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Because Already Racecar

The Honda Civic Type-R EK9 is quite simply a legend. It was the first to sport the scarlet signature of Honda’s finest performance cars; the Type-Rs, and it had one of the highest naturally-aspirated displacement-to-output engines of its time, a title that Honda would continue to raise the bar in over the next few years.

To bear the Type-R badge, the production shell was taken off the assembly line and given a once-over to reduce weight and stiffen up the chassis that included seam-welding the entire chassis as well.

In went a hand-ported B16B engine that would rev to the sky and the dish was ready to be served. Sides included a front helical limited-slip differential and a close ratio five-speed gearbox.

So when it came time to transform the Civic Type-R EK9 into a full-on racecar for the circuit, there wasn’t really much left to do because well, it was pretty much a racecar from the factory.

The B16B engine here was given a more extensive port and polish job on the head to improve flow while DTR Racing Stage 2 camshafts and DTR Racing valve springs together with Works Engineering adjustable cam pulleys completed the head upgrades. For the block, Wiseco forged pistons and Eagle connecting rods work with the stock crankshaft for durability.

A Skunk2 Ultra air intake manifold feeds air into the engine which is then mixed with fuel from the stock injectors fed by a Works Engineering fuel rail and fuel pressure regulator before the entire mixture is ignited by Brisk LGS spark plugs powered by a MSD ignition digital 6a kit.

Exhaust gases are let out via a custom exhaust manifold and piping system by Drift House. Works Engineering also provided the oil catch tank, high performance oil filter and oil cooler kit to improve the engine’s reliability during extreme race usage. Finally, a custom fuel surge tank prevents fuel starvation on high-G corners and a Synergy aluminium radiator keeps water temps down.

The engine’s upgrades might seem minimal for a racecar but it addresses all the vital areas that will be bearing the brunt of the abuse. However, a Link G4 Storm standalone ECU is the command centre that keeps all the different segments working harmoniously to power the car down the track. Tuning of the ECU was done by Senira Motorsports and Onwards Motorsports.

Sending power to the front wheels is the factory five-speed manual box aided by an Exedy Racing Clutch set and OS Giken full lock LSD to get maximum power down and reduce wheelspin.

On the suspension side, Aragosta Type-S coilovers are some of the most trusted suspension bits money can buy without having to mortgage your house and sell a kidney on the black market. Hence, they can be found here working hand-in-hand with the welded-in roll-cage and front strut bar.

Seeing that the car was already stripped of all unnecessary weight from the factory and then put on another extreme diet in preparation for the track, the lack of weight meant that the stock braking system could be retained and only required Endless CCR brake pads to better handle the heat.

Keeping the four corners in contact with the asphalt are Konig wheels wrapped in proven Hankook Ventus RS3 rubbers measuring 195/50R15 all-around.

Not much of an interior left here unfortunately. Everything that wasn’t binned from the factory was definitely given the boot here. The main pilot for the car, Hugo Chai, sits in a Sparco full-bucket seat and is held in place by a Sparco six-point racing harness. He also has a HANS device for maximum safety.

Hugo takes turns with Ee Yoong Cherng to pilot the EK9 and both of them do so via a Nardi steering wheel held in place via a Works Engineering quick release steering hub. A trio of Works Engineering Pro 2 Series gauges helps them keep an eye on the oil temperature, water temperature and oil pressure.

This year, the duo will be contesting the little EK9 in the Malaysian Speed Festival at Sepang. Together with help from their sponsors, they will be looking to tear up the circuit and give some of the faster cars a run for their money.

Car – Honda Civic EK9

Engine – Head port and polish, DTR Racing Stage 2 camshaft, DTR Racing valve springs, Wiseco forged pistons, Eagle connecting rods, Skunk2 Ultra air intake manifold, MSD ignition digital 6a kit, Brisk LGS spark plugs, Works Engineering adjustable cam pulley, Works Engineering fuel pressure regulator, Works Engineering oil catch tank, Works Engineering high performance oil filter, Works Engineering oil cooler kit, Works Engineering fuel rail kit, custom fuel surge tank, custom exhaust manifold and piping from Drift House, Synergy aluminium radiator

Transmission – Five-speed manual, Exedy Racing Clutch set, OS Giken full lock LSD

Electronics – Link G4 Storm

Suspension & Chassis – Aragosta Type S coilovers, welded-in roll-cage, front strut bar

Brakes – Endless CCR brake pads

Wheels & Tyres – Konig wheels, Hankook Ventus RS3 195/50R15

Interior – Works Engineering Pro 2 Series gauges (oil temperature, water temperature, oil pressure), Works Engineering quick release steering, Works Engineering Type-R gear knob, Nardi steering wheel, Sparco full bucket seat, Sparco six-point harness, HANS device

Exterior – Stock

Tuner – Senira Motorsports & Onward Motorsports

Sponsors – Senira Motorsports, Works Engineering, Lucas Oil, JST Response Team, Toms Stickers, Multi Profit Resources, Tokb Bar & Dining

Drivers – Hugo Chai and Ee Yoong Cherng

Photos: Kenny Yeoh