Andy Hollis
Andy Hollis
6/25/18 9:46 a.m.


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Story By Andy Hollis • Photos As Credited

One of life’s maxims is that there always comes a time to move on to something new. Life is short and repetition is boring–or, put another way, variety is the spice of life. This is just as true at the race track as it is anywhere else.

So even though the One Lap CRX, GRM’s official entry at the Tire Rack One Lap of America, has had a long and successful five-year run, the time has come to replace this competition steed. Sometimes the impetus to change is a new opportunity, and sometimes it comes from reaching goals and looking for new ones. In this case, it was a little bit of both: The One Lap CRX’s 2014 achievements were as much as could be hoped for from the Little Honda That Could.

Over a 12-month period this car went 170 mph at the Texas Mile, won its class while finishing fourth overall in the Tire Rack One Lap of America, and claimed the SCCA’s Street Mod Front Wheel Drive national championship.

For each event the CRX was reconfigured to optimize its chances, but it had reached the point where the team could expect only decreasing returns in performance based on resources expended. Time to move on. The problem is that while change can be exciting, the challenges it brings can also be frustrating and disruptive. Having successfully navigated the path to the winner’s circle a number of times, in a variety of cars and disciplines, Hollis Racing has quite a bit of experience in managing the tricky feat of switching steeds. And we’d like to share those secrets to success.

This new project would have some of the same goals that guided the build of the little Honda, but with a few key new requirements added into the mix. Although the CRX was built as a track car for One Lap, we always knew it could also cross over to autocross and run up front there as well. With that in mind, every modification was done in a way that would keep the car within the rules for Street Mod FWD–or that could be easily converted. So the goals were simple: super-fast on track, streetable enough to do the transits on One Lap without kidney failure, and SMF-legal.

The new project would again center around One Lap competition, but with an eye toward NASA Time Trial. So “streetable” is still in the mix, but ultimate track performance is key. We also wanted this project to offer remedies to three fundamental design limiters that hampered the CRX: front-wheel drive, 65 percent of the car’s weight on the nose, and a limited tire height of only 23 inches.

Fixing any of these is most easily done with a change in platform, so it soon became clear that this project would involve building a totally new car. Here’s how our podium-finishing team keeps a build like this on the rails:

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te72
te72 Reader
6/25/18 11:12 p.m.

Good Lord, if the last 20% of my Supra takes 80% of the total project time, I'm in for a LONG project. Took 6 years just gathering parts, and nearly two years putting them all together. It's nowhere near done, but it is getting a little bit better each time I tinker with it a little more, fix the little stuff, get rid of squeaks and rattles, eliminate leaks, etc...

 

Also... as much as I love my Miata, the K swap seems a bit odd. I love the idea of a high revving, naturally aspirated engine that makes good power for the size and weight all through the RPM band, but... S2000. Yeah, they're a couple hundred pounds heavier, and I don't think the F20/22C engines have quite the development level as the K series do, but, in the end, it's a high revving, naturally aspirated engine in a nice handling roadster. Isn't that the end goal here?

 

Good thing I live at high altitude, makes the choice easier for my car. It's either gonna need boost or a V8. Small NA engines tend to be a bit anemic above 6500', most unfortunately.

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