K-Tuned Integra Type R Update: The Road to Super Lap Battle

K-Tuned Integra Type R Update: The Road to Super Lap Battle

James Houghton's 2017 Season Recap

by Frank Ewald

 

The K-Tuned Integra Type R is a truly amazing machine. Over the seasons I have been writing about James Houghton's Type R, I have been amazed at how driver and car come back year after year better and faster. While also pulling off some amazing victories along the way. The team behind this build, Lavigne Motorsports, has always focused on ensuring every component in the car is working at maximum efficiency. That is how the K-Tuned Integra Type R has remained competitive – even though it is significantly down on power when compared to its closest competition. Chasing efficiency is a never ending process, and the 2017 season is no different. With each passing event changes continue to be made, and we're gonna give you an insider's look at James' and the K-Tuned Integra's development througout this last season.

Being in the number one spot does essentially paint a bullseye on your back, and James has had no issue with that. In fact, he enjoys it. The challengers have come and gone – except for Will Au-Yeung in the Vibrant Performance Civic. The two teams have been in a seasaw battle for Unlimited FWD supremacy and were the talk of the paddock at last year's Super Lap Battle. Right now the Civic absolutely has an advantage in the horsepower department – a 180 whp advantage to be exact. 

James is the first to admit the competition with his long time friend and neighbor has been incredible. James and Will have known each other since the early 2000s, but the competition did not begin until Will started competing in his Acura RSX. Since then they have been challenging each other, one pushing the other to improve, and both of them knowing they had to bring their A game when the other was competing. James, of course, always brings his A game no matter what, but their rivalry definitely pushed the develop of the Type R to what it is today.

Rumor has it that more cars are being built to tackle James and Will head on. There is no question this is a moment where James is absolutely battling time. The real question is how does he keep getting faster!

 

You don't get a checkered flag in Time Attack, but you get a checkered flag when you're the winner of the CSCS Max Attack race! The K-Tuned Type R is not just a one lap wonder. In Max Attack, the cars are gridded with the fastest at the back. To win, they must work through the pack in 5 laps of intense wheel to wheel action. James and the K-Tuned Integra are one of the small number of front wheel drive cars pushing past RWD and AWD class competitors. Some of today's FWD time attack builds are simply incredible.

 

James has not been content to sit and wait for others to catch up. Each winter he and Eric from Lavigne Motorsports go to work on the Integra to extract every bit of speed from the chassis. James demonstrated the capability of the Type R at Gingerman Raceway when he went four seconds faster around the track than the Dodge ACR's record setting run in 2016. Four seconds faster than a V10 RWD in a FWD Integra! 

Of course, this is not not just any Integra. James' car is based on grassroots racing principles, and if you have the time, energy, and a reasonable budget (let's be honest, you cannot be serious about any kind of racing without spending money), you could replicate this car. Do not be misled into thinking there are bottomless pockets behind this team, as that is definitley not the case. Sure, there are some great sponsors on board, but like any other race program, finances are a constant concern. Though if you manage to get the necessary funding to get your program off the ground, you'll be hard pressed to replicate the driver, mechanic, and team surrounding this car. 

 

This past winter, the K-Tuned Type R received some updates as it got ready for an early spring start. The engine has mostly remained untouched since the amazing weekend the team had last November at GTA – SuperLap Battle, though some work was done before the GTA Road Atlanta event last August. The winter off-season focus was to fine tune the car's aero and work on weight reduction. The car also got a new wrap for 2017 that is stunning. When you see the two K-Tuned cars out on track, you may need to look closely to ensure you are not mistaking them. James' car has a distinctive white nose.

 

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