Super Touring: A BTCC-Tribute Club Racing Civic

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Get the scoop on what goes into building a competitive SCCA race car with a cool classic touring-car tribute livery.

You’ll find no shortage of tribute liveries in club racing, however SCCA racer Mike Taylor caught our eye with his British Touring Car Championship-inspired Honda Civic. If you weren’t a BTCC fan, you might miss the red-and-black-over-white tribute livery to the legendary Super Touring Accords. We think it’s great so we got the details from its owner.

Taylor coined his first STL Civic “Squirrel” after its reddish-orange hue. That car met its “unfortunate demise” in a big crash at Road Atlanta earlier this year. Within a day, Taylor had his hands on a $400 Honda Civic EX and had sent it to Robinson Racing in Cumming, Georgia, for a rollcage.

Mike Taylor Honda Civic BTCC

When he got the caged Civic back to his shop, Taylor had already pulled most of the good parts off “Squirrel 1” for the new build, “Squirrel 2.” A car that he wanted to paint in a British Touring Car Championship tribute livery.

Naturally, the powertrain made for the biggest “donated” piece. Taylor runs a B18C5 with forged pistons and rods at 11.0:1 compression, which is the limit for the STL class. He added a set of Web cams and a Toda-style header to a three-inch exhaust system. Taylor added two mufflers, as well “because I hate driving loud race cars.”

Endurance Prep

If that sounds silly, Taylor’s wheel-to-wheel background comes from low-buck endurance racing. His prior team Hong Norrth, won six 24 Hours of Lemons races and a ChumpCar World Series race with a stock-engined Mazda MX-3. That car also led the ChumpCar race at Daytona late until the window-net rod backed out and fell down, forcing a pit stop that probably cost the win. Reducing the sound level makes long endurance-racing stints easier.

Taylor also added more endurance-racing equipment to open the door for possible runs at the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill, World Racing League, or American Endurance Racing. Squirrel 1 donated its 22-gallon fuel cell with four Walbro snowmobile pickups to capture all the fuel.

Mike Taylor Honda Civic BTCC

Squirrel 2 also features a pair of identical ECUs. In the event of a wonky computer during an endurance race, he can just plug the connector into a second ECU. He runs Rywire wiring harnesses and also uses a datalogging system from Autosport Labs, a company formed from Lemons, as well.

In addition to fixing the window-net mounting so the rod can’t back out, Taylor also went with very nice Schroth belts. He swears by them for their ease of use, something that matters when every second counts on pitlane.

For suspension, every pivot point carries spherical bearings from Kingpin Machine. The shocks are all double-adjustable with external reservoirs from Motion Control Suspension. The front sway bar is stock Civic while the rear is a tubular bar from Speedway.

Wilwood Dynapro Radial Mount calipers stop the car in conjunction with rotors from a modern MINI Cooper. “The car stops like no car I ever raced before,” Taylor said. That stopping power transmits through Hoosier R7 tires (225/45/15 front, 205/50/15 rear) on Advanto Storm 15” x 7” wheels.

The final bits included a scrounged carbon-fiber hood that Taylor found in a junkyard from a racer-boy Civic. He added a big touring-style wing from APR with Lexan window to save even more weight. And he designed his own custom splitter to grab maximum front air.

Mike Taylor Honda Civic BTCC

‘All my spare time’

Taylor assembled all of the build from a caged chassis in just 12 weeks using, as Taylor said, “all my spare time.” He figures he could scratch-build one just like it for about $30,000 if he didn’t have to scrounge from a previous build that took a couple years to assemble. While that seems like a lot of money, Taylor suggests it’s somewhere in the low-to-mid range for a competitive STL car.

Just before towing to Road America for Squirrel 2’s SCCA Majors debut in July, Taylor had Marc Dana apply the BTCC graphics. The gear whine you hear in the video comes from straight-cut gears in the transmission. Those lend a bit of extra BTCC credibility.

Taylor had the Civic at #Gridlife Atlanta and even ran into the owner of one BTCC Accord. That owner gave him major props on the livery choice.

Taylor managed fourth- and third-place finishes in the weekend’s races at Road America. He reckons he will get some more from it with better gear ratios. He will run those new gears at the SCCA Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway September 26 through October 1.

[All photos courtesy Mike Taylor]

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