Hi, my name is Marty, I work on the Data Team here at MicksGarage. I’ll be bringing you regular updates as the weeks go by on my EK Honda Civic which I’m building for the Future Classics Racing Series, which coincidentally, MicksGarage will be sponsoring in 2016!
A little background on how I caught the Motorsport bug: It all started from an interest in photography, I went to Motorsport events taking pictures – both circuit racing and drifting. Also when you hang around with guys who live and breath racing it’s going to rub off you. First I got into trackdays in my road car. It wasn’t really until I took my 2007 Clio 197 on track that it really started to get at me, fitting an aftermarket steering wheel and a fixed racing seat was the start of it until I decided to sell the car on before things got too expensive.
Around August 2014 a race prepared Fiesta came up for sale from a good friend for just €2500 – ready to race, all I had to do was get in and drive. It was only the 1.25 fiesta but was by far the most reliable car I’ve ever owned with the only issue ever being a crankshaft sensor, the car never even got a oil change! After I got the race license, safety gear, trailer and everything else required I was set for the 2015 season.
My goals were to learn as much as possible and enjoy myself with no real idea about where I might finish at the end of the season. Mid-way through the year I found myself jumping up the rookie ladder and had myself in with a chance of winning the rookie championship. All I needed to do was to finish the last race (which is a lot easier said then done with in a 30-strong field of Fiesta’s!) Have a look at my on board. The “rubbing is racing” mantra is common in this series!
And whilst we’re on the topic of learning, in the video below I learned the importance of refitting bonnet pins! That’s not something i’ll forget again in a hurry!!
The Leinster Trophy was the final round of the year and thankfully I was able to take home the Rookie Championship. It was a great feeling after everyone had pulled together throughout the year. By now the competition bug had well and truly bitten and the urge to win was strong! However, to be up at the sharp end of the fiesta class requires a lot of money – as do most things in Motorsport. It was time for a new challenge. The decision to run into future classics was made. Why? Simple, the class has a strict policy against contact (to help keep costs down) which means nine times out of ten you will come home not requiring new panels. The championship also has a barrier time which means you don’t need a lot of money to be up the top of the grid.
So what car to buy for the 2016 season? I wanted to build it myself, put in the hours over the winter and have a finished product that I can stand back and say “ I built that”. I needed to find a car that is a reliable as the Fiesta, plenty of spares available and has to be NA and twenty years old. I decided to go with the Ek Honda Civic which is allowed from 2016 as the car was produced in 1995. It is reliable and parts are easy to get hold of cheaply. The choice of engine was the 1.5 SOHC Vtec engine which produces 115hp from the factory.
I collected the car one Saturday evening from Laois, handed over the €1000 asking price and set to getting the car stripped the next day. Sadly in my enthusiasm I didn’t get a ‘before’ shot of the interior but as you can guess everything was taken out, from seats, headliner, trim panels and dash. (you’ll have to excuse the terrible phone photo’s!)
The first stage of the build tackles the Roll cage, I decided to send the car to Bob Stevens in DI Motorsport Co.Wicklow, I didn’t need anything too fancy for the class so a basic cage was fitted while keeping the dash as standard. I also need to keep this build budget as the money tree stopped growing a long time ago! With the car away I set about shopping online for a new seat, harness, seat rails, control panel and a few other accessories.
The cage was ready in just a few days and after getting the car back it was in serious need of a clean up and prep for painting the cage and interior. I decided to go for a standard white because again my budget does not allow for a full paint job. I used our Draper Hard Graft Wipes to clean down the inside and exterior which took the hard graft away thankfully.
This brings us up to-date where the car is still in the middle of paint process, after the interior is painted and the seat and dash are fitted it will be getting a tidy up. in my next post we will be finishing up the interior and moving onto the exterior, looking at brakes suspension and engine.
You can also follow my progress on my instagram