The team at TimeattackR.com have known Petrea and Joe Ardagh for a few years now on a personal level. We share a common interest in doggos, Toyota Soarers, Honda Civic hatchbacks, and most importantly, hardcore Japanese time attack racing. It was only natural then, that Joe and Petrea would join the TimeattackR driver team.
Last season of Superlap Joe and Petrea were both campaigning Honda Civic EKs, with Joe’s being a B18CR-powered example, and Petrea’s being a K24-converted Flamenco black 98-spec genuine EK9. I personally have been peeled by this EK9 in its naturally-aspirated form at a track day in my own B16A2-powered EK, so when Petrea told us she had a goal to almost double the power output, I was fizzing at the bung.
At the 2017 Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge, Joe and Petrea made the most out of the trip for research in development, with the world’s fastest time attack front-wheel drive Hondas all in one place. Boosted K-series motors seemed to be the be-all and end-all, and, it was at this time the decision was made to cram some boost down Petrea’s K24 engine.
Joe’s Civic was on-sold to help fund the build, all while making a life-changing move down to Hamilton, in the heart of the Waikato. With this move came new friends, shorter drives to most of the North Island’s circuits, and new contacts such as Sinco Customs who would soon undertake the job of crafting a high and side-mounted turbo manifold.
To motivate the K24A3 engine, a BorgWarner EFR7163 (0.80AR turbine housing) was chosen. With speed sensor capabilities, efficient billet compressor wheels, and a twin-scroll design, the BorgWarner would match the K24 perfectly, and offer mountains of useable mid-range torque. To help control boost, a Turbosmart internal wastegate was fitted and aids in saving room in the Civic’s east-west bay.
With the switch to E85 fuel on the cards in the future, the duo thought it best to future proof everything. A Deatschwerks fuel pump, braided fuel lines, and four Bosch 1000cc injectors supply fuel to the motor and will be utilised when it's retuned on Ethanol. Seeing as the K24 was already an angry NA setup, it already had a few go-fast bits, such as SVM cams, Buddy Club springs and retainers, a ported S90 throttle body, and RBC intake. It features a Moroso sump, K20AR oil pump, MRP oil sandwich plate, and Fenix oil cooler to ensure the oil temperatures are consistent.
With Joe campaigning Civics for some time, and with the knowledge gained in Sydney, handling upgrades were chosen carefully. PCI upper arms, an EG subframe, Hardrace bushes and rear camber and toe arms, and BC BR series coilovers complete the package. With Zestino on board as the main sponsor, the team run staggered sizing with 245/30R17 Zestino semi slicks up front, and 215/45R16 Zestinos down the back, both on Enkei RP01 wheels measuring 17x9-inch (+15) up front and 16x7.5-inch (+30) down the back. A combination often found on winning front-wheel drive time attack racers, like Daniel Meredith’s club sprint-winning EK Civic.
To fit the staggered and aggressive front wheel setup, and to align with Motorsport New Zealand’s restrictions, Moonlight racing front guards and front bumper were crafted onto the EK’s front-end, with a fresh lick of paint. A Team RevolutioNZ 1.0 front diffuser was also thrown into the mix thanks to the two teams bond, and MFS five-inch side skirts have been fitted down the sides to tidy things up. As with most fast Civics, there’s plenty of the business happening up the front, but the proof is in the pudding.
Being road-legal, Petrea has retained the factory EK9 red carpet, and a sound system, however the fixed-back Racetech seats, and eight-point roll cage built by Johnston Customs reminds you you’re sitting in a race car.
With manifold boost-pressure set to a lowly 8psi, the K24 is making just over 200kW at the wheels. Unfortunately, the current intercooler is what Joe likes to call, ‘a bag of sand’ and has proven to be a serious restriction. With time constraints to get the car ready for the second round of Superlap, the team decided to retain the intercooler, but it will be swiftly removed before round three — hopefully releasing better response and overall power levels.
With the second round of NZ Superlap very much a shakedown, round three should see a different beast entirely, with more power, more grip, and a touch more confidence thanks to this much-needed seat time. Being a Team TimeattackR driver, we will be keeping up to date with the progress of this build, so stay tuned!