Back when THE-LOWDOWN was still just an idea, the team had an excited discussion about a feature article starring this car. Now, just a couple of days before it’s unleashing on Eastern Creek, we are proud to bring you the BYP Civic in full race-prepped glory.
I don’t think any of us thought we would have been given such privileged access to the build up of this car. It’s been a complete pleasure to witness the hard work and dedication that this focused BYP team have shown with their Civic project. With precious little preparation time before the World Time Attack Challenge, the boys of BYP opened the doors of their backyard for our final look-in on the car before the event itself. It’s a space like no other, with parts of all kinds scattered across the pavers. This backyard is the workshop that the Civic spends most of it’s time in. Built and dismantled time and again by Jim and Ben Tran.
There has been a few major modifications since we last caught up with the boys. With the addition of a Kraftwerks C38-61 supercharger kit the car is making well in excess of 200kW (270BHP). The move to forced induction has raised a lot of eyebrows, and I was keen to speak with primary team engineer, Jimmy, and get his take on it all.
TLD: How did the Civic project come about in the first place? Was it always destined to be a racecar?
BYP: The car was never originally intended to be a race car. It was built 3 years ago to be a nice street car for showing off at car meets and running in the occasional track days. But then someone issued a challenge to compete competitively in the NSW SuperSprints back in 2008. Thats how it all started! We started out in the series with a lightly modded B16A engine to gauge how the car would compete against the others in it’s class. The car come runner up after its debut session in the SuperSprints series, which gave us the hunger to be more competitive in 2009. Well out went the old B16A and in came a hybrid B20 VTEC engine. This motor packed a nice 150kW at the front wheels, and with more driving experience and a better suspension setup, we set new records in our class and new lap time benchmarks for Hondas at Eastern Creek, Oran Park and Wakefield Park.
After the 2009 season, I sat down with my brother and planned out the car’s future. At that stage the car was in between a street and race car. We wanted to go faster. Ultimately the logical decision was to make it a fully fledged race car and to become one of Australia’s quickest time attack Hondas. I guess the rest is history and this is how the car presents at the moment.
TLD: There’s quite a strong sense of family in the BYP team. Is that an important element to your success?
BYP: Family is always important when you do a thing like motorsport. It’s their encouragement and support that keeps us going and developing the car. There are times where we would be happy to park the car in the backyard and not touch it all. But it’s the competitive nature of our family which drives us on to compete at events like SuperLap.
TLD: Tell us a bit about the history you and your brothers have with your different cars.
BYP: I guess over the years my brothers and I have all liked to drive different cars. We’ve been through a Suzuki Swift, Honda Civic, Honda Integras, a Holden, BMW, Lancer Evo VII, R34 Nissan GTR, 350Z and the list goes on! There were a few good points and some negative points for each car, but all have been a pleasure to drive.
TLD: How have you approached the lead up to SuperLap and the preparation required for the Civic. Have you got the car where you wanted it to be at this point?
BYP: Since February, we’ve been building and testing the car exclusively for SuperLap. It is the main event on our calendar for this year. When we switched to our new powerplant (the K24A) some people doubted that we could go quicker than the old B20 setup. Fearing that we might indeed be slower, test days were used to gather data on speed and acceleration on the straights, corner speeds, and braking. The result from the first test day back in February was quite pleasing, matching our old personal best time last year with the B20. From the data gathered from that test day, we slowly developed the car further and tweaked a few settings. At our most recent test day at Eastern Creek, we were lapping in the 1:45’s range.
TLD: A lot of your competitors are die-hard fanatical about naturally aspirated motors. Did you feel any sense of ‘betrayal’ when you moved to forced induction?
BYP: The limiting factor with what we are doing is our budget. This is just a hobby for us but we are managing to be competitive. We are also looking for ‘bang for buck’ things that improve the car and help yield quicker lap times. Adding a supercharger was the most effective way of increasing power without compromising the budget. We always budget for worst case scenarios, and blowing a standard K24 is cheaper than blowing a built N/A K24 motor.
