Photos by Misa @niftymisa and Angel @thatog_nemo. Words by Joe @charged_ and Angel.
As long-time supporters of the Vtec Club series there was no way we were going to miss the first Autumn Speed Festival. This was the first all-Honda event and although we love seeing all makes and models it was pretty damn cool seeing so many purose built Hondas at one event.
This is actually the first Vtec Club event that we've shot and shared in a blog post. Looking back I'm not sure why we haven't been shooting and blogging since the beginning since we're out at most Vtec Club events to drive or hang anyway. Shooting added another dimension of fun to the event becuase it gave us a great excuse to really check out Vtec Clubber's cars in detail and talk to drivers more about their builds. We're looking forward to getting up close and personal with many more drivers at future events and maybe even doing some features or something.
Myself and Misa were shooting most of the day and when it came time to edit we realized how quickly photos add up. We snapped several hundred photos of the 80-100 cars in attendance but with the Black Friday craziness at the store there was just no time to edit them all. We'll be walking around and shooting at rd.5 at Button Willow this weekend also so if you don't see your car in this post check back next week for rd.5 coverage!
Side note before we get started, we edited a lot more photos that we didn't have time to add to this blog post either. To download high res versions or peep the full set, follow this link to Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/146662880@N02/
One of the highlights of the day was the presence of Tatsuru Ichishima, president and creator of Spoon Sports. I believe he was visiting from Japan to attend the SEMA show in Las Vegas and Global Time Attack's Super Lap Battle. Not sure how he heard about the Autumn Speed Festival but it was pretty cool of him to attend. Especially since Spoon Sports had their own event starting a few hours later at Go Tuning in Orange (around 2 hours away).
The legendary Honda tuning shop out of Tokyo, Japan was started by Ichishima in 1988 and has become a powerhouse when it comes to producing balanced yet unequaled aftermarket parts for Hondas. Enthusiasts like Ken Gibson were happy to get the chance to meet Mr. Ichishima as he really is a celebrity when it comes to Honda tuning and aftermarket support.
Other enthusiasts like Joel Webster were happy to gain a bit of insight into what a man like Ichishima-san thinks of the Hondas present at the event. And of course, to have him embellish his signature on whatever Spoon Sports goods were present to have as keepsakes and memories.
Though John Cruz had no Spoon goods on his Integra Type R, Mr. Ichishima was gracious enough to apply his signature to his Type R spark plug cover. Request like these show a real respect for the man. His impact and presence is that of a legend.
Another visitor from Japan, Kazuhiro Furukawa, better known as the man behind Osaka JDM. Kazuhiro has been building this EG Civic for track use here in California and was excited to shake it down at Big Willow at the Autumn Speed Festival. Driving Big Willow for the first time, Kazuhiro held his own, hanging with Big Willow-veteran times. It will be interesting to watch this car evolve over the next few months.
The red NSX was finally ready to get a few laps in. It felt great, but will still need a good bit of work before it is competitive. To be honest this is a back-burner project for us right now while we focus on other projects. But next year when we really tear it apart for a full build I think everyone will be really happy with how it turns out. Right now it's just a fun car to drive. So fun in fact that it's pretty much become my daily haha
While some experts were continuing their dominance, drivers like Joel "Nite Grind" Webster were getting their first taste of track experience at the fastest track in the VTEC Club series. Joel has been building his 96 spec Ferio for a couple months now and times are improving quickly. Track life fenders, ferio rear wing, and Enkei Racing S leave it looking aggressive, while all sorts of EK4 optional goods rest in the interior to provide some show to compliment the go.
Seasoned drivers like Amir Bentatou prove that improving driver skill never stops. Amir took 1st place and snagged a new personal best of 1:29 in the Marvelous Tune X Nemo's Garage NSX. Congrats Amir!
Alex Zhao of Wheel Flip/Arcane Wheels recently made major aesthetic and performance imporovements to his S2000. Supercharged, aggressive Voltex aero (Voltex front bumper, over-fenders and Type 7 rear spoiler). Awesome seeing so many people involved with the automotive industry taking part in this series, shows how quickly it's growing.
Matt Roger of M's JDM Motors and Dimes Performance fueling up his real EF6 CR-X before take off. Matt imported this thing just for the purpose of wailing on it on track, something many of us would only dream of doing. On a set of burning red TE37s.
