Streets of Willow
A HYBRID production.

John Moeller

-Warning- Heavy Image Content. And it'll look bad at anything less than 1024x768. Sorry.

Back in January, Joe Rogers of Hybrid inquired about the possible attendance there would be if he was to put on an day at the track day for Hybriders. Within 3 weeks, he had received full payment from over 40 people who wanted to attend the event.

Quite honestly, I wasn't interested at first. I drove my car on the street, and knew little to nothing about driving it on a track. I've never autocrossed the car. The correct racing line was something I knew nothing about.

In #crx, an IRC channel where I'm an active member, the smack talking had already begun.. Tam To (90 CRX Si/B16) was trying to get us all signed up, and make a trip out of it. I was talking smack to Dave Estrada (90 CRX Si/Built D16A6) that he wouldn't be able to get the day off of his pathetic grocery store (note: I also work at a pathetic grocery store). Joe Locash (88 CRX Si/B16) was talking smack about getting to borrow a Full Race CRX from HASport, and would trounce all of us on the track. We'd also be competing against other channel regulars like Hlau (93 RX-7 on race rubber) and Frank Lin (95 Del Soak, modified) that would surely kick our asses. The stage was set, and I sent in my $80.

The next problem was the fact that I would surely get smacked around on my current car setup. JRSC'd single cam wasn't too bad, but my stock brakes and tires were. I put myself on course to transform my car by the event.

First order of business was to rid myself of the JRSC. I traded away my JRSC for the bulk of a B16A swap, and ran a stock D16A6 until I could perform the swap myself. I said good riddance to the Jackson in January.

Next, I needed wheels and tires. I went with the 15in Rota C8, and the 195/50/15 Dunlop SP Sport 8000s. I got these for 3 reasons; They were light, they were cheap, they fit over 15in brakes.

3 weeks later, in early March, I installed a Fastbrakes kit. Now my braking and tires were up to the task.

The next 2 months were spent completing the puzzle of B16 parts I needed for the swap. I performed the swap in mid May, so that my problems would be worked out (hopefully) in plenty of time for the event.

Although I was hoping that everything would go smoothly and I knew there would be some problems, I underestimated the power of Raceaflais, the Greek God of Racing Chaos. Although my car was running rather well, it wasn't enough to stop him. A few days before the event, I had a problem with the car overheating. Deciding this isn't what I wanted on the long trip there and back, I slapped in a new dual core radiator, dropped in water and water wetter, wired the fan on to an ignition source and used a new thermostat. My brakes were becoming more and more warped, and my car's idle was getting weirder and weirder. My battery in the back was too large to be mounted correctly on the right hand side of the hatch, so I put my smaller battery back in the stock position in the front. Where's my battery tray and hold down? Who knows, had to get a new one. Put the battery in, and it's dead, won't hold a charge. It's a good thing Autozone is open until 10pm. But now my intake won't fit. It's back to factory airbox.

The trip from Phoenix to San Diego earns me a sunburn on my left arm from no A/C. The 2 Integra owners laugh at us and our non-bolt-in swaps. One in particular makes references to his AC being too cold. Bastard. I fall asleep laughing my ass off to made up rap lyrics by a CRX owner who's spent too much time driving today.

Remaining true to our style, we all ended up arriving late at the track. Oddly enough, we still beat most people there. After a brief driver's meeting, we were ready to hit tech then the track.



The Locash Racing Prepped Honda Focus-R. Yeah, it's a rental.


The rental VW Beetle. Removed Airbox and Filter meant MIL light for 400 miles.

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Elliot's Pigtegra. B16A, 16in w/ Nitto NT450. Coilovers.

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Justin's Pigtegra. B16A, 16in w/ Yoko A520. Neuspeed + Konis, Bushings, ITR Rear Swaybar, Rear Strut Bar.


Alex's (Gunner1) 88 CRX Si. SOHC motor, intake, exhaust, GC + AGXs.


Joe's (locash) 88 CRX Si. B16, I/H/E, fastbrakes, Neuspeed + Tokico HPs, R-compound tires.

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John's 89 CRX Si. B16, fastbrakes, Eibach + Tokico HPs, 15in w/ Dunlop SP8000s.

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Extra Picture, for the ladies

Tam's 90 CRX Si. B16, Jun cams, SiR brakes, GC + AGXs, 15in w/ Dunlop SP8000s.

Also there with us, but not on the track:

Tony's 90 CRX Si. Rick's 91 CRX Si.