TLD: That seems like a very logical explantion. I admire the ‘do whatever it takes’ attitude you and the team have. Have there been times when the whole thing has felt overwhelming?
BYP: Behind the scenes we do spend a lot of time researching and reading online resources, listening to people who have gone quicker and going over data gathered from a track day. At times I do think it might be a bit too much, but it’s our passion! We always like to do it ourselves and if we can’t we try again, and if that fails we get some help.
TLD: For you personally, as the main engineer behind BYP, what is it about the build up that you love so much. Is it even more enjoyable than the racing itself?
Well it’s always pleasing to see what you’ve created work so well and be so competitive. I try to do most things myself and have control over how its going together. At the end of the day since I’ve built it, I have no one else to blame if something goes wrong. I prefer it that way. I find the accomplishment of creating something just as satisfying as being successful on the track.
TLD: With the car being so successful in last year, and with the WTAC almost out of the way, what is the next challenge for the team and where does the build go from here?
BYP: We’ll stick with the current platform for the entire year. It’s got plenty of power now so we’ll concentrate on other aspects of the car like chassis and brakes. A built motor for the supercharger is in the works in the new year. In terms of challenges the next step is to become Australia’s quickest time attack FWD Honda. We’ll do the occasional track day for the fans and do a few rounds in the JSCC SuperSprint Championship. But what we really want is to give those big boys up the field a good shake with the Honda!
TLD: You’re obviously staying quite collected in these final stages. We on the other hand couldn’t be more excited! Thanks for letting us step in and follow all your preparation. It’s been inspiring and we wish you all the very best of luck for SuperLap.
– 2007 K24A Accord Euro Motor
– Hondata KPRO – BYP Tune
– Blue Print Racing Stage 2 Cams
– Blue Print Racing Valve Train
– K20 Type R Oil Pump
– JDMYARD Baffled Sump
– RBC Intake Manifold
– OBX 74mm Throttle Body
– ASP 4-1 ‘Big Tube’ Headers
– 3″ Aluminium Exhaust
– Kraftwerks C38-61 S/C Kit
– GEAR-X Close Ratio 6SP Gear Set
– ATS 1.5W LSD
– 4.3 Final Drive
– BYP Custom Splitter
– Spoon Style Mirrors
– BYP Rear Spoiler Brackets + T-Wing
– Flared, rolled, spaced front fenders
– Lexan Windows
– Shadow Oil Pressure & Oil Temp gauge
– Custom 8 Point Roll Cage
– Cobra Race Seat
– BYP Custom Dash Plate
– GPX Pro Lap Timer
– TunerView LCD Display
– TechEdge 02 Sensor Gauge
– 6 Point Willians seat Harness
– BYP custom start panel
– BYP custom Brailler Battery holder
– 1kg Fire Extinguisher
– Ohlins Coilovers
– ITR Front & Rear Swaybars
– ASR Reinforcement Brace
– Function 7 Rear Lower Control Arms
– PCI Offset Rear Trailing Arm Bearing
– Cusco Front Strut Brace
– Hardrace Rear Camber Kit (Spherical Bearing)
– Hardrace Toe Link Adjuster (Spherical Bearing)
– Hardrace Front Camber Arm & Special Project Motorsport Bronze Bushing Kit
Wheels & Brakes:
– 8 x 6UL 949 Racing Wheels (Black & Bronze, 15x9s & 15x8s)
– Spoon 4 Piston Front Calipers
– Project Mu Front Rotors
– Feredo DS2500 Brake Pads
– Willwood Rear Big Brake Upgrade
– P2R Fuel Rail
– Injector Dynamics 1000cc
– BDL Fuel Pressure Regulator
– ASP 20L Fuel Cell
– E85 Unleaded Fuel
Find the full set on our flickr.