Aug 21, 2014

Tony's Track Days & Circuit One | Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park 7/20/14

What better way is there to spend a Sunday than by hanging out at the local racetrack to watch some racing? Alright, sure I'll agree.  There are tons of other great ways to spend a Sunday but nonetheless, when our buddy Andrew Weinle informed us that he'd signed up for the Circuit One driving experience, a few of us from SHG decided to get together and turn it into a day trip.

As a group of fellow Honda enthusiasts, we're about as tight-knit as it gets but with hectic work schedules and constant projects to attend to, it isn't always possible to get together as often as it may seem.

For that reason we try to make an effort from time to time and since Thompson Speedway is so conveniently located to us, it was an easy choice on this particular day.

Dre also rode up with his buddy Kurt (pictured below) who just got himself an 8th gen Civic Si so I'm sure he learned a thing or two being around some Honda heads like us.

 It wasn't just the Circuit One experience that made the day interesting. Tony's Track Days were hosting a 2-day event for motorcycles so we got to check out some very nice machines on 2 wheels.

Andrew's wife Lisa also came along for support...

A Ferrari F430 Spider was the vehicle of choice and with Theresa riding alongside since she's a driving instructor for Circuit One.

Lamborghini Gallardo catching sun rays as a bike zoomed past in the background, ugh!

Regardless of how fast these cars may be, they are just as equally as appealing from a form perspective with a high level of detail put into their designs...

Laurel from Circuit One managing the registration/check in booth and keeping things running smoothly...

Meanwhile we walked over to the concession stand to catch some shade and wait for Andrew's turn behind the wheel.

The paddock area was quite busy with the quantity of riders and that's saying a lot when you consider the space that a bike takes up. Some father/son bonding time going on here for sure...

Honda CBR 250R spotted with the infamous REPSOL livery...

Evan's coworker Rob has been a rider for some time and was also there with his new toy, a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.

Quite a fine piece of machinery! The bang per buck when it comes to motorcycles is on another level. It goes to show how much importance the power to weight ratio has on a vehicle's performance. It seriously has me questioning why I mod cars haha.

Being able to rev long past 10k rpm is something special. Time to reconsider some hobbies!

Maybe get into something like this? Honda did start out as a bike manufacturer after all. 

There were some race bikes present too. They really do look straight business, especially when in between sessions with tire warmers on.

Hrm hrm hrm!

Rack of sticky rubber ready to go at a moments notice.

I'd like to think that I'm modest so I don't need the whole works setup like that. A 2014 BMW 1000RR will do the trick just fine ;)

Fantastic looking gauge cluster for a fantastic looking bike.

The performance bike segment is very competitive at the moment with some seriously fast bikes being sold by every manufacturer. The Ducati 1098s is a few years old now and has been replaced by 1198 and then subsequently by the 1199, yet as you can see above, is still a very modern bike and by no means outdated.

 The aftermarket exhausts that were on some of the bikes present were of very high quality if I may add. Pie cuts, exhaust springs and tight clearances; the whole shebang.

Quite the looker this one in specific was!

Before we knew it, Andrew was back from driving and as you can see by the look on his face, had blast.

Evan and Theresa discussing with him how things went on the skipad. Evan's driven them previously so he could relate to his feedback.

Gorgeous Triumph Daytona 675 in Scorched Yellow parked by us. Quite the color!

Rob chatting it with Evan while grubbing on a hot dog.

Oh boy...

Lisa was having a good time it seemed!

Suzuki parked away from the chaos bordering the closed off oval section of the track.

Since it was more of a laid back day for casual shooting practice, I gave it a go as the bikes went by. Pushing the limits with super slow shutter speeds, the results paid off well when it did work. There's nothing like the satisfaction of seeing the subject submerged in a beautiful sea of motion blur when reviewing the shot in the camera's LCD.

It was time to wrap things up so we headed out of the track only to spend another hour on the parking lot talking about Hondas; to be expected really haha.

After some delays with getting the 2014 spec setup ready for use, the EP3 was finally back out from hibernating all year up until 4 weeks ago.

The Advan RG wheels were painted and came out perfect. Initially one of them was painted with a letter from the decal being slightly off place so the guys over at Extreme Restorations quickly offered to re do it free of charge although it did take a few weeks as it was a busy time for them. 

This was okay for the most part given that the new Fortune Auto 510 coilovers lacked droop (negative wheel travel) which would cause the tires to not fill gaps and so 6k Swift assist springs were added to gain another 1.75'' of travel from static ride height.

As it turns out, the struts also weren't long enough to provide the adequate stroke room while having a reasonable amount of droop and thus were sent back to be revised.

Research and development is a key aspect of getting components to work properly and FA was kind to cover the shipping costs and changes. As frustrating as it can be wanting to have your car back on the road, it needs to be done properly and dealing with professionals who stand behind their product is comforting to say the least. FA was also able to benefit from the feedback so it's a win-win at the end of the day.

New Direzza ZII tires complete the suspension setup and as you've come to expect, the fitment of it all is simply perfection.

Call it the Beast of the East!

The EP3 has also gone through a weight loss program by changing out the MemoryFab S68 driver's side bucket and factory passenger side bucket for a pair of F1Spec buckets which are very similar to the S68 but are a little wider and have some more cushion for the pushing. 2nd generation SHG seat rail mounts also dropped a few lbs which work great with the now OEM sliders. Along with a rear aluminum crash beam, lighter wheels + shocks and a few other things, Evan's been able to shed an impressive 138lbs all while keeping full interior.

Andrew's EP3 has also seen some changes over the season like chassis reinforcement bars, a Type R cluster, a Mugen Twin loop catback exhaust and various other bits.

His personal touch also shows throughout the bay through things that money can't buy.

Polished RBC manifold with the runner gaps cut out and some shaved bits is something you hardly see. The semi polished look goes well with the Karcepts AC/PS delete bracket and Hasport mounts.

Mugen + Spoon + Type R = match made in heaven.

Huge fan of this EP3 as you may notice. It really is my type of build without a doubt. Simple and perhaps understated yet it has the right changes where it's needed without taking anything away from the original car.

Evan trying out the Type R Recaro seats and analyzing the rear interior (or lack thereof haha).

Then Andrew went and did the same.

Still pretty much the same interior we've grown to love...

The engine bay as well, aside from the now Imron painted Neuspeed/SHG strut brace and no longer the externally mounted shock reservoirs from the Buddy Club Evo Dampers.

Needless to say it was a well spent day doing what we love with people that do too, all while experiencing something similar but new. It's been a while since the blog's had updates so I hope you enjoyed the somewhat long read. There is tons of content coming as I do my best to stay up to date with current events. A bit backed up at the moment since the level of quality is of high importance for me so naturally it takes a bit longer than ideal although I'm sure you can understand. Comments/feedback is always welcome! More soon...