, and really learn how to drive the track well. It also helps that the tight and technical nature of Streets benefits low power cars with agile handling, but, hey, that’s not important right now.
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