James Kempf Breaks the Honda FWD World Record

Ascending from low 8’s to high 7’s is exponentially more difficult in an Outlaw FWD than any Outlaw RWD or AWD. Being the quickest is always something pro teams set as a goal and strive for. Speed Factory Racing recently accomplished their goal of branding their name in the FWD history books as the World’s Quickest and Fastest FWD Honda.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Speed Factory’s Outlaw Competition Clutch sponsored hatchback’s success has come overnight. Since its debut in 2009, Speed Factory’s driver James Kempf has been going rounds at almost every event they show up to, and each season peels away a few more hundredths of a second off their own World Record e.t’s.

On Nov 2, 2012, at Maryland International Raceway during the premier World Cup Finals event, James Kempf shocked the sport by establishing an Outlaw World Record with a 8.08 @ 190 MPH run. Quickly, Speed Factory gained notoriety as possibly being the 1st Outlaw FWD team to break the 7 second barrier, and on June 22, 2013 at Pacific Raceways, Kempf broke it running a 7.995 @ 189.20 MPH.

Repeating the 7 second run was no easy task, but on Nov 2, 2013 during qualifying at World Cup Finals Imports vs Domestics at Maryland International Raceway, James Kempf froze the scoreboards with a 7.932 @ 196.70 MPH, and backed it up the next day with another 7.9 run in Round 3 of eliminations, sending a loud and clear message that their previous year’s 7 second pass wasn’t a one hit wonder run. James Kempf took the win at WCF in the Street Fighter class with a 7.917 @ 196.87 MPH, getting closer to the 200mph barrier with two 196mph runs as well as breaking their own Outlaw World Record.

The car continued to run consistently in the 7.9 to 8.0 second zone, but the elusive 200 mph still loomed. April 12-13, 2014 was the weekend of Atco Raceway’s annual Honda Day. The competition was fierce all weekend and with runs in the 8.0’s, the car was in top shape. In the middle of competition with the sun beating down on the track, James Kempf was on it. The team and the crowd watched as he steered the hatchback down the track. He crossed the beams and the time board showed it, a 8.00 @ 200.92 MPH! Just so we can collectively gawk, that’s a 200 mile an hour FWD Civic!

The World’s Fastest and Quickest stock chassis FWD Civic still had more left in it. They had reached the 200 MPH mark, but they were pushing the car even harder to knock off more time. April 2016 saw the team at Woodburn Dragstrip in Oregon at the 2nd Annual West Coast Shootout. The hatchback crossed the beams at 7.88 @ 190.92 MPH thus resetting the World Record (also breaking their own World Record). Their biggest competitor continues to be themselves. A month later while at Import Face-off at the same Woodburn Dragstrip, James Kempf would pilot the Civic to yet another World Record run setting a time of 7.804 @ 190.27 MPH. Just this past weekend SpeedFactory showed up at the NHRA Northwest Nationals Pacific Raceway and once again SF does it, running a monster 7.74 @ 201.76 MPH establishing a New Honda FWD World Record.

If the proof is in the pudding, these guys know what’s cooking. Following the progression of Speed Factory’s Outlaw Competition Clutch sponsored Civic reveals the dedication and hard-work that goes on behind the scenes. Since the car’s debut, they have shaved off hundredths of a second each year, chipping away at what seems like an impossible goal. They’ve reached 200 MPH and they own the World Record E.T., what more can these guys pull out of that hatchback? We don’t know, but one thing’s for sure, the time boards will be the proof.

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