Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time Breaker

Words and Snaps by Ben

Be it to emulate a car seen on TV, at a race, in a garage, in a video game, or even to bring together a machine only seen in one's mind, the reasons behind every build are mostly unique. 

Builds evolve and tend to follow outside factors such as new techs and parts, changes in the owner's lifestyle, trends, or simply varied whims. Yet some of us are more focused and stick fervently to the rules and goals they set for themselves. 

Norman is such a man, and when his GC8 gave up on the hard life he gave it, he went to hunt for a RWD platform with which he could further refine his driving skills. 

His search led him to own this S2000, on which he set his new goal: to dominate the time attack.

Norman is not one to throw money at his car with hopes to make it faster. He is a precise and dedicated man who is building his car on a budget.

As such, he spends countless hours researching the most effective and bang-for-buck ways to meet his goals, without sacrificing on quality and reliability.

While the words reliable, quality and budget are rarely brought together in the same sentence, especially in motorsports, Norman is succeeding in this path, as his S2000 has never seen the shadow of a spanner other than when upgrading parts or casual servicing, and yet outdoes other cars on the track.

The research and precision he puts in his build makes for a small mod list where nothing on it is wasted. Everything that gets added to the S2000 has been carefully weighed, and the results speak for themselves - Norman has already clinched 2 podiums at TIMETOATTACK! Sepang in 2012 and 2013.

His secret recipe? It starts with razor sharp handling, provided by a set of Tein Super Racing Circuit Master coilovers, his favourite mod up to date.

Next, he focused his attention on getting the right wheels. His first set of wheels were Enkei RPF1, yet he was looking for something wider to have a bigger contact patch and achieve more grip. It all came down to a fight between weight and rigidity.

The wheel that Norman's research proved to be the best compromise of strength and price was the Enkei GTC 01. While heavier than the RPF1, the increased rigidity gives Norman a better feedback on the road, at the expense of a slightly increased turning effort.

The GTC 01's racing heritage shows through details such as the design, with spokes made to give ample space for big brake kits, and the dual valve setup - one to drain the air while feeding nitrogen through the other.

Wider wheels means more grip, but also means that Norman had to pull and roll his fenders to accommodate the 255mm wide Achilles 123S without rubbing. For this, he left his S2000 in the expert hands of Lye Design, who pulled the fenders to clear the space so expertly, one would barely notice anything was done to them unless told.

While he was at Lye Design, Norman explored ways to keep his brakes cool during hot laps. The result is a custom brake duct system which catches air beneath the car and feeds it straight to the discs and pads. Thanks to this simple system, Norman never had the need to upgrade his brakes, and even after many laps against the clock, he never experienced so much as brake fade from his Project Mu brake pads.

The S2000's soft top makes way for Mugen's FRP counterpart, and extra downforce comes in the form of Wasp Composites' carbon kevlar race splitter at the front.

Mounted on the chassis itself, the splitter is sturdy enough for someone to stand on, which also means it won't shatter to pieces if Norman ever ends up in the gravels at the track.

The rear of the S2000 is complemented by a Voltex Type 2 for stability and grip.

Once again, Norman researched his mods thoroughly and found out that adding a gurney flap to the GT wing will provide even better efficiency. He thus added this option to his shopping list from Voltex when he ordered his Type 2.

With the handling, braking and downforce covered, Norman turned to the engine for some power, but mainly to ensure the F22C would remain reliable, even when pushed to the limit.

This Honda now breathes in from a Password JDM carbon fibre intake, and howls out through J's Racing exhaust manifold and FX 70RS dual exhaust.

Power is transferred through an ACT clutch to the drivetrain, and a Koyo radiator and Greddy oil cooler keep the powerplant running at optimum temperatures around the clock.

A Hondata Flashpro ECU controls the A/F ratio along the revs to a peak of 270hp.

Inside the cockpit, Norman is held in place by a Recaro SPG, while the occasional passenger only gets the stock S2000 leather seat.

Following Norman's sense of function before form, as well as his limited budget, he has only changed the essential parts, which, aside from the driver's seat, compromise of a Personal Neo Eagle steering wheel, and a set of gauges.

Defi's exhaust, water and oil temps, and oil pressure gauges sit prominently on the dashboard for on the fly checks of the vitals as the clock ticks by.

With this simple, well research function oriented build, Norman chases his dreams at the TIMETOATTACK! Sepang every year, aiming to outdo himself and the clock every year. 

Norman's been keeping detailed logs of his research, findings and track experience online for all to share and learn with him, check it out at!


