First time out

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Update by David S. Wallens to the Honda S2000 project car
Feb 9, 2004

Our S2000 made its competition debut yesterday, running with the Martin Sports Car club at the Lake County Technical Center in Tavares, Fla. The lot could be described as “average-sized” with a slightly aged asphalt surface. Weather was windy yet, as we’re realizing today, quite sunny.

Like the SCCA, Martin has bumped the new S2000 up one class, placing the car in their B Stock class. Other cars in the class include the fourth-generation Chevy Corvette, current Ford Mustang Cobra, E36-chassis BMW M3, Subaru Impreza WRX STi and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. We had planned on running in their C Stock class, meaning the new class designations we had printed last week were worthless. We’ll get new ones this week.

We ran the car in bone-stock condition, using 37 psi for our baseline tire pressures. The rear end of the car was a little loose, but unlike our Miata, things were much easier to control. And as expected, we ran out of second gear on the faster parts of the course. We just bumped the rev limiter a few times, figuring the upshift and then subsequent downshift would have taken just as much time. We’ll have to do some testing and see if that theory holds true.

At the end of the day, we took the win in our three-car class, finishing about one second behind another 2004 S2000 running Kumho race tires. (Martin places stock cars running R-compound race tires in their Prepared classes.) Once the results are posted, we’ll get some hard numbers and times from the day.

We still have much testing to do, so look for updates in the near future. Now that we have some baseline impressions, we can go get a real alignment. We also have some new-vs.-old S2000 testing in the works.

And with the thrill of victory came a small agony of defeat: While readjusting our rearview mirror for the drive home, we snapped it off. Doh!

Thanks to fellow S2000 driver James Penrod for sending us the action shot.

Speaking of plugs and thanks, to communicate with other S2000 owners, check out S2K International:

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