SCCA Hawaii 2023 - Preseason Prep

First SCCA Event - SCCA Hawaii Solo 2023

Honestly, I’ll probably get mopped in my category!

You think that just because you watched all the videos and saw what mistakes other people make that you won’t make the same mistake the first time around. But I will! Experience matters and living vicariously through the eyes and videos of someone else does not equate to your personal experiences. Your true colors will reveal themselves and you’ll figure out what you’re made of.

Are you really balls-to-the-wall mad? Or a goddamn weenie. Driving a motorcycle for the first time. Competing solo in the North Shore Swim Series. Volunteering in a foreign country. It’s all the same adrenaline-pumping sensation filled with fear and nervous excitement. This is my prep for my first SCCA event.

Why are you racing, stupid?

Who doesn’t want to drive a racecar? I want to be a better driver and take my own win in motorsports.

There aren’t many other ways to legally learn and drive at the limit other than the track, especially on O’ahu. I only got into racing recently since I started watching Formula 1 (F1) and World Rallycross (WRC) in 2020. Since then, I’ve appreciated the ability to drive with precision and speed; at the limit of grip. It’s not enough for me to just see it, I want to experience it. I don’t think you can truly appreciate anything until you have personally experienced something as impactful as performance and competition. In competition, it will be very clear where I stand once the checkered flag comes down.

But racing isn’t some existential skill that will save the world, it’s a sport. It’s not mandatory or even necessary for us to live, but for the same reason that we cheer and praise the people we see in the entertainment industry, so why do we race? Because it’s fucking fun.

Expectations: Take pride. Get humbled.

I know I have some skill in driving, but I know I’ll get humbled real quick when I’m going against people that are just as, if not more, competitive than I am. I don’t know the correct racing line, the optimum way to rotate my FWD car, or all the little details in driving. I’m ready to do my best and knowing that my competition will be better than me, I’ll be ready to learn. Find their braking points, learn their exit strategy out of the corners, and watch the best FWD cars drive.

Competing in the Street Touring Category

STH Category Prep - Cause turbo, low-power car

There was a lot more reading in car prep than I thought! Read the rules and regulations for your local region. For the Hawaii region, this is what I did:

  1. Read the rules and requirements for the Jan 29, 2022 race: Solo Race #1 2023
  2. Prepare all event requirements (registration, confirm check-in times, proof of license)
  3. Pay for registration, $50
  4. Car prep
  5. Make sure you can pass tech inspection
  6. Top off fluids
  7. Read the rules - Solo Rule Book (2022 at time of writing)
  8. Required equipment
  9. SCCA-Approved Helmet
  10. Rulebook-compliant driver numbers (no painter’s tape!)

You will be putting in a bunch of time to make sure you do all of these steps correctly. Reading the rules, confirming my class for the first time, trying to find the correct helmet, and researching what other things are recommended is where you can spend as little or as much time as you need.

Personal prep

This might look over-the-top but I need to write it all down, for my own sake.

Tool prep

  • Portal tire inflator
  • Chalk
  • Little mechanic’s tool bag
    • Brake fluid inspector
    • Tire pressure gauge
  • Mechanic’s toolkit
    • Wrenches, socket wrenches, screwdrivers
    • Torque wrench
  • Consumables
    • Mask, sanitization stuff
    • Nitrile gloves
    • Simple clean
    • Zip ties
    • Towels and rags
  • Buckets
    • Trash bucket
    • Spare bucket to just hold stuff

Car prep

  • Wheels, tires, suspension
    • Wheels - OEM, OK
    • Tires - Because mines were closing in on the tread wear bars, I decided to put some new tires on. I went with BFG Comp-2 A/S PLUS (not Sport comps) for the year and hopefully, they will serve me well.
    • Suspension: no extra play in joints, OK
  • Brakes
    • Inspecting my brake fluid, it had about 2% water. Closing in on 3%, I am not changing my fluids until after race #1.
    • Brake fluid water tester tool:
  • Engine, cooling
    • Top off oil 0W-20, OK
    • Check coolant and reservoir, OK
    • Check battery tie-down with a covered positive terminal
  • Interior
    • Remove ALL loose items in the cabin and trunk
    • Remove ALL floor mats
  • Fuel
    • Arrive with about half a tank of premium 92 (weight savings)

Driver prep

  • Required! Helmet Helmet and Number {: width=”100%” }
  • Required! Driver Number and Class Letters Finished vinyl cutouts {: width=”100%” }
    • (x2) 44 - Magnetic Vinyl Number 44 for 2023
    • (x2) STH - Magnetic Vinyl Honda Civic Si Sport Touring Hatchback, (STH) as rookie (RK). I used this site to figure out my class: SCCA Classifier
    • (x2) RK - Magnetic Vinyl, wasn’t sure if I needed to put my driving class in? R for rookie, or RK. Also had a hard time finding that detail.
  • Other driving equipment? Gloves? Head sock?
    • I wasn’t sure about these. How seriously am I taking this lol? I bought these anyway because they were cheap, about $45 for the gloves and head sock. I have a few piercings so the sock helps with avoiding any accidental nicks. Driving gloves also help with my sweaty hands.
  • Food, nourishment, and non-driving items
    • Sun hat and sunscreen
    • Sunglasses
    • Mental
    • Umbrella
    • Folding chair
    • Plastic bags, never know when it’ll rain?

Equipment and data prep

  • iPhone with suction cup mount
  • TrackAddict App
  • Camera for pictures around the pits

I don’t have telemetry data logging for myself right now, but I might in the future if I decide to go for Hondata.

Modifications to be Street Touring (STH) compliant

With an intake and some extra body cosmetics, I had to make sure my car was compliant to avoid any issues.

The car was modified before I got it and the mods kiinda sucked. More rice than race. It came with aftermarket coilovers, an intake, and aftermarket aero cosmetics. Cool, but I think I’ll just keep the intake.

  • Removed the coilovers, and replaced with OEM
  • Removed the spoiler extension
  • Covered “aero holes”
  • Kept the intake

The aftermarket intake was the one thing I liked and kept it. Compliant with ST rules.

Before changes, not STH compliant

Not STH Compliant {: width=”100%” }

Not STH Compliant {: width=”100%” }

After changes, STH compliant

STH Compliant


It will be a lot of fun! Ultimately, I want to get a win someday but it definitely won’t be this coming Sunday. I have all the opportunities to learn how to drive better and I intend to do what I can this season to learn. One thing I really want to do is open this up and speak about SCCA more when I get more experience. It was quite challenging to know what I wanted to know about SCCA Hawaii through their website alone. I didn’t know who to ask and I didn’t really understand everything I needed to get ready for my first race. Who knows, maybe if I stick with autocross long enough, I’ll be writing for the SCCA Hawaii website!