F22C 2,200cc NA
6 Speed Manual
Drive Layout
Max Output

Power Mods
Password JDM Carbon Intake
Koyo Radiator
Greddy Oil Cooler
J's Racing FX 70RS Dual Exhaust
J's Racing Exhaust Manifold 
ACT Clutch
Hondata Flashpro

17' Enkei GTC01
Achilles 123S 255/35R17
Project Mu Brake Pads
Custom Brake Ducts from Lye Design
Tein Super Racing Circuit Master

Mugen FRP Hardtop
Voltex Type 2
Wasp Composites Carbon Kevlar Race Splitter

Recaro SPG (Driver side)
Steering Wheel
Personal Neo Eagle
Defi (Exhaust Temp, Water Temp, Oil Temp and Oil Pressure)

Special thanks: 
Norman would like to thank Mike Kang of CounterSpace Garage for all the tech help, Lye Design for the refinements to cooling and bodywork, YHI especially Isaac Tan for help on the rims, Dean Ong of Auto Racing Technik for the ECU tune and his wife for understanding his passion for driving.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Japfest 2 2014

Words and Snaps by Sam
Japfest 2 is a celebration of Japanese performance cars, held annually at Donington Park circuit in the UK. Introduced in 2010 in order to supplement the now monstrously huge original Japfest show which is held earlier in the year at Castle Combe circuit, Japfest 2 now also promises to be an event well worth attending for all those into Japanese cars.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Motoring Heritage Day

Words and Snaps by Ben

If you are a motorhead and have never heard the Bosch moniker, you have probably not been living on Earth since the 1890's.

The relation between cars and Bosch is nothing short of a symbiotic bond. Almost every step of cars' evolution, Bosch was there with an innovation, and thus all the way since 1897 with the Magneto ignition, the very first engine starter. This device changed the life of car owners, who did not have to crank engines manually, saving time, efforts and even injuries.

Since then Bosch developed a taste to revolutionising the motoring world and within a century, has added over 355,000 more items to its list of products, to a point where it is now virtually impossible to find a car that does not carry a Bosch part.

It is to celebrate all those years of innovations that Bosch organised the Motoring Heritage day. This event wasn't just about showcasing Bosch's strong bond with automobiles, but also to let the crowds discover some of the rarities that are still surviving across the island.

And what a show it was! Singapore is well known for its ruthless rules regarding cars, which only leaves the most hardcore motorheads to stand firm and strong against all odds. To see all these classic wonders together wasn't just a show of history, but also an inspiration to keep fighting for our passion in Singapore.

While Bosch has the technological heritage, it's thanks to the Malaysia and Singapore Vintage Car Register (MSVCR) that all these out-of-time beauties were found and gathered for the event.

Founded in 1955, what started off as the Malayan Vintage Car Register has grown to have over 400 members worldwide, bringing together a wonderful collection of vintage pre-war and classic cars on Earth.

The Register's mission to encourage the use and preservation of period cars and bikes has stayed strong for over 60 years, and judging by the rides present at the show, they are doing it right.

What I especially love about classic cars and bikes are the details. Whether they are brought about by the owner, such as this 1930 BSA Sloper with a morning star gear shifter to set the mood...

Or original details, which adorned most cars if not all.

The hood pieces always catch my attention. Their original purpose was to be radiator temp gauge, as on this 1929 Morris Minor Roadster.

From there, and as engines became more reliable, they evolved to be decorative elements, most often lady-inspired.

Others were more brand specific, such as Bentley's Flying B...

Or Jaguar's leaping feline.

The interiors too were refined beyond function.

These were times where form met function in classy simplicity, and thanks to low volumes of production, car makers were able to put in all the efforts needed to make every model different. Every body curve unique. Every detail personal.

Through the show, we were able to spot some of Bosch's inventions, such as the turning signal, which they invented in 1928 (yes, you owe it to Bosch).

This BMW 327 Cabriolet was sporting its original concept: A panel that would flag out on the side of the car.

Another Bosch contribution are the windshield wipers, which they introduced in 1926.

It would take too long to list down all 355,000 innovations they brought about, but in more recent years, they have devised features such as the ESP in 1995, Start-Stop System in 2007, and more recently the Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) in 2013.

"They don't make them like they used to" is a saying we'll never stop hearing, and it is true in essence.

Economics, globalisation and our materialistic societies have all but killed the degree of commitment that was given to each and every car models.

We will probably never bring such a golden age back, as we enjoy different types of motoring gratifications, such as reliability, safety, and of course, power.

All we can do is hang on to the old mementos and make sure they don't fade in time. MSVCR's pledge to keep is honorable, and the pride each owner has in sharing stories about their beloved cars is evident.

After this wonderful walk back in time, all we can do is wish the MSVCR to continue on its honorable path, while looking forward to more motoring innovations from the brains at Bosch.

There were so many timeless machines, that it would be unfair to leave without sharing more sights of these rare beauties. Enjoy the gallery!

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