Honda Challenge

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Honda Challenge is a specialty race series sanctioned by the National Auto Sport Association.

thumb Honda Challenge starting grid: BeaveRun Raceway 2005

Created in 2002, Honda Challenge was founded on the East Coast by Scott Giles and Karl Shultz, as a club racing series specifically for Hondas. The intent of the series was to create a relatively safe racing environment for the large number of Driving School participants and instructors with Hondas who had stayed away from racing due to fear of excessive car to car contact. For its inaugural season, East Coast Honda Challenge included a "13/13" contact rule, that suspended racers who initiated car to car contact during races. After the first year, this rule was dropped and contact during Honda Challenge races is handled by NASA in the same manner as all other racing series.

Matthew Bookler's H1 Civic

Honda Challenge has 5 classes, ranked H1 - H5, with H1 being the fastest and with each class progressively slower (though results at particular tracks may differ). H1 includes hybrids, which are defined as cars using an engine that did not originally come in the chassis used (under 2.4L), along with S2000s and Honda NSXs. H2 most often features Integra Type Rs and Prelude VTECs. H3 most often features Integra GSRs and Prelude non-VTECs. H4 is similar prep to SCCA ITA, and most often features Honda CRX Sis, and similarly powered Honda Civic. H5 is similar prep to SCCA ITB and ITC, and features CRX non-Sis, and lower HP Civics.

East Coast Honda Challenge debuted on April 20 at Carolina Motorsports Park with a field of over 20 race cars spread relatively evenly through the 5 established classes. The entries for the inaugural race were as follows (bold indicates class winners):

00 DePew Frank H1 Civic Si 1 Harris Jack H1 Honda 37 Rosen Eric H1 Civic Si 20 Jacobs Corey H2 Prelude 06 Ratcliffe Alex H2 Integra 28 Starnes Jon H2 Integra 71 Wang Warren H2 Integra 7 Brinson Chris H3 Integra 22 Giles Scott H3 Integra 78 Shultz Karl H3 Integra 13 Lyonel Kent H4 Civic 2 Muresan T/A H4 CRX 50 Rhodes David H4 CRX 145 Skultety David H4 Integra 42 Richman Adam H4 CRX 33 Bookler Matt H5 CRX 90 Floyd Richard H5 Integra 88 Whitaker John H5 Civic Si

Due to its popularity, Honda Challenge became a national NASA class by 2003, with multiple regions featuring the series at their races. At current time, the following regional Honda Challenge series are run: East Coast (ECHC), West Coast (WCHC), Mid West (MWHC), South East (SEHC), Northwest (NWHC),Texas (THC), and Florida (FLHC).

Florida Region Honda Challenge

2006 marked the beginning of the Honda Challenge in Florida. With 8 competitors in the HC4 class, Florida had an exciting first season in the sunshine state. Florida's HC4 first championship season entries were: Rafael Santoni(1,203 points), Hugo Rodriguez(945 points), Hector Rojas(795 points), Rafael Rosario(450 points), Rodolfo Rodriguez(335 points), Luis Robert Tanon(200 points), Evan Darling(100 points), Matt Lang(90 points), and Ray Cabrera(80 points).

Color Wars

The fierce competition within the NASA NorthEast Honda Challenge ranks started an online color war battle between white colored cars and red colored cars. One of the original soldiers of the #redteam was Spencer Anderson.

While the #whiteteam was led by Brian and Robert Casella. This "team" aspect was then accepted by others including,

#redteam: Erik Olson, Jan Wang and Lenny Hong.

#whiteteam members include Michael Maduske, Zephyr Belski, Jonathan Baker and Steve Smith. In 2016, Rookie Time Trial stand out Stuart Phillips has joined the #whiteteam ranks.

Many online posts were made with jabs made at opposing colors. In addition, it is common for each team to hide their team color stickers somewhere on the opposing teams cars.

While there is a lot of shenanigans, this is all in good fun and at the end of the day, great camaraderie exists within the Honda Challenge paddock.

In 2016, the NASA Mid-Atlantic region received four newly licensed Honda Challenge drivers. Mike Young, one of the four drivers, came up with the slogan #makehondachallengegreatagain. This is supposed to indicate the uprising in Honda Challenge cars in the Mid-Atlantic region. Now it is being used by drivers around the country.

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