Touge Runner: Gerardo Prieto’s Honda S2000
This S2000 took the win at the first ever VTEC Club Touge Battle.
The S2000 is one of the best rear-wheel drive platforms Honda offered, and really the only one that was within reach of the masses. While the NSX will be forever cemented as the ultimate Honda, the AP1 and AP2 chassis will remain just as sought after. That is, of course, thanks to road racing and, in this case, touge battles. Gerardo Prieto’s build proved to be the car to beat as he took first place at the inaugural Touge Battle by VTEC Club USA.
What’s great is that his car is something nearly any average enthusiast can build in their own garage with a few things you may have to outsource if you absolutely don’t have any fabrication or engine building experience. Otherwise, you could also have a potential touge winner right in your own driveway just waiting to be unleashed.
So, what secret sauce suspension setup is on this S2K?
Like we said above, nothing too tricky on the surface of things. The first thing that would need to go is the suspension. Nothing wrong with OEM Honda parts, but if you want a winner, you need adjustability and strength. One if the key parts that needs work is the subframe which is seam-welded with gussets at several points. Spoon Rigid Subframe Collars increases the mounting rigidity by filling in the two-millimeter gap around the bolts as well as making subframe placement that much more precise and preventing it from moving under a load. Steering feel is further increased with a set of custom solid steering rack bushings.
The KW Suspension “Variant 3” coil-overs offer bound and rebound (bump and compression) adjustments on top of the ride height to keep the 255/40R17 Federal RS-RR tires in constant contact with the asphalt that are mounted to the 17X9 +45 Enkei RPF1 wheels. The calipers are OE Honda but they are improved thanks to a set of Project Mu Club Racer brake pads, which feature a graphite-metallic compound with a 0.50-mu friction coefficient up to 800-degrees-Celsius (1472-degrees-Fahrenheit). The rear suspension is changed to a set of Megan Racing rear toe arms with Buddy Club rear roll center adjusted taller ball joints. The alignment and corner balancing was done by Robert over at Chewerks in City of Industry, California.
Outside, the body is mostly original S2000 but the changes made ensure that it stays aerodynamically planted. The rear wing is an APR Performance GTC-200 adjustable 3D wing with S2000-specific trunk mounts. The front splitter, though, is made by Gerardo with fiberglass and wood. The APR mirrors reduces the profile over the OE versions but attach to the OE mounts on the doors. The Momo Monte Carlo steering wheel allow him to precisely control those front wheels while the Bride Zeta Three seat holds him during hard cornering.
The engine takes Honda “frankenstein-ing” and ingenuity to new levels.
Under the hood is a full engine build that Gerardo did himself and for the first time, too. It’s a F20C block that’s had a K24 crankshaft installed after it was balanced by The Balance Shop. However, instead of using H22A connecting rods and pistons, he went with a set of ZRP connecting rods that attach Carrillo pistons that move inside Darton sleeves installed by RS Machine. This creates an 11.7:1 compression ratio that still works with 91-octane pump gas, the highest octane available here in California.
The intake manifold was bored out, as well, to sixty-nine-millimeters to match the Ballade Sports S2000 big bore throttle body. This all comes out of a PLM ceramic coated header and into a Powerhouse Amuse R1000 exhaust system. The Moroso baffled oil pan reduces engine-killing oil slosh, and a Cusco catch can reduces crankcase pressure while cooling is handled by a Koyorad Hyper V Series radiator. Making sure it stays fueled correctly and the sparks ignite the mixture in the cylinders properly, an AEM Infinity Motorsports ECU is tuned by Chris over at Natural Aspirations to 253-wheel-horsepower with 194-lbs-ft of torque. That’s sent out to an AP2 transmission connected to a Balance Shop modified flywheel.
Normally, when you think of a race winning car, you think it’s something that’s out of your reach. This S2000 shows you can build a race winner in your own garage, just as Gerardo did. With the proper balance of power and suspension performance, a champion can be built in your backyard or driveway. It takes demanding work and research but the result is well worth it. I mean, he did take the win at the first ever Touge Battle.