In 2017, the guys at Speed Academy ran their first Lapping Day, a now annual event that draws out some of the more unique performance-oriented cars in Ontario, and a couple from across the border as well.
Given that the Canadian pairing behind Speed Academy – Peter Tarach and Dave Pratte – take a function-based approach to car building, it’s unsurprising that Lapping Day (& Meet) attracts a diverse mix of machinery. And there was no shortage of it at Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga a couple of weekends back.
Admittedly I spent more time in the pits than on the track shooting than I typically would have, but I am still recovering from an injury that affects my ability to run at will in the event of a track ‘off’, and I wasn’t in any sort of hurry to become a Speedhunter-shaped hood ornament.
Almost every car taking part in the lapping aspect of the event was modified with speed and style in mind, with many tipping over to the pure performance side of the equation.
One of the rowdiest cars at the event – and the only drift machine – was the battle-seasoned Toyota 86 of NV Auto, as piloted by Formula Drift Pro2 driver Riley Sexsmith. Cayuga is a track that Riley is very familiar with, and I’m sure if he pushed hard enough here he’d be able to catch up to his own trail of smoke.
The tire annihilator under the hood is a very healthy 2JZ with a single Garrett turbo. If my memory serves, it puts down around 700hp to the rear before lighting up the tires on the dyno.
For all the noise Riley was making, the guys from Mountain Pass Performance (MPP) were moving in relative silence in their two modified Tesla Model 3s. This was the first time I’d seen a Model 3 driven in anger, and as much as I love internal combustion engines, it was impossible to ignore just how fast the two sedans were moving – even at full occupancy.
As superficial as this comment may be, I really loved how the car looked when its 19×10-inch Advan RGIII wheels tucked into the fenders during hard cornering.
MPP specializes in EVs, and the car in the foreground has been given the name ‘The Future’ because serves as a test platform for their Tesla-specific performance components. ‘The Future’ is currently running a number of Mountain Pass Performance’s own suspension parts, including coilovers, toe arms, camber arms, and front upper control arms.
Being a vehicle that sits on the heavier end of the spectrum it also sport a big brake upgrade, and an MPP in-house programmed module allows for the traction control to be disabled. This means the car can, and will, step out sideways with ease.
Back in the land of petrol power, I was following the distinctive sound of a peripheral-ported RX-7 when I was distracted by a particularity wild-looking Acura Integra with a relatively subtle ‘AWD’ badge on the rear panel.
Further examination revealed a track-focused creation composed of many OEM components from the Honda parts bin. After success in FWD time attack racing, Lugi Montanez found himself wanting to create a car that would accelerate out of a corner the same way drag cars leap off the line. The Integra’s AWD package consists of a CR-V transmission and a pinned and welded Honda Element rear differential. Aside from the parts that are branded S1, everything else can pretty much be ordered from Honda.
As you can imagine, there have been few teething problems, and the first time the car was taken out the 700hp turbocharged K-series engine attempted to free itself from the chassis. That issue was solved with new motor mounts and additional bracing, but the rear axles are now next in line for replacement.
By the time I had discovered the car it was sidelined for the day, but Lugi was very happy with the performance on the Acura’s initial outing in this guise. With a few late-season events and a long winter ahead to troubleshoot, I have a good feeling this car will be a real monster next summer.
Toronto Motorsports Park is a venue with both a drag strip and a road course, so before I left I had to check out a few of the other vehicles in the facility.
I probably owe myself (and you) a trip back to Cayuga to cover a drag racing event properly, but that will have to wait until next time…