Chris described the changes from 2016 to 2017 as being small and building upon an already superb package. As you can probably already see, Chris' interpretation of small and that of yours and mine are probably different. The suspension was just the beginning. With more drivers and cars looking to topple him from his streak of victories, Chris talked with long term partners, Garrett, about upgrading his existing Garrett turbo so that he could reach beyond the mid-500's. With the release of the new Generation 2 line of GTX turbos, Garrett suggested that he try the GTX3076R Gen2 that would provide the capacity for over 600 WHP while maintaining the same wide power band he enjoys. This was a very easy swap, as it was virtually bolt in. Using the same turbine housing and an only slightly different compressor housing, the swap just needed a minor modification to the hot side intercooler pipe. If only all modifications were that simple!
Another area of focus during the off-season was the transmission. Like so many racers, Chris was literally having to view transmissions as an almost 'disposable' item. 2016 saw three transmission swaps throughout the season – with the last issue occurring during the CSCS finale during practice. That caused Chris to have to miss the competition, but it forced him to start searching for a better setup and one that was within his financial limitations. Do not make the mistake of thinking that this is funded by unlimited resources – every dollar spent is carefully considered. Having run this car forever, he knew that the final drive was the source of frustration. He made a connection with Speed Factory in Washington on the Pacific Coast and discussed with them potential solutions. Speed Factory is an Albins dealer who specializes in Hondas. Albins is an Australian based company that specializes in the design and manufacture of drivetrain components for extreme use. The Albins final drive utilizes the same 4.4 ratio that Chris finds works perfectly for the K-Tuned Civic. The difference is that it is a billet forged component that has been heat treated and coated – rated for up to 1000 horsepower.
Lavigne Motorsports does all of the transmission work on the Civic, but in addition to the Albins final drive, they are working with TRE transmission for micro polishing and heat treating the entire gear set. TRE is not too far from the Ontario, Canada border thus is makes access much easier. In the past, Chris has had a great transmission in the car and then an okay transmission – lacking all of the go fast goodies – as a back up. This has meant that the case had to be opened up to transfer the good stuff to the back up transmission to maintain a competitive edge. Recognizing the wear and tear on equipment, this year Chris is going to have a back up transmission that is identical to the one in the car. It will be a Type R transmission containing an Albins Final drive and an OS Giken LSD that is tuned the same. It will be a simple swap of boxes should an issue occur in 2017.