SCCA Runoffs Winner Andrie on the S2000

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An engineer by trade, Andrie Hartanto excels at vehicle development with his innate ability to problem solve and communicate clear, constructive feedback both in and out of the car. His love for driving was apparent at an early age; however, the opportunity to race only presented itself once Andrie was in his mid-twenties. Despite the relatively late start, he quickly established himself as a front-running racer. In only his third year of racing, driving an S2000 he won his first championship.

Our editor c32b met with Andrie when he was on holiday to Singapore. Andrie’s passion for racing and love for Hondas, especially the S2000, was apparent in his eagerness to share his experiences on the track. His down-to-earth demeanor despite his racing success made him just as familiar as any other car enthusiast who had met for a casual hang out session.

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What was your first experience with the S2000?
I’ve always liked the styling of the S2000 but never got a chance to drive one. My first experience came in 2006 with a brief drive of a friend’s car. I liked it then, but I had just started my racing career so I was flat broke.

In 2009 I was asked to drive for N1 racing driving the J’s Racing S2000 and competing in the Redline Time Attack. Spending a year with the car where we constantly tested and made the car better made me fall in love with the car and I decided to purchase one as my daily driver.

From then on, I wondered why not many people raced the car and the few who did didn’t have much success. I decided to give it a shot myself as I think the car is very capable.

What sort of potential in racing does the car have?
The first year I raced an S2000, the car showed great potential, breaking records that I had previously held in Honda Challenge 1. Afterwards, I decided to compete in SCCA where I would have more competition and get to compete at a national level. I managed to win in my first try, so that shows how capable the car is.

What was your favourite memory of the S2000?
My favorite memory on the track is when I won the 2014 SCCA runoffs. It is a national competition. so it’s a big deal for me. My favorite street memory is driving top down through the mountain where I enjoy the driving aspect as well as the scenery.

How does the car feel when driving and what do you like most about it?
Driving the S2000 requires sharp reflexes as it is very responsive. It turns on a dime and if you don’t respect it enough it will swap ends quickly. It might be a drawback for some people, but actually to me it is its best quality. A responsive car is what a racing driver seeks.

What is the closest rival to the S2000?
That is a very complex question. If you think about handling, it is one of the sharpest handling car I have ever driven. That being said, I haven’t had the luxury of driving modern exotic cars. As far as the engine, while it produces amazing output for such a small engine, I do wish Honda would stick a V6 with over 300 HP in there. As far as overall performance, there are a lot faster cars out there, but none give as great a feeling as the S2000.

Any message you wish to give to members of the S2000 community?
Watch me race a BMW this year with BimmerWorld racing. While it is not a Honda S2000, I do believe Honda and BMW share quite a bit of philosophy and both are great car manufacturer. And I do hope to get to drive Honda again soon.

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