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Vtec Club 2020 - Chuckwalla Raceway



So this was a special day for me not only was it my very first time attending Vtec Club event but also my first time at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. It was a great honor for me to have been able to drive Project 71-109 on the track with all the other impressive car and drivers. As much as I enjoyed my track day last month Laguna Seca with all the high horsepower cars. There is something that just feels more at home when I get to drive with a bunch of stripped out cars going completely flat out through every corner.

I knew it was going to be a good event when I stopped for gas about 20mins from the track and was greeted by a couple other s2k's, Integra's and an EK hatch.

The event was very professionally organized and it helped that the drivers were all there with the same goals in mind. Driving in the Advanced, open passing class went off without any drama. Well not exactly without drama but I'll get back to that a little later.

It was great with enough time to walk around the paddock between sessions it felt like a car show with the added bonus of some track time. The event wasn't restricted to only Honda's but I'd say that the Honda's probably made up 95 percent of the cars there.

For me I really enjoyed just being out at event, what a difference a year makes. Last year I had a hard time keeping up with what show or event to attend. With the Project 71-109 unpacked, tire pressures and basics checks completed it was time to get registered and get my head right for my first session out.

This time around I had addressed a couple lessons learned items from my previous track day. The first being the lack of front traction. This event would be my first time running a non-staggered setup. This time I would run a 255 squared setup and with a recommended front sway bar to reduce the oversteer every complains about on a squared set. Like most of my track days I was able to get everything installed just days before so the first session out would definitely be a test a tune session.

So they ran the Advanced and Super Advanced groups like Time Attack runs grouping the fastest runners first. For my first session I pre-grid towards the back which would allow me to spend the first session learning the track and getting a feel for the new setup.

Overall my first session out in Project 71-109 went well with no drama, well at least for me; there were a few others that spent some time in the dirt. For some reason the mr2 spyders had a hard time keeping their cars pointed in the right direction. But I have to give it to them; they definitely went for it the entire time.

With a better understanding of the track (and my car) it was time to go out for my second session and this time I was able to push the car a lot harder. I also was lucky enough to find another s2k that I was able to race with. We were both pretty even, switching positions every couple laps to let the other person take the lead. We each had our own sections of the track where we were faster. This was one of my favorite parts, being able to battle with someone, trading positions and pushing each other to go faster. By the end of my second session and thanks to my battle with the other s2k I was able to drop 3 seconds off my first session's time. Not too bad.

The more confidence I got the more spend I found. My third session went a lot like my second time out. I was able to brake later and accelerate earlier which enabled me to go another 2 second faster than my last sessions. So that's now 5 seconds faster than my first run. My third session out I was once again able to find and battle the same s2k from the second session and once again it couldn't have been more fun. I'm sure the spectators on the front straight could see the smile on my face as we flew by.

With the car feeling good and the outside finally starting to go down it was time for my fourth and final session of the day. I was determined to drop my time once again. I was a little disappointed not to find my favorite s2k to battle with but after finding myself with some breathing room on the track it was time to really go and see just how far I could push Project 71-109. About 3/4 of the way through my session I found that limit (I'll post a vid of my off). But not before shaving another 2 seconds off my time putting my faster lap at a 2:10.75.

I knew I was pushing my Potenza re-71r hard, hearing the fronts on each entry and feeling the rears drift through each corner but that what it's all about. Being able to take your car all the way up to its limit. Between the freshly paved surface, the hot re-71s and me pushing things to limit it was only a matter of which lap it was going to happen on and finally it came. In a split second I felt the rear slid a little too far, gave the wheel a quick correction but it was too late and the dreaded s2k snap oversteer put me off track, then back across the track. Thankfully no one was behind me and I was able to get the car pointed in the right direction without getting stuck. Well it was time to bring the car in and see how bad the damage was, thinking to myself "well at least I'm able to drive it back into the pits"

After a quick run through I found that the only damage was to the right front tire where the fender "grabbed" the tire and tore up the sidewall. But again at least I would be able to drive Project 71-109 back home. So in the end it was a good day

My first Vtec Club event couldn't have gone any better? I was able to meet a few really good guys, talk track strategies and discuss cars. What could be better. I can't wait for Vtec Club to host another event. Until then it's time to continue Project 71-109 with a new set brakes and my custom Works Wheels (for daily) coming in, stay tuned for more project fun.


Special thanks to Caliphotography.com for the on track photos and vids.


Everything Else. Enjoy!!


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