All of us passed tech without a problem, which was great news. The first half of the day was a no passing affair; if you ran slow, you were to pull out into a coned-off area to allow the faster drivers to pass you and then come back on the track. All first time beginners were to have instructors, but there weren't enough around for me to get one. I prefered this, because I felt stupid and nervous enough, never having done this before. I followed a driver with an instructor trying to get the line, which was good enough for me. I did about 8 laps or so, and pulled in.

I was overjoyed. Track time rules! I wanted to get back in and see everyone else driving the track!

The advanced drivers were very impressive. Great to see Shawn Church out there representing the CRX in the advanced class.

Later in the day, we dropped the technical S section before the straightaway. This made us all a little bit faster, and passing was allowed on the main straightaway only. The heat of the day was still getting to my car and my tires, and I'd have to come in after about 6-8 laps or so each session. It was also interesting to note that while most advanced and intermediate drivers were out for the full 30min sessions, most beginners had to come in for whatever reason.

Speaking of intermediate class..

Other Cool Pictures..

Ever seen an S2000 with duct tape?

How about a heapin' serving of turbo hybrid CRX? Props to David Lee at Motionless for showing off the CRX.

This is how you know you got your money's worth:

This event really rocked. I had never taken my car to it's limits in this configuration, and it was very fun to do. I didn't feel threatened by the better drivers, and the event was handled very smoothly by the Hybrid guys. Everyone was very cool and helpful, something I didn't expect for my measley $80.

While I'm certainly no expert, I did think of a few Do's and Don'ts for this and other driving events.

As for all the smack talking, as expected, nothing really happened. Of course, Dave didn't make it, which I had predicted. Justin and Joe both looked very good out in intermediate class. Advanced guys were fast. Very. As for the rest of us, Tam kicked all our asses. My car overheated on the track after about 8 laps each session, despite all my precautions. I will avenge this next time I can.


Do...

  • Give your car a rigorous inspection. Everything that can go wrong will go wrong is the proper attitude. No matter what you do, you have to drive this car home. Don't push the little nagging problems out of the way. Fix 'em. Or they'll come back to get you later.

  • Get all the crap out of your car. On the last run of the day, part of my hatch cover (the vertical wall part) came loose and was flung about the hatch. You can't exactly look behind you and see what's flopping around with a full face helmet, going 70 down the front straight. Coming off the track is time you just wasted.

  • Listen to the people who know. Follow their line, if they have advice to give take it. Think of it as a free 5 minute driver's school.

  • Realize that your tires and brakes may be junk when you leave. My pads have been making noise since the event, and Scott's Hybrid 'Bus' needed new tires when he got home.

  • Understand what your car is going to do when you lose it. Don't try to over-correct, and remember there's people following you. In addition, anticipate the person you're watching is going to bunk every turn, that way you don't follow them. In other words, take it easy.

  • Gloat about how good you are/were. Remember, you're gonna be telling your grandkids you were King Racer back in the day, better get your tall tales straight now. Consistency is the key to any good lie.

  • Plan a party afterwards. This is where you chill with the people you just raced with and tell the tall tales. Excuses optional. For me and the group I was with, this included a keg of beer and watching car videos. Weeks worth of comic references followed that party.

  • Have fun. This is what it's all about, I dare you to not have fun doing this.


    Don't...

  • Think you're gonna get away with this without problems. My car tossed 3 codes on the way out, all related to my reliance on crimp connectors. Look for an upcoming review about crimp connector hatred. Hell, I even broke the starter connector out on the track. I also killed the fast idle valve on the trip and racing. Whee!

  • Get the idea that you're King Racer. This event was just a driving event; yours may be different. But being too cocky about it can only mean trouble for you and the others. Be good. :)

  • Do too much last minute stuff. I had originally planned doing my swap in June and not May. If I had, I probably wouldn't have even made the event. Things go wrong and take time to fix. Unfortunately.

  • Think your car needs to be race-prepped to drive. Learning how to drive YOUR car was the idea behind this event. With a bone stock car, you find out very fast which components need to be upgraded first. Usually brakes and tires.

  • Neglect to fill-up. I had approximately 30 race miles and took 4 gallons afterwards. Tam, who was kicking everyone's ass out there, was bogging from fuel starvation at the end of the day. Werd. :)

  • Forget those who helped you. Brian G at HASport not only got my radiator to me on the same day I ordered it, he also let me borrow his helmet (very nice helmet) for the event. Much thanks to Alex G (Gunner1) to let us wreck his place. Hybrid guys made this event awesome. It went so much smoother than I expected.

  • Ramble on with a cheesy Do/Don't list on a webpage.


    If you didn't get enough, you can browse the directory and look at the other pictures I took. I got most of the CRX-related ones up here, though.

    You can also check out some of the in-car movies that Tam took.


    -John