What is amazing is that as you look over the list of 1st and 2nd place finishes throughout 2018 – understanding that there is no question that this is the work of a front running team – is the realization that this is a team that has been spending the majority of the season rebuilding and improving their car. The above photo highlights a few of the mid-season changes to aero, forced induction, and transmission not to mention getting used to changes that had happened in the offseason. Most teams during a major rebuild season either take the season off or, quite frequently, are not close to the podium as they sort through a plethora of issues and DNF’s. The K-Tuned Type R has brought home a ton of firsts at CSCS – including resetting it’s own Unlimited FWD record three times. The photo above shows the car shortly before the first event in 2018. Notice the front splitter … notice the Jackson Racing logo on the nose. Compare that with the first two photos page one … the differences are startling. The splitter stayed around for a while but in the search for even more power the supercharger logo came off after the first event and a Garrett Turbocharger is now under the hood. The work that happens with virtually every track team during every offseason almost pales when you look at what this team has done throughout the actual race season. It is also incredible when you realize that both James and Eric have full-time careers that do not involve building cars. Like most of the rest of us, this time attack obsession that they have occupies the majority of their free time – after work! You have read before about other high-end track cars that you yourself could build it. The same is true about the K-Tuned Type R. You could build this car. You only need about ten years, a mechanical genius and car builder who literally never quits, like Eric Lavigne at Lavigne Motorsports. Plus a data specialist who can setup, read, and interpret data, like Ian Rae at HeadsUpRacer.com. It would help to have a fabricator who can see a diagnose a problem and then build a solution, like Mitch Hemmen at Unit 2 Fabrication. Do not overlook the value of a carbon guy who builds composite products that look amazing and perform even better, like Alex Vongnhay at Spage Sport who James recently contacted about building aero parts for the R. Not to mention a host of other individuals and companies that have made invaluable contributions to this long term project. Let’s not forget, of course, that you need an owner and driver who has enough edge and hunger to get the job done – someone like James Houghton.
The move to a turbo setup understandably involved another learning curve. Eric at Lavigne Motorsports has been working with Garrett Advancing Motion for years, specifically on Chris Boersma’s K-Tuned Honda Civic, so that in itself was not a challenge. Getting all of the right parts for this chassis and having them in the right place was the challenge. The first run involved setting up a Garrett GTX3582 Gen II turbocharger with a dual wastegate manifold that located the turbo between the cylinder head and the firewall. The air intake was short and sweet – up through the hood where it could suck in a lot of air. The dual wastegate dump pipes exited the engine bay through the hood on the passenger side of the car with the main exhaust exiting via the passenger side door. This first rendition of the turbo setup was hot. Putting out about 730 whp was a good start but the heat, well, it was a little bit too much for comfort. A small fire plus a burnt hood stood proof of that. As if the competition at Road Atlanta was not hot enough already! Back to the shop for more revisions.