Honda Nationals 2013 :: The Power Of Dreams
When it comes to Honda owners they’re usually considered the ‘black sheep’ of the car community and often shunned by other modified car owners for being too extreme with their love for all things Honda and their endless ramblings about the benefits of that magical thing known as VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control).
So what happens when you invite all of these fanatics to one race track in regional Victoria located close to the NSW boarder? You get some of the most intense Honda build this country has to offer, some 110db of ear piercing, valve bouncing, limiter bashing adrenaline and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet at a racetrack!
The idea was simple, enthusiasts getting together for a once a year occurrence to celebrate all things Honda!
Winton was the racecourse of choice for it’s unique ability to cater for both novice and professional drivers alike, with very wide corners it is a forgiving track to learn on but allows those determined for fast lap times to follow a precise ‘racing line’ and see some blisteringly quick lap times!
The BYP Integra was the defending champion from previous years of the Honda National series (2011-2012).
The reigning champ was the car to beat with one of the best setup packages for time attack racing, just earlier that month the BYP crew set a new record for front wheel drives at Winton. The team won the Vic Time Attack series with an astonishing lap time of just 1:26.8670!!!
All things were looking good for the team to record some similar numbers, here the Integra is treated to a quick bath before it hit the track.
Before any racing could happen everyone was called on for a quick but informative drivers briefing.
It was great to see so many people racing for the first time, so meetings like this are a must so that the safety of other drivers and of course those precious cars are always maintained.
Drivers were also allowed to request an instructor for the first session so they had all the tools they needed to set some new personal bests which is what the day is all about really.
After the meeting it was time to walk the pits, first up we spotted a favorite of ours. This little EP3 Civic is always head turner and it’s always a pleasure to see another sticker of ours on a car!
Another Civic that gets our hearts racing is Trevor’s pocket rocket ED Civic, expect more on Trevor and his Civic that could soon!
Vyet’s S2000 is a simply car that crosses the boundary’s of street, track and show car all in one perfectly executed package. We have nothing praise for his car and his dedication to enjoying it to the fullest!
This was one of three cars representing Melbourne based Time Attack crew Nakama, these cars are all about looking great, driving fast and not holding back.
While not as polished or refined as Vyet’s S2000 this is another Melbourne based car that always has our attention, in fact we sometimes prefer the ‘driven hard’ look.
Brake dust, chipped paint and big thick slick tyres are a must!!
Inside is much the same affair, plenty of practicality and yet it’s still full of quality parts is perfectly functional.
The track was beginning to warm up after soaking up the morning sun so it was now or never for 60+ Honda’s to hit the tarmac!
To keep the amount of cars on track manageable, cars/drivers were grouped based on modifications and then moved accordingly based on their skill level to make sure there wasn’t an excessive amount of overtaking etc.
Some of the drivers took full advantage of the instructors on offer, here Pboi decided Elmo from Sesame Street was the best bet for chasing those few seconds of his PB!
Things didn’t take long to get serious, after just a few laps we started to hear that all too familiar sound of Honda’s on full throttle around Winton.
Just a few short laps into the first session for some of the serious cars, Michael Hack’s EM1 began blowing a small amount of smoke.
Unaware in the cabin Michael kept pushing eventually coming off the track slightly causing his control arms to bump into an already lose oil fitting as a result the oil pressure dropped suddenly sending alarm bells ringing and Mike pulled off track immediately!
After a tow back to the pits a later inspection found the source of the problem and everything was corrected and the oil was again re-filled.
Even though Michael had the green light to go back out it was hard to regain the trust in the car and push it to the limit, after all the last thing he wanted to do was drop more oil and ruin it for everyone.
We took advantage of Michael’s down time between session and filmed a quick interview which we will be cutting together and releasing soon so keep your eye’s peeled for that!
David Napoleon is young driver chasing his dreams, his car is rumored to have it’s duties soon restricted to track use only as his build gets more serious.
We eagerly watching as he continually beats his best lap times track day after track day. So far for Winton David’s tracking a 1:42.0350 with room for improvement as the car progresses to all out track spec.
Believe it or not David actually drive this EP3 Civic every day exactly as you see it here, wing, stickers and all!!
Another EP3 setting some quick time was Chris’s ‘JDMCVC’ with a 1:41.1030.
