Team Ksport kills NASA
Written by Tage Evanson
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
If you missed the last press release (Find it here) it basically proved that the most basic KSport Kontrol Pro coilover kit for the Honda Civic is not only a class winning combination, but it appears to be far more competitive than most would tend to believe possible.
Fast forward to the premier event of the year and the pinnacle of amature road racing, the NASA Nationals at Miller Motorsports Park. Top amature and even professional drivers from around the country gather for four days of the most intense circuit competition around. Only the baddest, most extreme machinery on the planet dare come to the NASA Nationals. If youre driving a car with anything less than what the limit of the class rules allow, you might as well simply stay at home because youre going to embarass yourself. Looking at the class lineup in TTS there were 12 cars. A full race AMS sponsored Evo MR, Subaru STi, Race Technik sponsored Porsche GT3, BMW M3, a slew of C5 Corvette Z06s (including a $100K+ World Challenge race car!) a C6 Corvette and one wicked Mustang to round out the field. Oh and lets not forget about the silly little Honda Civic sitting on an off the shelf KSport Kontrol Pro coilover kit. The same kit that thousands of street and strip enthusiastic have already purchased and are running on their cars! 😉
Prior to the competition, the TTS drivers were checking out each others cars in the paddock and team KSport caught several competitors snickering why the little Honda would bother coming out to play with the big boys. That snickering quickly came to a stop when the first competition round was completed and the results were posted. The KSport Civic posted the 3rd quickest time. Driver Tage Evanson had never driven on the very fast Miller Motorsports Park 3.0 mile circuit so there was definitely room for improvement as he became more familiar with the track and found the quick line around the track. As expected, with every successive session the KSport Civic closed the gap more and more from the leader. On day three (out of four) of the competition, Tage Evanson set the fastest NASA TTS time ever posted at MMPs 3.0 mile configuration posting a 2:03.031 which was half a second quicker than anyone else, ever! On the last session on Saturday, Tage was still in the lead as no competitors could touch that time.
NOTE: For the past 3 years, the NASA Time Trial Nationals have only been a 3 day competition. 2009 was the 1st year that Time Trial was extended to a 4 day competition allowing competitors 2 additional sessions to post their fastest times. Under last years rules, the KSport Civic would have won.
Unfortunately, Sunday morning the weather did not cooperate for team KSport. There was a strong headwind and the majority of Time Trial competitors (across all clases) were all posting an average of 2 second slower lap times. Team KSport drove as hard as they could and the coilovers performed flawlessly and allowed some beautiful easily controlable 4 wheel drifts (in a FWD car to boot!) but the effort was still not enough to improve over Saturdays time.
You dont need to have a Ph.D in aerodynamics to realize that the C5 Chevy Corvette Z06 has less drag and is more aerodynamic than a Honda Civic so they were less impacted by the headwind, not to mention they have a ton more power to blast their way through the wind. NASA Officials later confirmed that the two previous top Corvette drivers were “sweating bullets” on Sunday morning but somehow managed to find just enough time to squeak past and take the win. While 3rd place isnt bad, its actually REALLY impressive when you consider the following:
#1 – The Kontrol Pro Damper System on this Civic is the most entry level basic kit you can buy. Certainly the RR kit with stiffer springs would have likely crushed the competition.
#2 – 1st place ended up with a margin of victory of .533 seconds ahead which is extremely close on a 3.0 mile track! Then 2nd place was missed by a scant .038 seconds! Talk about a photo finish!
#3 – While the KSport Civic is pretty extreme as far as Civics go, its still got a lot of development remaining before its fully optimized for the NASA TTS class. Clearly the KSport Civic was the underdog for the class and the best part about the results was that by the end of the competition, drivers across all classes were checking out the car and offering handshakes with genuine respect and still in disbelief that a Civic could even get remotely close to winning.
The KSport Civic will return looking for revenge in 2010, but for the time being, its time to get to work on the car preparing it for the 2009 Super Lap Battle. The Civic will be competiting in the FWD Unlimited class going up against the likely overdog, Chris Rado and his wicked Scion TC. They will also be seeing if they can make history by beating the GM Cobalts record breaking time set back in 2006 and has since remain uncontested.
Can Tage Evanson and the KSport Civic do it with just a Kontrol Pro kit? Stay tuned to find out! 🙂
Editors Note: As promised, heres a teaser of the images that Steven Cabana captured at the track. More to come!
I love this shot, showing Tage in the foreground with the Vette bringin up the rear. Good driving from Mr. Evanson, and great pictures from Steven Cabana.
Check him out at Head-On Photos -Matt