Sunday, December 19, 2010


This is a blog created specially to document the journey of my S2000 build and more critically my development as a driver.

Before I elaborate on what my car is currently being set up with and my goals, perhaps I should start with what my beginnings were.

I was pretty much a car idiot as a teenager and never had a big thing for them. Until finally egged on my friends, I took my licence in NS and got my first taste of driving. I drove pretty boring cars including Nissan's, Hyundai's and the like up until I met a few friends who let me try cars including Efini RX7, civic vtecs, CLK and WRX. That tied in with my side job/business selling car parts which a friend of mine dragged me into doing. I was never afraid to try new cars out and push them to the limits. I was often keen to spend entire nights driving til the wee hours and was by that time totally hooked to driving & cars so much so that I gave up virtually all other pursuits.

The first vehicle of mention that I  was pretty known for driving was a humble Renault. Those who know me well enough know that I'd heel toe and corner like a madman on this vehicle leading to some really heart stopping moments for my friends watching. I had sort of a bit of a following with that vehicle since some felt it really showed my driving skills beyond what the vehicle could do. To some, it was even a bit legendary ;) The second vehicle was a WRX which I had also put through some really exciting races including ~200kmh cornering and ~280kmh top speeds. This vehicle also built a following til the point certain folks gathered to watch the car and some even arranged challenges in an effort to take me down through a race.

Here are pics of my WRX:

Much of the driving then was just based on bravado rather than skill (I also was pretty keen to try handbrake turns on whatever I got my hands on!) but one friend emphasized smoothness in driving which led me in the constant pursuit of silky smooth gearshifts, it is probably because of the idea of smooth shifting that led me to constantly be aware of how shifting affected car balance. Eventually, I found my technique lacking and began to practice heel & toe gearshifts til today where I aim for perfect shifts as often as possible. The book Going Faster by Carl Lopez was also instrumental in making me consciously identify where my skill was lacking.

Driving softer suspension cars led me to have a feel for how braking and throttle application/liftoff changed balance on the car and I have always been constantly experimenting on how pedal actions can turn/pitch the car. This also led to my reduction of reliance on the steering to turn the car in an effort to reduce scrubbing and earlier straightening of the wheel to enhance exit speeds.

A word of caution to those who gotten to know certain "driving/car guru's": Driving is a skill perfected by constant practice and analytical thought process at the highest level. The "guru's" who claim to be aggressive and fearless with certain "gifts" to make them peerless at driving are probably just full of hot air. I have been told how to drive by certain competitive MME participants, Kallang Rally drivers, etc and analysis of the "skills" they imparted showed me how flawed their technique was compared to professional racing driver techniques (some even claimed I would blow a gearbox in 6 months with my aggressive technique but I have done 3 years on this gearbox & used oil analysis has proven minute wear on my gearbox, evidence of proper shifting technique) . I have only this to say: Look at how the professionals, like rally & race drivers, drive through videos & print and you will learn the proper techniques alot quicker and correctly.

Today, since 3 yrs ago, I have a Honda S2000 with a 2.2 litre engine & 6 speed gearbox. Probably one of the best driver's car around, it has taught me invaluable lessons. Some of the those lessons were rewarding and some more painful but it has all contributed to me being a sharper driver. Perhaps one day I will be a very good driver but for now, I will strive for perfection every time I reach for the starter button...


  1. Wow nice write up Master. i look forward to be learning more from you once my car is ready *bow*

  2. I suppose driving is much like fashion, it's a style to express individuality. Just like the type of car, color, model and modifications chosen by each owner is different. There's no perfection to everything but you, yourself and your way of drive. :)

  3. Fuyumi: spot on with that comment.

    Hammy: thks and will update as often as