We also got to see one of our previous feature cars out on track, it was of course Nity’s K20 swapped FD Civic!
You can check out the full feature here >> http://gripshiftslide.com/2012/01/11/double-ks-problems/
The great thing about a track day such as this is that it really didn’t matter what you were driving as long as you had fun out there!!
From stiff setup suspension…
To not so ideal factory shocks/springs, Honda did get the combination right for street driving and occasional track use though. This Type R Integra broke past the 1:50 mark with a fast lap of 1:47.3180!
It was great to see this bright yellow CRX mixing it up with the big boys out on track, this little car is a testament that setup is everything!
No engine swaps here just great suspension tuning and maintenance saw a quick time of 1:42.8340!
All eyes were on BYP and their Integra after setting a blistering time of 1:26 just a few week earlier for Vic Time Attack series.
The car did experience some gearbox issues so the car was retired early but did the team manage to set a fast enough lap to take home the win? Only time would tell!!
Half way through the day there was some issues with the tracks surface after this drop dead gorgeous S2000 unloaded a considerable amount of oil on the track, luckily the car made it back to the pits without any major mechanical issues.
However there was plenty of down time while everyone pitched in to clean up the slippery surface.
In the the extended break it was time for everyone to check over their cars, fluids, tyre pressure etc.
We did a full lap of the pits to see how the cars were going cooling off in the breeze. Michael’s Autosphere K24 swapped DC5 was looking suspiciously clean after a few sessions although we expect he was setting a good example and not driving too hard given that when he wasn’t behind the wheel he was busy overseeing that everything was going to plan, so who says you can’t run an event and race at the same time?!
This Integra was sporting a JDM front conversion and looked the part but something was not going to plan, the car just couldn’t get a full session in. We’re keen to see it progress in the future as it looked great when it was out on track!
Further up the pits the JDMyard team from Sydney had stopped to refuel both the car and their team.
The boys from JDMyard sure know how to build a quick car, this DC5 is their latest creation and no expense has been spared!!
Inside it’s all business with an intense shifter kit, Mugen steering wheel and carbon panels to block up any holes in the dash.
Everyone was excited to see what the NSW’s based team could muster out of their monstrous looking DC5 race car.
The team managed to coax a 1:33.3770 which landed themselves 2nd fastest outright and fastest N/A powered car of the day!!
It wasn’t all workshop builds that had us impressed, check out this immaculate S2000 with an engine bay full of make fast bits and a level of cleanliness that is boarding on obsessive.
We’re used to drift days here at Winton but looking around the pits every car was loved, there were no ‘track hacks’ here every car was treated well…
…Some more so than others, Pboi’s S2000 remand off the track after the oil spill incident, so we just got more time to drool over it.
By now the oil had really been soaked up so it was now time for many to try for that last chance at a quick lap time for the day.
Michael had regained his motivation and headed out once again after the oil fitting issue he had in his first session.
Despite giving it all he had Michael still didn’t manage to beat his PB of 1:36.3, he was still a few seconds shy but he knows the car has plenty more in it as his old PB was set with only 70% throttle!!
With brands like Hybrid Racing on board helping him out, it won’t be long till we see Michael at the top of the score board!!
Lap after lap we saw some very quick passes through the front straight of the course so we were really excited to see the leader board, did BYP do enough before their gearbox gave out??
Our favorite S2000 scored 4th fastest of the day with a blistering 1:36.0440! Well done Vyet!!
So did BYP break their previous record lap of just 1:26.8670??… No, the car had suffered and the gearbox gave out but they managed to cling onto the number one spot with a much more conservative time of 1:31.3800.
With two seconds between them and the JDMyard DC5 which is still an impressive feet though no new records were set.
All in all this was one of the best track days we have been to, with much the same vibe as one of the locally run EXE Crew track days the event was a huge success and a great spectacle even if you weren’t a die hard Honda fan.
The organisers really showed us what a track day should be and we hope that the event gains more popularity in the years to come as we had an absolute ball and who knows… Maybe next time we’ll be driving!!
A big thank you for the warm welcome we received from everyone and of course all the sponsors and volunteers, without you this event couldn’t have happened.
Full results can be found here >>> http://racing.natsoft.com.au/
For more info and post event details check out the H Nationals Face book page >>> https://www.facebook.com/HNationals
Thanks for reading,