The video showcases the Integra Type R’s original run in near-stock form; its dominant performance in the SPEED Touring Car championship, and its return to racing glory. The action took place this July at the WeatherTech International Challenge vintage race weekend at Road America, where the #42 car qualified and finished fourth in a field of over 60 vehicles.
“It was our first race back out with the Acura Integra Type R, and it was like we never skipped a beat. We had a great time!” said Cunningham, team owner of RealTime Racing, at the conclusion of the race. “There were some 60 cars in our group and only a few vehicles in a class above beat us, so it was a great day for RealTime and Acura and great to have the Type R back on track.”
1997 Acura Integra Type R
When it debuted in 1997, the Acura Integra Type R was much more than a faster Integra GS-R, the previous top-line trim. The Type R’s B18C5 engine became a legend in its own right for its factory modifications, the highlights of which included a hand-ported head, thinner valves and unique valve springs, robust connecting rods and numerous other upgrades, to give the Type R a screaming 8,400-rpm redline.
The Integra Type R body also benefited from extra welds for additional chassis strength and stiffness. There was an underhood chassis-stiffening strut bar straight from the factory, and the suspension and brakes were unique to Type R. The fundamental goodness of the Type R wasn’t lost on RealTime, and the factory car was so good out of the box that racing modifications for the track were limited to race-spec springs and shocks, mandatory safety equipment, such as a roll cage, and a stripped-out interior. Even the transmission was unmodified from stock.
When the Integra Type R debuted, RealTime Racing had already been competing, and winning, with Acura vehicles for nearly a decade. The team began with Acura’s first-generation Integra, and later raced with the legendary first-generation Acura NSX. From its racing debut in 1997 through the 2002 season, RealTime’s Integra Type R dominated the SPEED Touring Car Championship, capturing 23 race wins on the way to five Drivers’ Championships (Pierre Kleinubing – 1997, 2000, 2001, Michael Galati – 1998 and Cunningham – 2002) and four Manufacturers’ Championships (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002). The record remains unbroken to this day.
“We knew from the start the Acura Integra Type R was a very special car,” said Cunningham. “But now, after all these years, it’s achieved legendary status, and rightly so. I believe it’s still one of the best performing front-wheel drive cars ever built.”