After our trip to the Honda Heritage Center in Marysville, Ohio we had the chance to meet up with the Honda of America Racing Team (HART) for a quick tour around their shop as well as some laps around the test track in the new Acura NSX. Wow! That thing is amazing, but we will leave that story for another time.
Saturday came and we headed north to Lexington, Ohio to visit the famous Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course which was the location of the 2016 SCCA National Run-Offs. There were over 600 race cars from dozens of different classes. From specialty built open-wheel cars, to vintage racers to stock cars it was surely an event anyone could enjoy. We came specifically to see our guy and HART racing driver Kevin Boehm and his 8th Gen Civic Si Coupe defend this years title. Kevin is not only a Vehicle Dynamics engineer at Honda, he’s part of the Honda Racing Team (HART) that runs the 2015 Honda Civic Si in the Continental Sports Car Challenge along with Steve Eich, Chad Gilsinger and many other guys. He qualified first in the ST-L (Super Touring Light) class ahead of about 20 other drivers from all over the country.
Like many of the other 8th Gen Civic’s that we competing in this year’s race, Kevin chose to use our cold air intake system that was developed specifically for these cars.
The exterior of Kevin’s car remains mostly stock since anything extra will only increase weight and likely hamper performance. One notable part is the wing that Kevin developed specifically for this car and track setup. He mentioned this wing creates more than enough down force to keep the car glued to the pavement during the changes in elevation and through the off-camber turns of Mid-Ohio.
The cockpit of Kevin’s Si is all business. A Recaro RSG seat, Momo steering wheel connected to an extended hub are really the only aftermarket enhancements. A multipoint roll cage, 5 point racing harness, driver radio and an aftermarket cluster display not only keep Kevin safe and in place during races but it allows him to view all of the car’s telemetry.
Standard Enkei RPF01′s mounted to a set of BFGoodrich 225/45/17 are within the rules of the STL class. Kevin also uses a set of Acura TL Type-S Brembo calipers and rotors which replace the dingy OEM Civic brakes.
Even with the 50mm throttle plate restrictor, Kevin’s car produced more power and torque after installing and tuning our cold air intake system. On an otherwise stock engine, a bump in a few horsepower can be the margin between winning and losing!
In addition to Kevin, we met with a group of other guys racing in the same STL class that also use our products with similar results. Myles Gilsinger, son of a Honda Engineer and professional racing driver Chad Gilsinger, was also competing in the SCCA STL class. Myles also runs our intake system as well as a few other Hybrid Racing performance bits.
Myles’ Si was set up really similar to Kevin’s coupe. A Recaro bucket, roll cage and five-point racing harnesses are necessary to keep the drivers safe and secure.
On an otherwise stock engine, Myles runs our intake system in addition to the same 50mm throttle plate restrictor.
Myles’ car also featured some driver air ducting as well as a fire suppression system in the event of an emergency.
The race was off to a great start with Kevin leading the field. Racing against many other Hondas and Mazdas it was going to be a pretty challenging task for Kevin to stay in front the entire race. Second place qualifier, a DC2 Integra, was only slightly slower during qualifying so it seemed that was the car to watch. It turned out that the red EG Civic, starting 3rd and driven by Eric Kutil would give Kevin the biggest run after Kevin developed brake issues around the middle of the race. However, the power and balance of Kevin’s coupe was no match for the EG and he was able to race flag to flag in first place!
Myles started in the middle of the field after some qualifying issues then had some unwanted contact with another car during the race that ultimately left him unable to finish. Great effort Myles!
After the race, the officials took Kevin’s car to the tech center where it would need to be checked and verified before the finish could become official.
Kevin and his team set up for a photo after the trophy ceremony. We look forward to working Kevin and other guys from the Ohio-based HART team. 2017 is going to be a great year for racing!
For a recap of more Honda & Acura victories at this year’s event, check out the video put together by Honda Performance Development.
To view the start from inside Eric Kutil’s 2nd place EG Civic, check out the video below!