SPEED NEWS March 2016

Speed News Magazine - The Official Magazine of the National Auto Sport Association

Issue link: http://mag.speednewsmag.com/i/647559

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Page 41 of 75

A s racers, we do a fair amount of bench racing. During the off-season we sit behind our computers and mock up a possible new car to race. We search Craigslist for cheap vehicles. We look on Ebay for inexpensive go-fast bits. We read the rulebook and try to find the right car with just a little edge against the competition in a given class. Over the years I've built probably 20 racecars on my computer, most of which never turned a single lap around a track. This off-season I decided to stop imagining and start doing. I wanted to build a car and run in a series where I could get the most bang for my buck. When you crunch the numbers, that's NASA's Honda Challenge. Honda Challenge is where well-designed cars run in close competition on track, have lots of aftermarket support, and are relatively inexpensive to build and maintain. My mind was made up. For the 2016 racing season I would build a Honda Challenge 4 car from the ground up. I know it's cheaper to buy someone else's used racecar as opposed to building one from scratch. Nothing loses value faster than a dusty racecar in someone's side yard when there's a baby on the way. I understand that buying a used car is cheaper, but sometimes I like to do things the hard way —so I can get my way. I didn't want to sacrifice anything with this build. I didn't want to cut corners. I didn't want to finish someone else's project. I wanted to build the ultimate Honda Challenge car with no apologies — with a budget in mind, of course. So, I fired up my computer and began the concept build of a nationally competitive Honda Challenge 4 car. The first thing I did was read the rules. Understanding the current rule set will certainly save you a lot of money. There is no need to buy lightweight Lexan for windows when it isn't allowed in the H4 rule set. What I found in the current 2016 rules that was the most interesting to me at the beginning of the build were the required minimum weights. A 1989 Honda CRX DX STORY AND PHOTOS BY ROB KRIDER FINDING AND STRIPPING THE RIGHT PLATFORM BUDGET BUILD: HONDA CHALLENGE PART 1 42

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