The end of last month was a heated weekend – both literally and figuratively – down on the ‘mac of Donington Park, Leicestershire. With the previous Time Attack UK round I attended being a bit damp, I was looking much more forward to this trip (as were my camera and lenses). Again, to reel visitors in, the against-the-clock race event was running parallel with ‘Tunerfest Midlands’ which was a variety car show with a drift demo stage set up in overspill car park. I did get a few photos of the static display, but I want to fokus on motors that move, in this article in particular.
Case in point: enter Chris Williams and his ED7 Civic. He kindly allowed me to point the lens at his weapon of choice for the day, and for that I am highly thankful, because this duo is one a kind.
Chris got hold of this Civic back in September of 2003, so he should be in the vicinity of their anniversary at present moment. When it caught my eye at the Cadwell round earlier this year, I was slightly surprised how it made very little noise when it glided past in comparison to both the competitors, and your typical 1980s-90s VTEC Honda. No B-series buzz. No nat-asp rasp. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t disappoint, it just struck me with its unusual aura.
If you know Chris and his Civic, you know what’s coming. If not, let me put your quandary to rest. Long gone is the car’s original D-series running gear; this seriously fast, under-the-radar Civic build is animated by the famed K20 engine, stolen (not literally) from an Acura RSX Type S. Because Chris is a native Canadian, what us Brits know as the Integra is regarded as the “premium” version of the FF coupe that was sold as the RSX over in the States. Whilst the Land of the Rising Sun exclusively was treated to the DC5 Type R, US and Canadian markets got a decent compromise with the ‘Type-S’ model, equipped with a K20 rated to 200-210bhp depending on the trim level. Specifically, a home-built (the man assembled the powerplant together in front of his telly in his living room during the cold winter months) K20A2 rests under Chris’ bonnet, which is not riding solo, since its paired up with a pretty beefily-sized Rotrex C38-91 centrifugal-type supercharger. The results are astonishing on paper: circa 400bhp on demand via the [not so]loud pedal. Forced induction is always the go-to for more power, especially when its relatively more efficient and safer than going all-motor, to get high numbers on the dyno. The ponies are released through a 6-speed transmission, with a K20A3 4.7 final-drive, and sent to the Pirelli semi-slicks thanks to a limited-slip diff borrowed from a B-series Type-R.
Key items on the car consist of the following: Yellowspeed 2-way adjustable coilovers with external reservoirs, custom front splitter made from good-ol’ plywood, boot-mounted adjustable rear GT-wing, full-welded in rollcage courtesy of JBDR Fabrication, half-size radiator with custom ducting, a decent dose of gold heat-reflective tape, and a bespoke stainless 3″ exhaust system. The sum of all these parts make for a highly capable sub-900kg teal time-attack tool.
Ending the day on an excellent vibe, Chris put down a speedy lap of 1:17:498 in the timed final session, only to be bested by 0.117 seconds on the 1.979-mile National layout of the circuit. On the day, however, Chris managed to put down a solid 1:16.879 when the climate was sub-30 degrees. Goes to show how you are contending not only with your mind and the machine, but the earthly elements can throw everything at both cars and drivers, making this category of motorsport an intense one.
Did I mention that this was the very first time Chris has put rubber to road at Donington? Along with all the other circuits in this season’s rounds!
I am sure Chris is always striving to develop his own skill behind the wheel, exploiting the modern advancement in home-entertainment technology by spending hours going around virtual circuits on a VR simulator, and then applying incremental enhancements to his machine without upsetting any of the chassis’ balance.
Until next time, thanks for coming by…