The gentlemen of Loi Spec Garage came out with their Integras and put in work on track. Pictured is Loi Hua's instantly recognizable k-swapped Type R sporting a First Molding front lip, First Molding hood, Voltex wing, PCI side skirts, some killer ZE40's, Recaros, a host of Mugen parts and much more. Also pictured is his brother Brian's DB8 Integra, featuring J's front fenders and hood, as well as a C-West front bumper.
I LOVE seeing cars of this caliber at track putting all of these ultra high-quality Japanese and American parts to work. The cars that come out of Loi Spec regularly display show-quality, but don't get it twisted, these are track machines. Being able to take honors at a Southern CA car show is just a bonus.
Arizona resident Phil Robles came out with his well known and loved EG Civic. Phil has come out to Vtec Club events before but this was Phil's first time at Big Willow. Hard to believe considering Phil is seemingly always at track somewhere, but I suppose there is a first time for everything. Phil put down a final time in the low 1:30's, which is pretty damn quick, but was already looking forward to improving his times with another trip out to Willow Springs. I guess that shows how much he loves to push himself to improve and continue to grow as a driver. His civic features Chargespeed fenders and side skirts, C-West front bumper, J's rear GT Wing, TE37RT's and just about every other item an EG enthusiast could fanboy over.
Word on the street is there are some big changes coming soon. Can't wait to see the next step for this car. It was great seeing you Phil!
Amongst the fastest on the day was Jose Mejia with his DC Integra. Another car that could easily be mistaken for a show car. Don't let the fancy Mugen spoiler or the European front end fool you, Jose's DC is 100% track. Featuring a B20 that is pushed to the limit of it's class rules, its insane how fast this guy makes 160 Horsepower look. Jose put down a 1:34, which obliterated the old N2 track record and allowed him to take 1st overall in N2 class. A great effort by Jose and the rest of team Chewerks. Congrats Jose!
Henry Fierros getting ready to take his champagne colored EK Ferio out on track. PCI side skirts, Special Projects front lip/splitter, and Mag blue TE37s. We've helped Henry out with quite a few parts on this car and it's awesome to come out and see people like him putting them to good use!
John Cruz brought his 98 spec Integra Type R out and bested his previous PB. John was running mid 1:40's in his old GS-R swapped EK. A couple months later, he improved to low 1:40's. And after round 4, he is now sitting at a 1:37. It was interesting to hear this from someone like John because I have personally known him to be a great driver for quite some time. It just goes to show that no matter how good of a driver you are or think you are, there is always room for improvement. Happy to see your skills evolving John, keep going!
James Ornelas aka "Ghostwerks" and his 96 spec MFactory EK. 5 lug conversion, burning red TE37s. Simple but looks great.
An impressive duo of CR-X's that were present at the event. The first being the k-swapped, olive green CR-X belonged to the guys over at Barramundi Wheels USA. The second belonging to Carlos Garcia aka "DPK Los". Recently acquired from Jo of 38 Speed, Carlos wasted little time in getting this rex prepped and ready for track duty.
James Li's HKS themed S2000 made an appearance. Equipped with Volk ZE40's, a Voltex swan neck, Spoon Sports front bumper, and much more. Thanks for the support, James!
Ken Gibson is still growing as a driver but I love hearing about how excited he is to be out on track. Kenny doesn't care so much about the time he puts down, but more so about having fun. That is the true essence of VTEC Club. Just get in your car and push it as hard as you can with a big smile on your face.
Mark aka Ecko_3420 leading the pack out of turn 9 and into the final straight in his EK hatch. Track life fender cut outs, Bomex rear spoiler, and a BattleCraft hood made to work with a 96-98 front end.
Son Vo aka n00dler's aggressive S2000 bringing it home after a session on track. Hard to tell by the photo but Son is on a set of the new SSR GTX01, a great looking wheel.
A photo of Mr. McRib himself fixing a cooling issue he was suffering from. Turns out a slim fan is necessary when running an oversized header. An easily correctable issue though, as Joel was back out in no time.
Not quite sure who owns this EG but I really loved the way it looked. Very purpose-buil and well executed.
Tom Liang chopping it up with Melvin "Rod" Rodriguez while checking his tire pressure on his K-swapped Civic EF. This image embodies what the VTEC Club series is to me: Camaraderie. Everybody is an equal. Everybody wants to see the next man succeed. Fast times are great and come with seat-time, but having fun is most important. It's a great feeling to be in this environment.
Hope you guys enjoyed the coverage. See everyone this weekend at Button Willow!
Once again, to download high res version, click HERE.