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Wet, it most definitely was with the track staying damp the entire day. If you're the sort that looks at a glass as half full, then the fact that it was raining on every other day except on the Sunday, 31st of July when Honda nationals was held then you could say that we were considered pretty lucky. Many of the nicest Honda's around Melbourne and interstate showed up to pit themselves against the clocks for a full day of racing.

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I must have rewritten this more than 5 times now, this being the first post I’ve finally put down after a long hiatus. Perhaps its the rust in my mind preventing me from stringing words together, but I think it was more so because I wasn’t happy with the previous articles because it did not correctly portray the atmosphere, feeling and mood around the entire event. Ideally, I would love to have this post show case to the reader what was special about the entire event but there’s only so much photos and words can do without actually being present on the day. To properly convey every little detail that contributed the overall event being as amazing as it was, from the Turbo / Supercharged and naturally aspirated screams down the short straight after the S bends, the familiar faces that have had their cars off the road since forever only to get it prepared specifically for H nats or the friends who came up just to show moral support for the people racing. Honda nationals was by no means a large scale event but I most definitely will call it a successful event.h-nationals_28615603572_o
To start off with a bit of a back story about the whole event, the last Honda nationals was held in 2013 with the original organizers deciding to discontinue the event. It was that empty space in the hearts of Honda owners as it was pretty much the one grassroots time attack event where everyone competed on a level playing field, with 5 different categories to suit the level of modification of each vehicle. Be it close to stock with suspension modifications, or a full fledge time attack car, the playing field was reasonably close (I say reasonably because BYP Racing’s lap time wasn’t close to anyone but thats for later in the article).

That’s when Ben Johnson decided to hang up his racing gloves for one weekend and put together H nats 2016 to make the event a reality again. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but Ben is the biggest track addict that I can think of, always making the 2 hour drive up to winton every chance he gets to push his white s2000 to the absolute limit. Instead, he gave up his time, track time and money in order to organise an event that he doesnt get to drive at. Speaking to Ben to find out what was his motivation, he simply shrugged and pointed out to the track and said “so I can get these guys to go racing again”. He told me about how he kept getting feedback from his friends where they only got into track days because of the original Honda nationals and because the event was discontinued, they lost the motivation.
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That little bit of motivation does more than you’d imagine, with several cars that have been off the road for the longest time getting repaired specially to participate in H nats. One of the most anticipated reveals was the originally moonrock S2000 of Pboi, overhauled with a new GT3RS purple exterior, Voltex race body kit and a HKS super charger. pboi8
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Not the only S2000 that got built for H nats, the Nakama workshop specially built an s2000 for the sole purpose of competing in H nats. After the event, ownership would go to none other than… you guessed it, Pboi. This silver one rocking the plates PBOII. pboii (4) h-nationals_28105867323_o
Nakama came out in force, with Vyet’s s2000 also getting fixed and its first outing to be at H nats with freshly installed Individual throttle bodies, watch the live stream on our Facebook page if you want to hear that Vtec scream!
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The s2000s had a massive showing counting a total of 23 S2000s in attendance for the event. Five from Sydney making the 8 hour trek down to Melbourne specially for Honda nationals! These guys had no problems putting that fancy aero to use, driving the car hard all day!
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js (4)This particular yellow J’s racing s2000 came fully prepared, with hired driver to alternate sessions alongside the owner but unfortunately blew a diff on the first session leaving the car parked up for display for the rest of the day.
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With the wet track, many of the competitors got caught out while pushing their cars to the limits. The semi dry conditions made the surface hard to predict, the difference in racing lines would make the difference between a spin or a quick lap time. The wet grass surrounding the track did little to slow cars down stringing the drivers along for the ride once off the track. Fortunately, the event only saw the need for ambulance to go out once and the driver walked away unscathed. The same couldn’t be said for the car but whats important is the safety of the driver. The car can get rebuilt with some time, money and elbow grease. Practically every session saw a yellow or red flag caused by a spin or an off road excursion as the drivers came back to the pits to hose mud off the car. As fellow enthusiasts, we always hope the cars and drivers suffer no damage or injury but at the same time, the spins were most definitely entertaining to watch.
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This super clean Honda manufactured unicorn also showed up, in a manual configuration and completely standard. Pristine example of a collectors car in a collector’s condition! Unfortunately it didn’t see any track time but with a car like that, it would make more sense not to track it.
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Not forgetting the many Integras and Civics that showed up on the day, a large majority the ever popular K-swap with a handful of also slapping on turbo or supercharger for good measure. Lightweight shell and a high powered motor was the perfect combination for a lot of fun and wheel spin.

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Factory K motor equipped Hondas were running at a weight disadvantage against the super light K-swapped civics. You might be wondering why is there a lack of FD2Rs on the track, its because the FD2R some how do not pass the Australian Design Rules (ADR) and were never imported into the country. The only road registered FD2Rs in Australia were personal imports, only eligible when you have owned the vehicle for more than a year in an overseas country and brought it back to Australia with you. I can only imagine how much more competitive the times might have been had there been FD2Rs in the mix.
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The sole Accord Euro on the track for the day came down with BYP racing. Not a common chassis commonly seen on the track but most definitely a welcome sight!
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As the day drew to a close, the award ceremony was entertainment on its own. Picture the atmosphere when you bring together a group of close friends who share the interest having spent the day doing something you enjoy. Imagine the cheering and jokes you would hear when a friend from that group wins a prize. The banter going on during the prize giving was absolutely hilarious, made me regret not being able to live-stream in on our Facebook page as my phone battery had died. It was an award ceremony with everything! Happiness, humour, tears of joy and surprises. There were awards given out to the winners of all 5 classes, fastest forced induction by BYP racing at an insane 1.23 seconds with the next quickest car coming in at 1.31 and also winning fastest naturally aspirated, Fastest interstate driver, fastest newcomer, best presented and best livery.
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When the award for bravest man was handed out, it left the entire crowd scratching their heads. What sort of bravery would you have had to show on the track in order to be awarded something like that? Well, the pictures tell the rest of the story. Congratulations to the newly engaged couple, sharing that moment with all of us most certainly left a few  girls in tears of happiness as well.
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Honda nationals is what grassroots racing is all about, an attainable playing field for everyone to stand a chance at winning their categories. It was great to see everyone having fun and pushing their cars, making the best of the day with no excuses about a wet track. It was even better to see all the familiar faces that have been missing for the longest time until Honda nationals brought them all together. To be able to meet the new friends, people who most definitely share a similar passion for motorsports. If you didn’t check out Honda Nationals this year, I most definitely would recommend making the trip down next year to check it out for yourself. After-all, this event was organised as motivation for some one like you, who has spent the time scrolling through all the pictures and reading what I’ve written. Some one that has a love for a piece of Honda machinery, and to finally find the motivation to bring it out onto the track to prove it’s worth.

For winners list, click on the link here.