With all the necessary power-producing components installed and cooperating nicely, it may have seemed Ryan was ready to get in his familiar EG and begin blasting 9-second passes. But as anyone with seat time in a track car (not counting posing in one at a car show for your MySpace profile) can attest, even the most well-designed race machine stands no chance at clenching titles without one crucial ingredient: approval from sanctioning bodies.
To gain clearance from trackside tech inspectors, Ryan replaced his OE steering wheel with a quick-release Sparco Mugello unit, yanked his stock recliners for Kirkey Racing aluminum drag seats with Simpson harnesses, and fabricated a custom window net and bracket for his Simpson Skyjacker chute. Gaining clearance from mom, however, meant visiting Pennsylvania's Kalani Gohara for a custom 12-point rollcage; effective, albeit what some (not Ryan's mom) might call "a little over-the-top."
Using basic hand tools and his driveway as a garage, he installed a Garrett GT35R turbo as the base power from which he would build upon the rest of his transformation. Unfortunately, a flatulent monkey hopped on his back when the installation was complete and the Civic became bogged down with a waning powerband that ceased to produce the numbers that Ryan had hoped. He can still remember staying up days in a row trying to get prepped for a dyno, only to be setback to square one if the Honda refused to rev over 3,000 rpm.
Thanks to a set of extensively machined RLZ heads and a few tweaks of the Honda's AFC tuning, the car's disappointing 100rpm powerband instantly leaped to 3,000 rpm and the car scorched the rollers at a very long-awaited 586 whp. Mind you, this is all with the single cam and over two years of trial, error, sweat, and blood to pull out such huge numbers from a relatively stock engine block. Life on the blacktop isn't always a Kirkey racing seat of roses, as Ryan can attest.
Even with the impressive gains that Ryan has achieved thus far in his build, he says the Honda is far from done. In fact, he didn't even have the car back in its driveway before beginning plans to break into the 600whp barrier. How could he possibly achieve more horsepower out of a single cam EG, you ask? By putting the mighty Civic on a diet of less fatty plastics and metal, and more nutrient dense nitrous oxide, of course.
Ultimately, Ryan would like to take the Civic to professional hot-rod status, matching up with the big dogs running in excess of 800 whp. He would also like to own a race team with a field of cars to choose from. But for now, Ryan is just glad that he grew up in a family who is supporting his dreams and preferred Japanese imports over the inferior '80s domestics. "That's why I don't have a sister named Bobby Sue and a Mustang," Ryan says.