Nerd's Eye View: Science of Speed S2000
By: Sarah Forst
Images by Sarah Forst and Wes Dumalski
Back in March while covering the Modified Streetcar Shootout, this S2000 was tearing up the track. The car was clean but sounded dirty and upon inspection under the hood, the engine looked like it was built by techs in white lab coats. The S2000 was piloted by Chris Willson of ScienceofSpeed, a shop in Chandler, Arizona that specializes in Honda royalty- NSX and S2000 builds. They provide everything from regular service and maintenance to crazy engine builds. Given their 1992 Grand Prix NSX won the 2009 Modified Shootout and their 1992 Sebring Silver NSX won the 2012 Modified Shootout, they appear well versed in building a reliable all-around race car. This 2004 Honda S2000 that caught our attention wasn't participating in the shootout but after witnessing some insane lap times, we wanted a closer look.
|The ScienceofSpeed S2000's aero is track legit. The J's Racing Type GT widebody kit is a CFRP / FRP composite and offers functionality and form. The non woven FRP mat on the backside is lightweight and strong but also smoothes airflow to reduce drag.|
What struck us about this car was the very exotic appearance! Surely this one off piece of art must cost a bajillion dollars and be impossible to recreate! As we looked closer we were absolutely shocked by what we found within this build. Not to take away anything from the brains at Science of Speed, but it is a testimony to a philosophy that has always seemed to work on track. Simple is best! Nearly every part on this car can be purchased off the shelf through ScienceofSpeed: the body kit, turbo setup, and suspension are all off the shelf items. Find a suitable chassis and add a proper roll cage to build a carbon (pun intended) copy. We are not going to pretend that it will be inexpensive, but to build a car of this caliber, fit and finish with off the shelf items is a special achievement indeed. Many of the parts SoS produces for the S2000 are beta tested on this car.
|The Honda F22C1 engine is a higher displacement version of the 2.0L F20C engine. The F22C1 is a 2.2L with 11.7:1 compression ratio. It has an 87mm bore and 90.7mm stroke making it undersquare. In an undersquare engine, the piston accelerates more quickly from TDC causing higher piston speeds at lower engine speeds and more internal stress, which can cause wear and ring flutter. Undersquare engines have more torque and produce good low end power but can’t rev as high due to the longer distance the piston has to travel. For this reason, the redline was reduced on the F22C1 to 8200rpm from the 8900rpm on the F20C engine, which has an 84mm stroke.|
In addition to the bolt on aero, this car uses an internally BONE STOCK F22C. For years we have been waiting for someone to successfully campaign a forced induction road race S2000 and SoS is doing exactly that. During our time in AZ we observed this car run every race and every session in 90 degree heat for 30 minutes at a time. No cool down laps, no time attack! Well, it did run some TT laps but this car was built to compete in ST1 and as such needs to be reliable for long races!
|That's a twin scroll Garrett GTX35R peeking through. It uses an internally wastegated Garrett turbine housing and Tial 50mm blowoff valve on the compressor side. The exhaust manifold is a ScienceofSpeed Schedule 40 short tube. Engine management is provided by an AEM Series 2 EMS. This is a bolt-on system (requires no modifications to fit) making 518 whp at 18 psi. In order to be ST1 legal they campaign the car on a more conservative tune with a power level of 430WHP at 16 PSI. Tuning duties are handled by Tony Szirka of UMS tuning.|
This car was not only reliable, but also FAST, turning some of the fastest lap times of any car at the track that weekend including the Modified Challenge cars. After its sessions Chris would pull it back in the pits, check the tires and oil, and top it off with E85. Nothing more than that a true one man crew fielded this car the entire weekend.