Looking for a Honda CRX was not a random choice at all. I’ve always been attracted by its ‘coupe’ look and really impressed by all equipments fitted in it from factory. You have to remember that the car came out from Suzuka factory in 1989 with …
… electric sunroof, electric windows with a sequential command on driver side, electric side mirrors managed by the same kind of pad you can find today in your daily drive … !!
But the real reason was the DNA type of Honda machines. Thanks to Soichiro Honda, everything started with engine bikes and the spirit was duplicated on cars in the 60’s – 70’s. Reliability of the Honda brand is well known and it’s now time to test full potential of the 180 000 kms and 7500 rpm redline engine !!
After spending a couple of hours looking for a trackday close to Lyon, I finally registered myself for an event located north from Clermont-Ferrand : the private testing circuit of Michelin company. Testing complex is huge and we had access to the FIA test track. Good opportunity to access a place usually private and closed …
Trackdays = maintenance to do
Time to prepare the car for this big day ! The only modification I made specially was adding an oil temperature gauge to monitor the engine. For an easyer access behind the steering wheel, I also added a quick release and SPOON master cylinder socks in case of a brake fluid leak.
Rest of the process was to double check everything and change all liquids in the car (coolant, engine oil, brake fluids). Perheaps too much after only 5 000 kms with the car but there is 180 000 kms on the speedo !
After a 200 kms trip to Clermont Ferrand, time to settle close to the track and check tyres pressure. Ooops, my turn ? So let’s heat-up the engine slowly and see if I’m the good driver that I think I am …
… and the conclusion is really simple : you are not on the road ! Attempting to drive on track at such speeds and braking levels is totally new but clearly makes me understand something : try it and you’ll buy it !
First, the level of security is very high and this clearly shows you that compared to open-roads, you can safely test your limits here. You have to respect basics to avoid contact with other drivers and mainly, mainly, keep your head cold.
Not really interested in playing a ‘who has the biggest’ with other drivers, target is to try staying regular on each lap time. Some brakings and cornering speeds are good but doing the same on the next lap is not an easy task !
Car runned well all day long and I was very surprised on the trip back to discover that a full day at 7 500 rpm released more potential of the engine.
An aerial view of Michelin’s testing complex close to Clermont-Ferrand.
And after ?
After this nice experience, I know it will not be the last one … so I decide to make more investment and buy a helmet. It will also be used on motorcycle.