Everything You Need to Know About VTEC Club
Great things happen when people come together, and amazing things can happen when people come together fueled by a common passion. And while it might be a little too soon to call the still-growing VTEC Club USA something “amazing,” the efforts of the driving-obsessed, track-dedicated wheelmen (and women) who brought it to life just a year ago, absolutely are.
Born as a subset of Honda racers looking for some friendly competition within Extreme Speed Track Events’ open-to-all recreational track days (lap times are logged, scores aren’t kept), VTEC Club USA is fast becoming a time-attack series of its own. And it’s doing it through a very simple recipe that combines Japanese time-attack classification with Japanese and American modification and ingenuity, some of the best road courses in California and beyond, and healthy doses of fun and camaraderie.
There are four classes to VTEC Club USA competition: Group A, which by all intents serves as its “unlimited” class; Group A2, which allows for either R-comp tires or aero equipment; Group N, for street-tired cars with no aero modifications; and Group N2, which has seen anything from single-cam Civic sedans and non-VTEC Integras, to rental Accords, wagons, and even the rare Honda Odyssey.
For as many competitors there are in each group who want to fit their modified Honda in a class and go racing for a day, there are some who take full advantage of the rules, pushing the limits of performance within them. Last year’s first season of competition (there were two “seasons” squeezed into 2015) saw only a handful of total competitors, sometimes with only a few in each group. This year’s first event saw three full run groups, with 80 dedicated competitors. And there were some standouts.
Call it the “wrecking ball” group, the “ratchet class” or “those scrappy-looking Hondas over there,” Group N2 is easily the most fun of them all, with lap times at this first Streets of Willow event ranging from an out-for-a-cruise-but-at-a-racetrack 1:48.332, all the way down to a totally-didn’t-see-that-coming 1:29.428. On the fast end of the spectrum was Roger Pompa, who drove his #117 white DC2 Integra into First Place in class with the aforementioned time. Less than a second behind was Robert Choo and his #44 white EG Civic at 1:30.012 and a half-second behind him was VTEC Club USA president Duane Bada and his #125 black/red, ADVAN-themed EF, with a 1:30.551 — pretty fast (and, OK...not so scrappy-looking).
Group N was a monster this time around, with 35 competitors in class—not surprising, since most modified street cars can fit into this class. The spread in lap times was accordingly as large, with a handful of Civics in the high 1:40 range, all the way down to Sean Mulyanto’s #73 red S2000 claiming First Place with a 1:25.480, followed by an NSX, two S2000s, a TSX, a Civic and another S2000 all finishing within less than a second of each other. There was also an Accord in Group N; before you laugh, it finished ahead of three S2000s, five Civics and a CRX.
Group A2 was smaller with just 13 competitors, but overall faster as should be suspected. 2015 season 1 & 2 back-to-back class champ Matt Rojana proved he and his #01 Honda S2000 are still the pair to beat in 2016, setting the fastest Honda lap of the day and winning A2 with a personal-best 1:24.343. Impressively nabbing Second and Third in A2 were Ronnie Vajdak and his #800 white Integra (1.25:727) and Jose Mejia and his #96 black Civic (1:28.073), Ronnie’s DC2 outpacing 15 S2000s, an NSX and tons of other quick challengers in various classes.
But the real upset came in Group A where the Honda S2000-powered...wait for it...Mazda Miata (what?!) of Nik Romano, set the fastest overall lap of the day and won Group A with a 1:24.336, just 0.013 seconds faster than Matt and his Group A2-winning S2000, prompting all in attendance to glare at Matt and scream, “PUT R-COMPS ON YOUR CAR AND WIN GROUP A, ALREADY!! GEEZE!” Runners-up in Group A included Tom Liang in his #25 white "TOMATAK" EF Civic (1:24.504) and Jay Valle in the #55 Civic sedan (1:24.925) — two black sheep that proved you don’t need a DC/EG/AP platform to go fast.
For their efforts, group winners enjoyed prizes from Koyorad, ASR Parts, Skunk2 Racing, Grams Performance, Nemos Garage, Chewerks, Arcane Wheels and Extreme Speed Track Events — companies dedicated to furthering VTEC Club USA’s growth and advancement among motorsports enthusiasts. But ask anyone in attendance and they’ll tell you: Being able to hit the track with like-minded drivers in a fun, relaxed, yet competitive atmosphere, is always its own reward.