Motorsports is constantly evolving. New technological innovations, adjustments to rule books, wrecks on the track, changes of heart - there are lots of reasons why cars come and go from the world of racing. Other times, a car starts life with modest intentions and slowly transforms into a full-fledged track beast. Loi Song of Sportcar Motion is no stranger to racing Hondas; his latest Civic is a combined result of many previous builds and learned experiences along the way.
Loi hasn't always been a Honda guy. Back in the day, the now famous "Tea Father" was actually a Mustang man. After tinkering around with a few muscle cars and building one of the most unique and groundbreaking FD RX-7s of its time, Loi met a man who changed his automotive life. Matt Rodriguez, aka Rodrez of Honda Tuning, is credited as the man who got Loi into Honda for the first time.
"I was always intrigued by FF Hondas, but it wasn't until I met Matt that I actually bought one and took the dive. My first Honda was a turbo (Civic) Del Sol that I was able to get into the mid-11s as a street car," Loi recalls.
When the Honda bug bites, it bites hard. Loi has been a fan ever since and has built many cars over the last decade or so, ranging from mild to wild. The Civic you see before you started life with modest intentions. At the time the build commenced, Loi and Sportcar Motion already had two dedicated time attack cars in its stable: an Unlimited class turbocharged K20 EG Civic and a NA K24-powered (at the time) Limited class Integra Type-R. Loi wanted to build his newest Civic as a true street car, something he could track for fun but also drive home without attracting the entire San Diego police department to his front doorstep. This idea quickly flew out the window, however, when Loi was contacted by Oscar Jackson and Oscar Jr. at Kraftwerks to inquire as to whether or not the Tea Father wanted to use his new "street car" EG as a test mule for a fully race-prepped K-series supercharger kit. As any true racer would, Loi obliged and the deed was done.
"We were the test car for the [Kraftwerks] race kit," Loi says. "No one else had the kit at the time, and we were really impressed with how it performed." Loi's cars are always evolving, and at the time of our photo shoot, the car was powered by a 10.5/1 compression built K24 mated to a K20A2 head. Making just over 440 hp, the EG can certainly move. A slew of goodies from Skunk 2, Eagle, Earls, Kraftwerks and Sportcar Motion in-house specials make whatever motor setup Loi runs a sure winner.
As the car transitioned away from street and toward track, the decision was made to partially gut the interior and shoot for the Limited class of time attack competition. Sporting an Autopower bolt-in rollcage, a Sparco bucket seat and an Accusump oil accumulator with braided lines in plain view, it's immediately apparent that his car is no daily driver. DEFI gauges keep Renzo Marsano (Sportcar Motion's race driver) informed, while a Personal steering wheel keeps everything on the proper line.
On the outside, the car is all race. It's also all white. In fact, Loi always builds white cars - if you take a look at his past projects, you'll notice the pattern right away. Why, you may ask? There's no secret reason - Loi just likes white cars! A custom Sportcar Motion front splitter, front canards and vented hood set the front end off nicely while keeping function at the center of everything. The exposed oil cooler and front-mount intercooler remind us of the all-business, all-the-time mantra that Loi lives by, as does the custom rear wing bracket. Loi likes downforce, and with a car like this, you really need it. This ain't your grandma's hatchback, this is a true race car through and through.