Weather in Minnesota been chilly with a chance of rain, with a chill in the air old men winter isn’t far away. Very few nice days left as everyone enjoys the sunshine before we all hibernate. By now most of us has garage our pride and joy, while the snow racers are hard at work preparing theirs. Plus Toua got a chance to meet up with Kong Meng Vue again to talk more about his car. You may remember him from our special feature not too long ago.
Kong does not have a build thread currently on any forums. We are lucky to be the first to get an exclusive. His mod list will be posted below.
The K20 engine from Honda has been a phenomenal piece of art. In its natural aspirated form to a boosted version. The possibilities that Honda’s enthusiast has open up, have the flock many to use it as a power plant. Even enthusiast who prefers a different manufacturer has swapped this engine in for their manufacture one.
More favorable in older Honda such as the EG & EK chassis Civics. A Honda Fit that is powered by this engine was bound to happen. Even when the CR-X replacement “CR-Z” was introduce. The Honda enthusiast knocked on Honda for not having the option of a K20 engine from the factory. The CR-X has been one of Honda best platform for many racing enthusiasts.
Honda’s top B series engine were found in their race ready consumer cars called the Type R. Similar to Dodge’s Neon ACR and Toyota’s Trueno GT-V. These cars did not come with luxury equipment such as sunroof, radio, and AC. They were built to be light and race ready. The greatest thing about Honda, and the reason they have such a huge following is the parts interchangeability. Making it easier for a low budget “race” car build. B series was one of the cheapest engines to purchase, using the non-Type R versions. Honda enthusiasts would swap out a few factory parts and you can build a poor men Type R or in some case a faster B series than a Type R.
Toyota however came up with something that for a short time overthrown the B series. In 1999, Toyota releases an engine called 2zzge. This engine is the successor of one of the most beloved Toyota engine. The mighty 4age. The objective of the engine was to dethrone the B series engine. Toyota introduces their new system called VVTL-I, variable valve timing and lifted intelligent system. Less than a year later, Honda strikes back with the k20 using i-VTEC, I standing for intelligent.
Kong currently works as a mechanic at a dealership. He picked up this Fit in 2010 during the winter months. He first was toying around with getting a Fit. He stumbled upon Honda website and decided to use their “Build your Fit, online,” application. By Christmas EVE, he pulled his customized Honda Fit sport with a manual transmission into his garage. Santa had no part in this. Afterward, he started customizing his Fit. Anyone who has been down this route know where this is going. Instead of making this a show and slow. He started racing with it. Auto-crossing and soon after he was on the road course. The rest was history. He has plans to take this Fit to many courses in the future. Road America is going to be one of the pit stop. He had also mention that he would like to take this car out west too.
K20z3 intake manifold
KTUNED fuel rail
KTUNED EP3 idler pulley
KTUNED swivel neck thermostat
KTUNED upper radiator filler neck
KTUNED throttle body adaptor
Rywire custom tucked radiator
Dual Mishimoto radiator fans
Acura RDX injector
Deatchwork EVOX fuel pump
DC5 Haltech standalone ECU
Haltech IQ3 racepak
Hybrid racing custom engine harness
HasPort motor mounts
Fast Life performance custom intake
Fast Life Performance custom headers
Fast Life Performance Custom 3 inch exhaust
Vibrant performance 3 inch muffler.
Clockwise Motion k20 road racing oil pan baffle.
K20z1 shift cables
Hybrid racing custom shift box
Hybrid racing shifter bushings
HasPort custom axles
DC5 type R shift knob
Progress rear sway bar
The automotive society has three types of people: your average Joe, who uses an automobile for transportation, others that use an automotive vehicle as an accessory, and finally the automotive enthusiast. The latter has often been acknowledged by the automotive manufactures as a niche in the market. Twice a year in Minnesota, Brained International Raceway (BIR) hosts an event that draws in a spectrum of automotive enthusiasts. For three days, enthusiasts gather at BIR’s Modern Automotive Performance (MAP) Proving Grounds. However, this is not your typical racing event. While most focus on one type of competition, this event hosts multiple competitions, such as drag racing, autocrossing, drifting, and road racing, all running simultaneously. It also offers a “burnout” and “show car contest.” Having a multitude of competition has made this event popular as it attracts novices and professionals.
Among the thousands of participators, Fast Life Performance was competing in the drag competition and road course competition. Entering their squadron of Honda’s from their drag racing Acura Integra and Honda Civic to their road racing Honda Fit.
What is drag racing?
National Hot Rod Association governs rules and host events all over the United State and Canada for drag racing competitions. According NHRA’s website “A drag race is an acceleration contest, on a track, or dragstrip, that begins from a standing start between two vehicles over a measured distance.” Drag racing competitions are tournament-style: racers are eliminated when they lose while winners progress to the next round until a victor emerges at the end.
What is road racing?
