Moonshine Run in the Civic Si

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Update by Scott Lear to the Honda Civic SI project car
May 9, 2006

Project 2002 Civic Si survived its first weekend as an official race car at the NASA Moonshine Run in early May at Carolina Motorsports Park. Scott put in his first race as a Rookie on Saturday, and Per ran the car on Sunday in order to keep his competition license fresh. Both our drivers were new to the track. Our car is classed in Honda Challenge’s H3 category; the rest of the Honda Challenge crew were extremely friendly and welcomed a new car in their ranks. Indeed, the entire NASA atmosphere was light and fun. Thanks for the hospitality everyone!

CMP is an interesting track, half road course and half high-speed autocross. It’s also brutal on brakes. Our Cobalt pads resisted the temptation to fade, but the front rotors were glowing gloriously in the braking zones, and the freshly-burned finish of our Volk TE-37s tells the tale of high temps. While it wasn’t a problem at VIR in the cold, it’s obvious that some brake ducting is a new priority for the car for the warmer months. We also have some Stillen drilled rotors from when we acquired the car in its SEMA booth, and it would be a shame not to try them out.

Also on the future wish-list: A limited-slip differential would have helped the car considerably around the tight corners after the kink, and we plan on having a softer-compound tire mounted up before the next race to lower our lap times a bit. Due to the tight nature of CMP, the car felt quite heavy; we’re going to explore more weight-loss options as time and rules allow.

While it wasn’t the fastest car out there, the Civic was dead-nuts reliable all weekend, we bled the brakes before the Saturday race mostly out of principal and applied some Rain-X on Sunday morning (thanks Allan!) Scott went from a 2:05.658 fast lap in morning practice to a 2:02.574 during the race, finishing second in the H3 class. In wet conditions, Per placed second in H3 with a 2:17.666 fast lap.

Standing starts are a a blast.

H1 cars are FAST.

Chris Cobetto puts on a great show, on and off the track.

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