Attacking Time: James Houghton’s Integra Type R

Attacking Time: James Houghton's Integra Type R

by Frank Ewald – with James Houghton

Pic above by Mercedeh Ajamzadeh

The Acura Integra Type R has been called the best handling front wheel drive sports car ever. If you have had a chance to watch Jimmy Houghton’s Type R in action, you would have no choice but to agree. This car is fast. This driver is too. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jimmy outside of his workplace, Vern Houghton Rustproofing, and discuss his car and his experience racing. I should mention, Jimmy’s Dad is Vern and he has a strong driving history.


Jimmy and his support crew in Buttonwillow, California for Global Time Attack. The 2500 mile drive from Ontario (Canada) to California was worth it. From the left: Derek Pawlowski, Joshua Bannon, Shawn Gilbert, Eric Lavigne, Tom Glogowski, and James Houghton. Pic by Eric Lavigne.

In 2013 Jimmy set multiple track records in the Canadian Sports Car Series (CSCS). Including a time at Toronto Motorsports Park of 1:14.376 in the unlimited Front Wheel Drive (FWD) class, bettering his own record of 1:16.52 that he had set in 2012. Car and driver still hold the street car track record for CSCS, set in 2011 before he had forced induction (1.19.0 on Hankook RS3's with 245 whp). Not content with this season, Jimmy hauled his car 4000 kilometres to Buttonwillow to compete with Global Time Attack. He switched around his setup so that he could compete in the Limited FWD class. He placed second with a time of 1:55.685. This is a time which would have garnered first place in Unlimited FWD that year with Global Time Attack – but for Jimmy it was worth changing the setup so that he could compete head to head with Tim Kuo in his Type R. Tim took first place with a time of 1:52.886 – Jimmy wanted the competition more than he wanted a first place finish. On Page 5 of this MotoIQ article you can read about the lead up to this Global Time Attack event.


When will an Acura attract more attention than a McLaren MP4-12C? When it's James Houghton's supercharged Type R at the 2013 CSCS Finale. The difference was only about 0.3 seconds, but the Type R bested the MP4-12C's best lap time. Eric Lavinge's SuperStreet Civic – gray with orange wheels – is pulling into the paddock behind the Type R. Eric, owner of R-Division, is a mechanical and fabrication genius.

2014 was a year to develop the safety features of the car. Throughout the 2013 CSCS season the Integra did not even have a roll bar, so the car was back out at the R-Division shop and a six point roll bar was added. Personal gear in the form of a fire suit and the accompanying goods were added. Then a few more things – pistons, rod, block, and more displacement – were added to the car. The end result is a car that is safer, lighter, and more powerful. That is a great combination.


Eric's Civic is an imposing machine on its own. He runs in the CSCS SuperStreet class. Pic by Brent Runciman.

The K20 block was replaced with a K24. This block was a complete build by Eric Lavigne at R-Division. It included CP Pistons with an 11:1 compression ratio. Carillo Rods, ARP head studs, new bearings and a new oil pump rounded out this complete overhaul. The head is the same as was used on the K20 in 2013 but it has been fitted with 2006 TSX cams as they are the most aggressive OEM cams which have been paired with Brian Crower springs and retainers. The head was inspected, shaved to ensure a secure fit, and reinstalled. There has been no porting or polishing done to the head.


The block was meticulously reassembled. How the pieces are put together makes the difference between a great engine and one that doesn't last. Podium finishes were planned from early winter.

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