North American Road Racing Association, (NARRA), is an event promoter and governing body for the US GT Championship, Whelen US Time Trial Championship, Radical Cup, SRT Viper Cup and USPDE. According to their website road racing is when “Drivers test themselves against the clock, trying to bank a fast lap during four or more sessions. All times recorded throughout the day are collated to reward the fastest drivers in each class.”
Fast Life Performance is a shop that only recently opened their doors in Fridley, Minn. Their main platforms are Honda vehicles. They already have an armada of impressive builds that testify to their talents. Although Fast Life Performance specialize in Honda’s they are capable of working on different makes and models. They can do a gamut of complex work like custom fabrication, wiring, and even regular maintenances such as oil changes. Before they became professionals they were like most automotive enthusiasts. They would invite friends over to tinker on their vehicles in the garage. Eventually their automotive enthusiasm drove them to go one step further and open a real shop. They continue to work hand to hand with the same friends and family members that started the company.
Fast Life performances built the first k20Z1 swap 2010 Honda Fit in the United States. K20Z1 is an engine that is commonly found in the Honda/Acura RSX Type S. According to Edmunds’ website “The Type-S also had a four-cylinder engine tuned to produce extra horsepower (200 hp, later increased to 201).” The Honda Fit came factory equip with a L15A engine which produced 117 horsepower. Engine swapping is a common performance upgrade seen in the automotive car culture. Manufactures build cars to meet certain guidelines, such as the Honda Fit was built as an economy car. Enthusiasts will swap engines out from these or similar vehicles to replace the factory engine for a better or more efficient engine, which helps the vehicle’s performance.
At MAPS Proving grounds in 2014 second event, Fast Life Performance automotive vehicles went home with a trophies. Their Honda Fit won 1st in its class for the Road Course Competition. If you were unable to see Fast Life Performance on the track this year, they will be at Minneapolis, Minn Hot Import Night Saturday, October 4th, 2014.
MAPS Proving Grounds has many professional shops competing but there are still more independent racers. Racers come from different backgrounds and all over Minnesota. Ryan Hol came from Chanhassen to MAPS Proving Grounds for the drag racing competition. Hol said “I race on the track because of fear,” during our interview. Commonly seen at events like MAPS Proving Ground are ex-street racers who have decided that the dangers and cost of illegal street racing were no longer worth the risk and decided to pursue their hobby in a professional matter.
The public often mistakes Motorsport racing as “illegal street racing.” Street racing occurrences have increased in major cities due to limited accessibility to race tracks and influence from Hollywood movies like “The Fast and The Furious.” It has been so problematic that the U.S Department of Justice released a guide for police to handle these situations. Usually on a Friday or Saturday night car enthusiasts gather at designated local business parking lots around 10pm until 1am. They will either dig or drag race. Other racers will go on the highway and do “highway pulls.” This is when two vehicles cruise at the same speed and when a signal is given they both will mash their right foot down and see who can take the lead. Highway pulls and dig races are very dangerous as they put innocent lives at risk. Racers who participate can reach speeds up to 100mph or more. There is not a simple solution to end street racing but only to lessen its effects. Promoting racing events like MAP Proving Ground are ways to get racers off the street and onto the track. States like California placed a very strict law on street racing, where those who are caught will have their vehicle crushed. In Minnesota, street racing has made headline on the local news including one of the biggest bust in 2004. While street racing impacts the automotive culture negatively, there are those who try to better the stigma on automotive enthusiast. Clubs and organizations such as RiceKiller, Automotiveplex, Modern Automotive Performances, NF Performances, RS Motors, and many more. They are all creating and promoting automotive events.
Street racing gets more dangerous if money is involved. The Hat race, which is popular in Canada, is when street racers contribute a sum of money into a hat. This hat will be taken to an undisclosed location. Once it reach its destination, the street racers will get to pin point locations to retrieve it. Racers will then drive off to this location, the first street racer there gets the hat and its lucrative contents. Street racing is not only dangerous to the public but has been the cause for many illegal activities. From the street racing guide: “Street racing related problems: auto theft, assaults, cruising, curfew violations, drunken driving and driving under the influence of drugs, gang-related activity, insurance fraud, illegal vehicle modification (e.g., smog control alteration), illicit gambling, noise complaints, public intoxication/urination and other public order offenses, theft and fencing of auto parts, thefts from autos, trespassing, vandalism, and littering.”
From street to motorsport racing there is no shortage of danger. Safety is the most importance of motorsports. Motorsport yields many advantages and the biggest is being able to control the environment. It is typical at events like MAPS Proving Ground, to find experienced drivers that can share technique to novices. Danger is stressed at every event and even during drivers meetings. Every athlete in any sport understands the danger of their game. Racers are no different.
