Close-Up: こみぃ♪ – ガレージWORK EK9

Over the past years we’ve spent quite a bit of time at Garage Work; both at the shop in Chiba, and on track at Evome and Attack.  It’s a shop that is known for pushing the boundaries of Honda’s FF chassis far beyond what anyone has ever imagined.  Tora-san’s rich history and incredible foresight into the sport of time attack has been unmatched by many, and through Garage Work, he is able to channel that gift to not only his personal vehicles, but to his customers as well.

 

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Needless to say, the EK you see before you is a perfect example of a full Work build.  From the highly tuned NA power plant, to the massive frontal aero package, the entire car was built with the purpose of attacking the circuit.  The owner, who goes by Komiya-san, or Komi for short, has taken the ideal approach in making his EK9 fast on the track by leaving it in the hands of Iwata.

 

 

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The day we visited the shop, Komi’s car was in for maintenance, preparing the setup for the next event.  In his first outing with the revised aero (before it was a package more along the lines of what Miyuki runs), the front end downforce was actually too much for the car – literally making the car almost undriveable.  Let that be a testament to those who are under the impression that this sort of aerodynamic retrofitting is ineffective.  Nevertheless, nearly uncontrollable over-steer on every corner is undoubtedly not beneficial, so while we were talking to Tora, he mentioned the need to cut back the splitter and canards about 10cm (roughly 4 inches).

 

 

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Custom cutouts on the rear bumper provide air flow through the back of the car, as opposed to the parachute effect of a rear bumper.

 

 

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Looking from the back forward gives you an idea of the width of the front aero.  While the front of the car steals the show, the C-West skirts mainly provide a route for the style to flow to the back of the car.

 

 

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A pair of well utilized, 17″ TE-37’s wrapped in 255/40 A050’s have the large task of controlling the EK around the turns of Tsukuba.  While off track, a more reasonable 225/45 is tasked for street driving.  Yup, the car is still registered.

 

 

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Tora and Kubo discussing the dynamics of the car.

 

 

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Komi’s EK is more than just a pretty face though.  Underneath the vented FRP hood lies a fully built B18 that revs well past 9k RPM to the tune of 250ps.

 

 

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The bay, which is almost unexpectedly clean, houses quite a bit of custom, titanium pieces.  The intake is a work of art on it’s own.

 

 

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While the majority of the Work camp utilizes a combination of OEM and TODA interals, Komi chose to use a Jun Type 4 and Jun valve springs.  SPL pistons and connecting rods are fitted to ensure durability on track.  Fuel is fed to upgraded injectors via a SARD FPR on the firewall.

 

 

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A closer look at the unique front end – this is before it was shortened a bit.

 

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As wild as this car seems, to me anyway, it looks almost commonplace inside the shop.

 

 

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The boys talking shop while I wandered around aimlessly.

 

 

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Komi’s cockpit is as about as simple as it gets…well, maybe not as simple as most of the Work cars (he still has..err..half a dash).  The bolt in roll cage provides an extra layer of safety, and a residual stiffening effect.  While not as light as the EG’s that come out of the shop, Komi’s car weighs in at an extremely respectable 775 kilos (a sparse 1700 pounds).

 

 

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With the prime of Attack seasoning winding down already in Japan, there will be limited opportunities to see this car on track again soon.  Going into the start of the season, Komi had a best of nearly 1 minute flat around TC2000 (at 230ps).  His end goal is to eventually hit the 58.999 mark and be amongst the few NA Honda’s that have done so.  Actually, to be amongst the few NA FF cars period to do so.  With the boys at Work behind him, I have no doubt that he’ll achieve it.

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I’m actually talking to Iwata right now through messenger.  A bit off topic but it seems like he will be able to reconstruct the chassis of his EG, and he is looking forward to making another appearance in the not to distant future.