Wrapping up

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Update by David S. Wallens to the Honda S2000 project car
Oct 20, 2004

Hey, an S2000 update. Why the long break in news? Well, our editor, who has been driving the car, has been a little under the weather since mid-June, so the car was pushed to the back burner.

Still, that doesn’t mean the car sat idle, although we did adopt a “maintain” strategy for our season points. On July 11, we ran with the Martin Sports Car Club, once again in their Street Mod Street Tire class. The ranks ballooned that day as several others joined us class regulars in an effort to score some points for the overall club points race. (Martin awards a trophy for the member who scores the most points during the year, and more points are up for grabs in the bigger classes.)

As a result, our class was stacked that day, featuring some serious fast cars—Z06-spec Corvettes and Robert Palmblad’s supercharged Miata, the car that took second at the SCCA nationals. We were in the trophies at one point, but in the end we fell to seventh out of 12 cars. On the plus side, we beat those were in contention for the class title. (This was the day before our editor’s surgery, so honestly his head wasn’t really clear.)

The car’s next outing was Sept. 9, again with Martin at the Lake County Technical Center in Tavares, Fla. We finished third out of five.

Our most recent outing with the car was two Saturdays ago, as Martin hosted their semiannual Mini Prix at Gainesville Raceway. The speeds tend to be high, as the club usually lets the cars stretch their legs a bit. We only had a four-car class.

The first run went okay, as we set the fastest time in the class. The second run started on a sour note, as too much rpm at the start led to a slipping clutch. The clutch’s action returned to normal after being allowed to cool a bit after the run.

The third run was going well, as the car just felt great—until the final big turn, when trailing-throttle oversteer reared its ugly head. We put the car into the grass, leaving a nice divot in the process. We think we tweaked the alignment a bit and need to get the car on the rack soon.

The fourth and final run went okay, although our time was only good enough for a second-place finish. Still, by our unofficial calculations we’re second in class. At one point this year we were ninth overall in the club’s standings, but now we’re sitting in 14th spot. Still, that’s not too bad considering we missed a few events.

The car also participated in some non-speed events last week. After the autocross, we headed up to RSpeed for their open house. RSpeed’s main focus is Miatas, but the S2000 was given a prime display spot among the “other” car models. We were parked next to a nice BMW M roadster, and the S2000 seemed to have plenty of admirers.

The car was up at Virginia International Raceway the following Thursday, where it served as a camera car for some photography. Even though the Group 44 cars—TR6, TR8 and XJ—were the stars for the day, they all had to trail the S2000 as our editor hung from the car and took photos. (No, he wasn’t driving at the time, although the S2000’s cup holders will nicely hold a 15-30mm lens.)

The car’s final stop was the Eurofest show at the BMW plant in Greer, S.C. We almost B.S.’ed our way onto the show field, but that wouldn’t have been right. So we parked in the spectator lot, although we were two spaces away from a nice 1966 GTO convertible.

Season recap:

· Feb. 8, Martin at Tavares, 1st out of 3 in B Stock.
· Feb. 29, SCCA at Palm Bay, 3rd out of 3 in A Stock.
· March 7, Martin at Tavares, 2nd out of 2 in B Stock.
· April 10, Martin at Gainesville, 2nd out of 8 in Street Mod Street Tire.
· April 18, SCCA at Palm Bay, 2nd out of 4 in A Stock.
· May 8, Martin at Tavares, 2nd out of 4 in Street Mod Street Tire.
· June 13, Martin at Tavares, 2nd out of 8 in Street Mod Street Tire.
· July 11, Martin at Tavares, 7th out of 12 in Street Mod Street Tire.
· Sept. 9, Martin at Tavares, 3rd out of 5 in Street Mod Street Tire.
· Oct. 9. Martin at Gainesville, 2nd out of 4 in Street Mod Street Tire.

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