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IN THE GARAGE

Race Circuit Adventurer

Suzy's Built Her Honda to Run . . . And So It Is.

 

We step "In the Garage" with Suzy, and her wildly race prepped Honda Civic CX. Check out what king of racing action she's up too


Name: Suzy Valdivia

Age: 24

Location: California

Instagram: @swazila

Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfDpSB7vIuo

 

So how did you first get into cars?

My brothers taught me to drive a manual when I was 14 under the condition that I first learn basic maintenance. My brothers dabbled in performance automotives, but when I met my boyfriend and partner, it just snowballed to where we are now. He worked at a drift shop when I met him, then at a dealership where I received my first sponsorship. Now we have dreams of opening our own performance shop.

 

What was your first car?

My first car was a stock 1993 Honda Civic CX. It was a base model hatchback that I got in 2008 and planned on selling as soon as I could.

 

What’s your current car now?

I still have the hatchback! Everything I know about cars I learned on that one and I can never imagine selling it now. I retired him as a daily driver after the rollcage was installed, and I bought a 2009 Silverado to trailer the Civic to events.

 

You’ve had the Honda a long time.  What kind of modifications are done to it?

There's almost nothing original in the car. Every aspect of the suspension has been modified or adjusted. We rock Megan coilovers, Buddyclub ball joints, TruHart front and rear control arms, front and rear sway bars, rear subframe brace, rollcage. We've made custom front traction bars with torsion bars going to the control arms and mounting to a cross bar on the frame rails.

The engine and transmission are unmodified, but the engine is a B18B1 and the transmission is from a GSR. Check out the YouTube video description for a full list of modifications. Most recently, TrackLife Composites has provided us with fiberglass extendable fender cutouts to accommodate the Advanti wheels and Toyo R888s we recently started running.

 

 

Sounds like it’s built for racing. What are the majority of car events you attend?

I’ve been attending competitive driving events for a few years now, but we've moved into the world of wheel-to-wheel road racing. We've probably competed in around 30 sanctioned events with various organizations, not including open track or practice days. We mostly raced with the Redwood Sports Car Club in Humboldt County, but we've also raced with the Sports Car Club of America in the central valley, the National Hillclimb Association, and the Siskyou Sports Car Club in Oregon. Now we are competing in road races at circuit events and it's incredible!

 

Have you won any events? Or placed?

Yes. So far I’ve place;

Top Lady Driver of 7 for the 2014 Season with the Redwood Sports Car Club (RSCC)

2nd in class for the 2014 Northwest Hill Climb/RSCC Hoopa Hillclimb

2nd in class for the 2014 Silver State Classic Challenge Spring Enduro in Medford, OR

3rd of 15 in my class (OSP-U) for the 2014 Season with RSCC

17th of 72 overall for the 2014 Season with RSCC

 

That’s a lot so far!  Out of all of those can you recall a crazy moment or best experience?

There have definitely been a lot, but probably my best moment was at my first road race event. We had just moved and we didn't know anyone at the event. Even worse, I was the only female driver among around 80 drivers that weekend and this was the first event my current sponsor was going to see from me.

 

This particular event ranked drivers by experience rather than modifications, and when I told them my years of experience and dozens of events, they threw it out and told me to register as a "no experience" driver. Long story short, I changed my experience and registered in a higher experience group. I ended up getting bumped even higher to the 3rd highest of their 7 race groups, and ended up 4th out of 15 in that group.

 

Random drivers were coming up to us to give props and ask questions and I suddenly felt incredibly welcome. Someone even came to our rescue when I ran through my set of new brake pads in under 20 minutes. He gave us Project Mu racing pads because he wanted "to see how fast [I] could go before I plateau". I never plateaued, each time I found a place to go faster.

 

 

Sounds like you're a natural. So what are your plans for the future?

We have a lot of plans. Which will come to pass has yet to be determined, but I recommend you stick around and see. We are going to be running in the Speed Ventures event at Buttonwillow at the end of January, and dropping a new motor in after that, but we haven't decided which. We currently have 4 motors ranging from LS-V to F20C in the garage and a K20 sitting in the back of our heads. It's a hard decision when you really get down to it and the debates about which to run leave me even more torn, but it's exciting too.

 

Several motors? Sounds awesome.  So is there anything else you want to leave us with?

I want to thank all the drivers and enthusiasts who have helped us over the years to get to where we are. We have truly made a family of you all and we assure you we'll meet at the track again!

 

 

 

 

 

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