Daily Slideshow: VTEC Club 2018 Spends a Day Running Time Attack Laps
S2000s were up against Civics of all sorts at VTEC Club USA's 2018 meet at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway.
The One to Beat
The new FK8 Honda Civic Type R has been called overstyled, it has faux vents, and like most current cars you can't see out of the back of it. It's no S2000. But say what you will about the Type R, it's incredibly quick. In fact, half of Super Street's recent coverage of the VTEC Club USA's time-attack competition this year at California's Chuckwalla Valley Raceway was spent talking about and talking up the Type R. Why? Well, as you've probably heard the new Type R smashed the FWD record at the Nurburgring to the tune of close to seven seconds, turning in a 7:43.80, and stole a bag full of automotive journalists' awards in the process. This year was the first time Type Rs showed up at Chuckwalla, and they made an impression.
In the Desert
It was a hot sunny spring day in the California desert, and three Type Rs showed up to play. The results? In a full day of Honda-only time attacks, out of 80 cars spread across five groups, the no. 528 Type R driven by Steven Kronenberger posted the single best time, turning in a 2:01.332. The car wasn't even in the unlimited-class Group A—it ran in the next class down, Group A2.
That's right, an FK8 Civic Type R with a full interior, all mod cons, and only minor modifications bested every other Civic and S2000 at the event, including some highly modified track day competition. We don't have official confirmation, but since the photos show the Type Rs racing with open windows, competitors can take some small consolation from the fact that the Type Rs were probably racing with their A/C off.
That's racing. There's no substitute for cubic dollars. But a combination of smarts, hard work, and expert driving will always make a strong showing and it was a Honda CRX that made life difficult for the top Type R. Samuel Rothschild's Honda Challenge CRX, no. 521, posted the fastest lap of 2:01.912 to pull within a hair of the top time of the day, taking a Group A win in the process.
Second in Group A2, trailing Kronenberger's Type R, was Paul Parquette's no. 529 S2000, lapping at a best of 2:04.259. Only slightly behind Paul was John Cruz, logging a 2:04.651 in his no. 174 Civic hatch, a mild build he calls 'Goldy'.
King of the Group N1 class all-S2000 podium was Billy Jang's no. 369 car with a 2:04.975 best lap...
...followed closely by Jason Woan's hardtop no. 534 S2000, and Yukio Kishimoto in the no. 019 S2000.
In Group N1's all-Civic podium competition, Jose Mejia, who brought more than one car to top honors at Chuckwalla, took the top spot in his EG hatch with a time of 2:06.494, followed by Moui Tran in her EK hatch, with the no. 466 Civic of Andrew Munteanu close behind.
It was a non-VTEC vehicle competing in the more subdued Group N2 class that surprised some by finishing ahead of all Group N1 comers. Alan Jacquias' DC4 Acura Integra turned in a blistering a 2:05.652 to take the class and get the attention of everyone in Group N1. Jacquias' Integra shows that competition is all about rising to meet the challenge, so don't expect Type Rs to place as high at the next VTEC Club meet without a struggle—we expect to see about 80 other Hondas trying to make sure that doesn't happen.