ROLEX GT RACECAR
At the end of the 2012 Grand-Am Rolex Series, Mazda retired the hugely successful RX8 GT car. This means we don’t know what Rolex GT race car we’ll be driving in 2013 but stay tuned as we’ll have more to announce in the run up to Daytona as we firm up our options.
CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTSCAR CHALLENGE (CTSCC) RACECAR
This 2012 Honda Civic Si was built from scratch by Compass360 Racing (C360R), a Toronto-based team that has been competing in Grand-Am’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge since 2004.
The team starts with a body-in-white straight off the line from the Honda factory in Alliston, Ontario. This forms the basis of a car that is the lightest possible and is superior to starting with a road car. The squad installs a roll cage and then begins installation of the necessary parts from a stock donor car. Because the 2012 car is still reasonably new, most of the donor cars are purchased brand new from the local dealer.
When the car is finished, it weighs about 2,500lbs. The Grand-Am mandated weight is 2,570lbs, and so some weight is placed in a weight box in the passenger footwell to improve weight distribution.
The 2012-spec Hondas feature a sealed engine from Honda Performance Development (HPD). It has a higher-compression head than the stock motor, performance exhaust header and a tuneable ECU.
C360R has had a long history with Honda products, having run the Acura RSX-S in 2006, the Acura TSX in 2007 and 2008, and then moved to the previous-generation Honda Civic Si sedan for 2009 through 2011. As technical partners with HPD, the team developed the Grand-Am specification for the new 2012 model, the resulting test car being featured in Honda’s booth at SEMA.