MAPS Proving Ground was another success this year. A lot of fun, talent, and speed. A chance to meet many people from street racers to professional racers like Ryan Hol or garage hobbyists to professional shops like Fast Life Performance. Everyone there wins with or without a trophy. “In racing, I wanted to be a winner and to be a winner, you have to be willing to roll the dice.”-Bobby Rahal
More photos of the event here. Click here to read about next year MAPS Proving Ground Schedule. Are you attending next year event and are you going to be a Racer or spectator? Please leave us a comment. Thank you very much.
Last year Dopery hosted an automotive event at Hyland Park Reserve down by Bloomington. This year they are coming back even BIGGER and BETTER. The Dopery convention will be held at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood, Minnesota. Saturday August 9th at 4:00pm, which is less than a week away. Find the ticket here.
This event will also have Super Street, a popular automotive magazine there with their senior editor as a judge for the BEST OF SHOW. Detail about the event from what we have gathered are the Car show along with live performances, live DJ, Bboy dance battle, and giveaways and raffles.
Dopery is a lifestyle. They focus on the culture they live in. Their mission is to highlight the people out there who impact society positively in hopes of a brighter future for the upcoming generations. I once asked a staff what Dopery means? He responded, “Dopery is DOPE, more importantly anything that is DOPE.”
With Back to the 50’s happening in the State fair grounds. Some Grass root racing was taking place at Brainerd International Raceway. This time of year you see the great migration. On our end you see the past heading the opposite direction, and, of course, on theirs. They can see the future heading northbound.
MAP Proving Ground hosted by Brainerd International Raceway display all weekend long what grass roots motorsport is about. Auto crossing, drifting, drag racing, and road racing; nothing short of beginners and professional alike there to prove who’s the fastest in the land of ten thousand lakes.
Friday started off strong with Auto crossing also known as AutoX. This year we had a chance to dance with the cones as we whip our mighty Yaris around the track. Simultaneously on the other side of the raceway drifting, was taking place with a backdrop of a rainbow courtesy of the Sunshower we had.
When the gates opened Saturday, the raceway was open to chew out tires and even take the life of vehicles which are not properly suited for battle. The 3.1 mile road course was shorten like every other year to allow other events to take places. Keeping 2.5 miles of it reserved for some time attack and road racing. Drifting was held near the condos on the site. Not far from there were cars staging, getting ready to sprint down the quarter mile. Witnessing drivers and their machines they been investing in all winter long was a site to behold. Unfortunately, not all of us get to go home this weekend with a smile. In some case, our pride and joy burned down like the S2000 from the road course.
Saturday night ended with the final round of Autox, a burnout competition on the drag strip, and some night drifting. As most racers prepare for a showdown. The party goers were out living life a quarter mile at a time.
As the sun peak behind the trees on the outskirt of the raceway, campers were packing up, and the racers were getting ready for one last showdown. As this is it, with an awards ceremony taking place at 4pm. The weekend flew by faster than going down the strip. With a car show happening at noon. As well as road racing, drag, and drifting. There was a three-hour window where the talent of each driver and the reliability of their vehicle tested. Overall the event was like what we remember, always better if you participate.
The scene has died down since this morning. As the burnt interior of the building cast an eerie feeling to this neighborhood. The exterior remain to remind this community of what happened this morning. Much of the neighbors, friends, and family are leaving gifts at the steps of this duplex. Showing their prayers and love. As today five beautiful soul passed from this horrific tragedy. The people of this community grief with the father of these children. As the sun set.
Earlier this morning Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel said three of the children were pronounced dead at the scene. According to emerging news report. There are now 5 dead due to this tragedy.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Offices said that two of the five victims taken to the hospitals later died. 60 year old Troy Lewis remain in serious condition at Hennepin County Medical Center and his daughters Shaca and Eletra Lewis were in critical condition as of Friday Evening. According to reports from the Star Tribune.
Troy Lewis is the father of the seven children he look after. His wife recently pass away in November from an illness. The children ages are one through 9.
The 100 year old building is owned by Mission Inn Minnesota INC, a company that rehabs properties and signs on low income families.
On the 2800 block of Colfax Avenue North near North 29th Avenue a duplex fire took the life of three children, Friday morning.
“We had received a called about smoke in the area,” Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel said, “When we arrived at the scene, we found heavy smoke on the second and third floors, which changed to heavy fire.”
Fire Chief John Frutel said, “Three deceased victims on site, all were children.”
A total of 15 people were living there, seven people who escaped without physical harm are now under the care of The American Red Cross.
The source of the fire is still under investigation. Fire Chief John Fruetel noted that the building was “up to code.”
Numerous Minneapolis Police squad cars and Minneapolis fire department trucks block road access this morning, as the scene remained active. There was more than 40 firefighters dispatched to the scene, and one of them was injured. The cause has not been determined.
“We need to rally together on behalf of the folks here.” Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said, “The entire community is affected by this fire.”