Feb 10, 2003 update to the Honda Civic SI project car

Sweet redemption

Our editor redeemed both himself and the Civic this past weekend, taking the G Prepared class win at the Martin Sports Car Club’s February event in Palm Bay, Fla. Okay, maybe the threat of rain kept a few of the really fast guys at home, but our times would have put us near the top of the C Race class, the place the Martin Sports Car Club puts the really fast Civics, including those running engine swaps.

The course was a bit on the fast side, as we ran out of second gear twice on each run. (Gotta raise that rev limiter.) Even though the pavement remained dry, the air temperatures were on the cool side, probably in the 50s at best. We ran 40 psi of air pressure up front along with 44 psi out back, and the car seemed pretty happy, as the back end would rotate as expected.

The Palm Bay site (same one used for the $1500, $2001 and $2002 Challenges) features a center “slick” section, and this weekend’s course didn’t make things any easier for competitors, placing two critical turns on the slippery asphalt. While a lot of front-wheel-drive cars were seen plowing through the slick track, our Civic hooked nicely, never missing a beat.

While the Civic didn’t bring home the gold at the SCCA’s Tire Rack Solo II National Championships, the car is shaping up as a pretty good local autocrosser. With a less-than-perfect driver behind the wheel, the car has done well in five events run since last fall’s Nationals:

  • Nov. 17, SCCA in Orlando: 3rd out of 7 (or so) in STS.
  • Nov. 24, SCCA in Palm Bay: 2nd out of 7 in STS.
  • Dec. 8, Martin in Palm Bay: 2nd out of 4 in G Prepared.
  • Jan. 11, Martin in Palm Bay: 3rd out of 7 in G Prepared.
  • Feb. 8, Martin in Palm Bay: 1st out of 3 in G Prepared.
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