Keep It Simple – Go Tuning's Spoon Sports Civic
What's the best thing to do to re launch a performance brand in the USA? Go racing. That is exactly what Go Tuning, the official North American distributor of Spoon Sport parts and the managers of Spoon Sports operations in North America has done in the world of Time Attack in a big way. In practice for the last Super Lap Battle, Dai Yoshihara, previous Formula D and MPTCC Champ peddled Go Tuning's Spoon Sports Civic to a blistering 1:46.3 second lap time around Buttonwillow's famed configuration 13 CW. This was faster than Chris Rado's long standing FWD Unlimited lap record in the high tech 1300hp F-Wing Scion TC, a record we assumed would be out of reach for a long, long time.
This speed with a team that virtually came to the Time Attack world out of nowhere, caused quite a buzz around the pits and in the Time Attack community. We just had to take a closer look at the car to show the public what makes it tick. Is it a multimillion dollar JDM super exotic dream? Read on and see.
Although they were not well known in the TIme Attack world, Go Tuning has had quite a bit of success in the world of endurance racing entering various Spoon cars in the 25 hours of Thunderhill for instance. Go Tuning imported the Spoon Sports FD2 Type R Civic from Japan where it had been campaigned as a Time Attack car. In fact this same car holds the Tsukuba Circuit FWD lap record. Go Tuning did a few things to make the car more suitable for North American conditions and brought it to Buttonwillow. In taking a close look at the car, we were amazed that it is not anything particularly mind bending or crazy, it is conservatively built and something that any reasonably smart individual could duplicate. The car was built for Spoon Sports in Japan by 5Zigen. The engine is the standard K20A with very straightforward mods. The engine features a head reworked with Toda valves, valvesprings and retainers, however the cams and the rest of the head are stock. A Toda racing head gasket is used to seal the head to the bottom end which has been fortified with 5Zigen pistons and rods. The only other modification performed to the engine itself was the addition of a larger baffled oil pan.
5Zigen fabricated the custom turbo system which uses a long tube header, leading to a side mounted turbo. This allows for a very short exhaust system which vents out the hood. Special permission had to be obtained to run this exhaust configuration. A Trust (Greddy) external wastegate controls the boost level and the wastegate discharge dumps right into the ultra short exhaust. Nice and simple.
An HKS TO4S turbo with a ball bearing center section provides boost with a relatively fast spool time. Dai reported to us that the power delivery is very smooth and predicable with little lag. The engine is not run at a particularly high boost level and in its current very mild state of tune, produces only about 430 whp. Those power numbers means that this Civic must be one efficient car. The intake manifold is totally stock.
An HKS Blow off valve is on hand to regulate boost. Since the engine management is speed density without a mass airflow meter, it can simply dump to atmosphere.