S2000 Track Car Fights Admirably Against Supercharged FR-S
S2000 shows why its naturally-aspirated, high RPM powerplant is still one of the best of all time.
When it comes to simple, lightweight, rear-wheel drive sports cars, these days there are three common picks when it comes to the track day crowd. The Mazda Miata is an excellent little roadster, but, even with the 2019 update for more power, it’s still a bit short, at just 181. Then there is the Toyota 86, née the Scion FR-S, with a 205 horsepower Boxer four engine, a low center of gravity and a curb weight under 2,700 pounds, it’s also a strong contender. Then, naturally, there is the Honda S2000. Sure, it’s been out of production for the better part of a decade, but if you go look around the paddock at any track day, you wouldn’t know that. Honda’s roadster is a very popular motorsport platform.
This all explains why Peter Tarach and Dave Pratte of Speed Academy have modified examples of both the FR-S and S2000. As well-regarded track junkies, maybe these two can settle the on-going debate of which is better, the 86 or the S2K. Both have modified engines, both have upgraded aero, and both are running the same tires, Continental’s latest max performance summer rubber. Let the games begin.
The Speed Academy duo have two challenges for the two used rear-wheel drive sports cars, namely, a series of roll races, to showcase straight line performance, followed by some laps at Toronto Motorsports Park to see which handles the best.
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With Pratte wheeling the S2000 and Tarach piloting the FR-S, the two commence their series of roll races down the front straight at TMP. The supercharged FR-S gets the jump right away before the S2000 gets into VTEC. From there, the FR-S continues to slowly pull away from the S2000 up to about 100 MPH. The two repeat this race a few times, and the result is the same. After returning to the pits, both Pratte and Tarach actually end up praising the S2000. Pratte says: “[The race] was real close. Yeah, there is not a lot between them in a straight line. It [the Scion FR-S] has that little bit of top end which is what the supercharger is doing for him.” Tarach follows up by stating that the supercharged 86 makes about an extra 70 wheel horsepower over the S2000, which, he states, showcased impressive acceleration regardless.
On the road course, again, things seem to be going in the S2000’s favor. Both Pratte in the S2000 and Tarach in the FR-S take turns leading and chasing one another through the tight and technical road course. Additionally, both bang off the rev limiter, and botch a few corners, just like in real life. Unsurprisingly, the supercharged 86 munches up the S2000 in the straights, and is ultimately capable of setting faster lap times. Interestingly, the difference amounts to just three tenths of a second. Not bad for a 15 year old Honda, huh?