In case you’ve been living in a nuclear bunker for the past ten months, last winter was weird. That weirdness came to a crescendo at the May 15th CSCS (Canadian Sport Compact Series) time attack. Drivers had to deal with temperatures as low as 3 C°, and snow. That same event, in the midst of the weirdest track day weather ever, a bright yellow Honda S2000 set the fastest time ever seen by a street car around the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park DDT by a staggering 2.5 seconds. You don’t go to a racetrack on a shockingly cold day on 200 tw tires and bang out a lap record by a margin of 2.5 seconds, unless you’re Ramesh Krishnan.
The build itself is straightforward and likely more daily friendly than you’d expect from a record-breaking track car. The car sits on TSW wheels wrapped in hyper-sticky Potenza RE71Rs – a square setup of 255s all around. Off-the-shelf Ohlins coilovers, Eibach sway bars, and roll center adjusters allow the S2000 to eat everything in the corners. The star of the show is a centrifugal supercharger which produces a modest 5 lbs of boost resulting in 312 whp, which surprised me for a couple of reasons. The first, is when you approach the car, all you hear is super-charger whine. Secondly, in our article about Dave’s LS3 powered Miata, I mentioned that his car managed a second overall finish in 2015 CSCS time attack, A 400whp Miata that came second to none other than this S2000.
The more time I spend with Ramesh, the more I began to understand the philosophy behind this build. This S2000 epitomizes the idea of a momentum car. It’s not absurdly powerful, but it has F1 like grip in the corners. It’s all about the smaller details; because it doesn’t have 700 whp, Ramesh never has to worry about managing wheel-spin. Using a centrifugal supercharger also means the car builds boost relative to engine RPM, unlike a positive displacement supercharger. That means that the F22’s peaky VTEC power band remains the same. Speaking of VTEC, the engagement point has been dropped to 4000 rpm and the cross-over point has been softened to allow for a smoother torque curve. The alignment is perfection; camber is in excess of three degrees all around, the result of taking tire temperature readings using an probe-type pyrometer. Every modification has precisely one goal – setting absurd lap times. Unlike most uber-hardcore track weapons, it’s also completely street-able. It has air conditioning, power steering, stock seats, a stock exhaust – luxuries in the track day community.
While other builds like Randy’s M3 or Dave’s Miata are about excess, Ramesh’s S2000 is carefully pieced together to be a balanced and brutally fast track weapon in the right hands. This build is a testament to steady progress; one degree of camber at a time, careful suspension tuning, effective engine tuning without obscene power. Ramesh could have turbocharged the F22 to well over 400 whp. He could have deleted air conditioning and gained the residual 5whp, and he could have bolted in tube-framed Sparco racing seats, but this car isn’t about excess – it’s about balance. It has enough power to be fast while being manageable, while still being comfortable for street use. Above all, it’s about putting driving skill above throwing money at a car. Being behind Ramesh in virtually any car is almost depressing. The pace he manages to maintain is incredible. His line is always perfect, every inch of the track gets utilized, and there’s nothing on the car that isn’t designed to make it go faster.
Today the horsepower and grip levels that can be achieved easily are obscene. Muscle cars now come from the factory with enough power to alter the earth’s rotation, and factory sports cars can generate more lateral acceleration than you’d experience falling off a building. Ramesh built his S2000 to be fast and balanced. Then when it came to shaving seconds off lap times, he didn’t turn to r-compound tires or a smaller supercharger pulley — he cleaned up his line, pushed his braking zone ever further forward and played with alignment settings. He built a fast street car, learned to drive it to an absurd degree of proficiency, and took the track day community by storm.
2005 Honda S2000
- Science of Speed Supercharger Kit with Paxton Novi 1220 blower
- ID1000 injectors
- AEM EMS 1052u (series 1)
- test pipe – Science of Speed Sport Clutch
- Fidanza 8 lbs flywheel
- Tuned by Sasha at Onpoint Dyno. 312whp at 5psi
- Ohlins DFV Road & Track Coilovers – Eibach Front Sway Bar
- Megan Racing front offset balljoints/roll center adjusters
- Stoptech ST40 BBK front
- Stoptech rotors rear
- Performance Friction pads (08 compound front, 97 compound rear)
- APR GTC300 style wing
Wheels and Tires
- TSW Nurburgring wheels 17×9+63 all around
- Bridgestone RE71R tires 255/40/17 all aroun
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