It seems like ages since I’ve driven my car, and at the pace that life seems to be moving recently that wouldn’t even be an exaggeration. It’s been well over two years since I’ve written of any progress (publicly – I keep a notebook), and just about a year and a half since I’ve driven the thing. I can honestly say, however, that over the past 6 months there hasn’t been a day that I wasn’t focused on finishing this build. In these past two years I’ve learned more about the nuances specific to building Honda’s than I have in my entire life; from engine building and wiring to fabrication and fluid dynamics. It hasn’t been easy, but thankfully I have some amazingly talented friends that have helped along the way.
This past weekend I was able to knock out a lot of work on the car. For whatever reason I had this idea in my head that the rest of the build would be smooth sailing after the new motor setup got tuned; boy was I wrong. Getting the motor running properly was a huge milestone, but it far from marked the completion of the build. There is still much to do, and among them was to replace the overweight front calipers with a reliable, lightweight alternative – APG Performance answered that call.
This past week a couple good friends from Japan came to Los Angeles to visit; two of them for the first time ever. Among them was my dear friend Takashi Sekinei, someone who’s helped me countless times during my time in Japan. We were all pretty excited to finally introduce them to everyone here in Southern California, especially since most of the guys from the shop have talked to Sekinei one way or another online. Jay and I put together a little pot luck at our shop and invited a couple people over for a low-key Sunday evening. After cooking I snapped a couple pictures I thought I’d share.
Last weekend our friend Franklin had come down to our area to grab dinner before he left on vacation to British Columbia. I hadn’t seen him in quite some time and it was nice to catch up over sushi. As an added bonus, he brought down his newly made-over Z32 and I was able to snap some pictures in front of our shop. Click past the break to see more.
With all the running around and traveling I’ve done for the busy holiday I almost forgot I had a couple more shots from the final round of VTEC Club to post up. After chatting around the paddock area, and bouncing from the beginning of the straight to the end, Duane approached me and asked if I wanted to head over to Cotton Corners. I gladly accepted because I don’t get to go to the infield at these events too often. It’s nice to get a different perspective when photographing track events. As a result though, most of the on-track shots in this post will be from there and may be a little repetitive.
It never ceases to amaze me; the successes of hard working people. The last VTEC Club USA event took place last week, and it’s given me a chance to reflect on the entire season, and everyone that’s been involved in the project all the way from the conception phase. The individuals who saw the need to fill a missing niche in our world of motor sport, and took the steps to achieve just that. Even those who had the foresight to see what type of community could be created from a series like this are probably surprised at the outcome. Starting a new series from the ground up, albeit hosted by a well-known name (Extreme Speed), takes a lot of work and to have it explode in popularity overnight is a testament to how well it’s been organized. Duane Bada, ‘Tom Attack’, Kristian Wong, Matt Rojana, Yuta, Amir, the sponsors, the media partners, and everyone else that has been involved in making the series what it is deserve a huge thank you from anyone who has participated this season. I’m definitely looking forward to next year, but first, for the last event of this year, we head over to Buttonwillow Raceway Park one last time for Round 5 of Season 2.
A week or two ago, my friend Jay and I had been playing with the idea of attending the event at Auto Club Speedway, but my tentative schedule had me slated to be out of town that weekend. I knew there was a VTEC Club event being held on the same day, and was a little disappointed as my work schedule has been keeping me from most of the second season. Well, as luck would have it, my schedule opened up and a day or two before the event I messaged Duane to see if there were any openings. Upon hearing the news, Jay was on board to drive as well, so early Saturday morning we left the shop bound for Fontana.
The sudden change in Southern California’s weather this weekend caused quite the stir. Above all though, it allowed me to find out that my race car leaks like a bullet wound in the rain. Packed up and ready to hit Willow Springs for the Twilight VTEC Club event, I had little idea that both my car would slowly turn into a water reservoir on the drive there, and that the track was going to be closed due to flash floods. Even right after leaving the shop their was a profuse amount of water leaking in through the door, from the rear window, and from the floorboard (low key plug, all the Dogfight LCP parts did not leak).
As I sit here writing this on my way to Kansas City, 39,000 feet in the above ground in a tube made of various metals and composites, traveling a good 550mph, I struggle past my exhaustion in an attempt to coherently transcribe my thoughts from this past weekend. It’s interesting how my perspective on our local track events has changed over the past couple of years. Perhaps it’s because I’ve become a little more open minded (perhaps even a collective change in outlook amongst my peers), or have had the good fortune of befriending many of those involved, but I no longer view them the way I did (unnecessarily arrogant so to speak).
*Brushes dust off of WordPress topic*
Whew, been awhile since we’ve visited this one hasn’t it? I didn’t realize it until I went back and verified, but the last post on my personal build was all the way back in July! What the hell have I been doing the past 8 months? I can answer that for you – not working on the car. You can view the last update here to get an idea of where we’re picking up from. In all honesty I probably wouldn’t have posted anything more on the car except for a few comments I get on IG (@naritadogfight) requesting an update. I’ve pretty much just relied on the few pictures I post as a record of my progress, but since I had my camera at the shop yesterday I decided to snap a few pictures. You’ll be quick to notice not much has changed.
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