Stan, a 28-year-old computer security engineer, embarked on a journey in Japan that transcended mere work and ventured into the vibrant racing scene. As part of both Unparallelled in Kanto and Temple Racing in Kansai, he immersed himself in the Japanese racing culture for the past 5 years, an odyssey that began unexpectedly.
Throughout his Japanese venture, Stan has owned a fleet of 11 cars, predominantly Hondas. Among his current prized possessions are the Honda Integra DC2 for daily commutes, a Honda Civic EF9 dedicated to circuits, and a Honda Today JA2 serving daily driving needs.
Initially arriving solely for work, Stan stumbled upon the Japanese car scene while exploring mountain drives one fateful night. Introduced through friends, the allure of different racing stages captivated him, becoming an irresistible passion.
The Honda Civic EF9 underwent a remarkable transformation within a year of Stan’s ownership. A comprehensive body refresh eradicated rust, unveiling a cleaner base to work with.
The overhaul continued with weight reduction strategies, including a carbon roof, hood, and hatch, alongside FRP wider fenders and front bumper. Critical mechanical enhancements included a YS1 close-ratio transmission, a 4.4 final gear, and selective modifications to the engine’s flywheel and pulley.
The Civic now weighs a mere 860kg, yielding a modest 160bhp. Stan’s dedication to precision performance reflects in the thoughtful selection of wheels, alternating between RPF1 with 71RS tires or TE37 with A050 tires based on the racing stage.
The allure of the EF Civic stems from its inherent “mean” aura, coupled with its exceptional agility, which Stan experienced while racing with Temple members, solidifying his desire to own this car.
Crafted with Tsukuba Circuit and Central Circuit in mind, the car embodies a fusion of Aslan’s CRZ and Spoon’s Thunderhill FK8 aesthetics. Stan envisions enhancing its power to match its 1.8L counterpart while preserving the beloved 1.6L engine’s responsiveness.
Keeping with the street racing theme, the interior is stripped out with only the bare essentials kept.
Looking forward, plans for further engine enhancement and full roll cage installation are on the list of changes to come.
Its center-exit straight pipe exhaust paired with the close-ratio transmission means the car not only performs as it should but also sounds the part.
The car, adorned with a “After you, go ahead” cat insignia, has become a beacon for connection. Stan’s association with the Temple Racing team and the car’s distinct aura attracts attention and admiration wherever it roams, creating an indelible impression on those who encounter it.
Stan’s Honda Civic EF9 stands as a testament to meticulous craftsmanship and an embodiment of his unwavering passion within the thriving racing Japanese car culture. Oh and if you do see him driving the Civic on the highway, I wouldn’t try to pass…
Photos: Tiby Gherasim