K-Tuned Integra Type R: Team Approach!
GridLife Road Atlanta
At Gridlife Road Atlanta James and the K-Tuned Integra Type R put down the fastest time any Gridlife competitor has ever attained at Road Atlanta. However, it was not enough to capture the Road Atlanta overall FWD track record. This Gridlife time was accomplished after losing fifth gear. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it. Photo Credit: Austin Cabot.

2018 has been both an incredibly successful year while at the very same time quite a challenging year for the K-Tuned Integra Type R. The car is more powerful and faster than ever, but so is the competition.  The team has been pushed throughout the year as they seek to get even more out of this amazing car and even more out of this amazing team. It was five or six years ago that we started writing about Canadian Time Attack Cars here at MotoIQ. Initially, they were viewed as interesting cars but nothing that anyone south of the 49th parallel had to worry about. Fast forward to today and no American teams are worried about the Canadian teams rather, they are trying to copy the Canadians, looking at these Northern cars as the current pinnacles of Time Attack viewed as successful models for North American builds and quite possibly worried that they cannot catch up. The K-Tuned Integra Type R, the K-Tuned Civic, the Can-Jam Subaru STi, the Vibrant Civic, and the Vibrant RSX – FWD are all fantastic cars. Between them, all these Canadians hold multiple class and outright track records on both sides of the border. Everyone on this side of the Atlantic is now trying to catch the Vibrant Civic. The Civic has not been at The SpeedRing but both the STi and the Type R have been there twice. Both years Black Storm, as the Can-Jam STi is known, came away with the overall fastest time. Both years at The SpeedRing the K-Tuned Type R has pushed against the odds and, in 2018, brought home the Touge Bracket Race battle victory. At Buttonwillow, we have seen head to head battles that have seen both the K-Tuned Type R and the Vibrant Civic leave with the win. Then this past spring the Vibrant Civic put down a time that literally made every Time Attack enthusiast stop and look. We have yet to see the Can-Jam STi go head to head with the Vibrant Civic but they have both run Buttonwillow’s infamous track, with Black Storm heading there this year right after SEMA for the first time. Almost everyone visits the sand on their first outing at Buttonwillow and there was no exception here for the Can-Jam team. The STi pulled off some amazing times after some obstacles, including the off-roading, required trackside repairs. Track conditions were also less than desirable in the fall, with many locals commenting that the dusty conditions at Superlap Battle meant that the track was slippery and thus the slowest SLB they could recall. Black Storm’s efforts were heroic, but it was not enough to capture Will Au-Yeung’s record-smashing time from this spring.

GTA Road Atlanta
This is just an incredible shot captured at Road Atlanta. While the shot is fantastic, the weekend itself was full of challenges and issues for the Type R that culminated in a fire in the engine bay. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the damage was small. Photo Credit: @mattstephens.jpg

The K-Tuned Acura Integra Type R is owned and raced by James Houghton. Built by Eric Lavigne of Lavigne Motorsports. Right now the Type R is running behind. Which makes us laugh because even though it is running in second place right now, it is still faster than cars which have been the benchmark for time attack cars for years. It may ‘only’ be the second fastest North American FWD Unlimited car but it is still seconds faster than it was in 2017. The K-Tuned Type R and the Vibrant Civic are both running in Unlimited Front Wheel Drive Class (Hmmm! The differences between these two cars is huge. Is it time to see an ultra-unlimited class!) The Time Attack battle between the K-Tuned Type R and the Vibrant Civic has produced some of the greatest strides in Time Attack that North America has seen in recent years? And they both come from Canada, Eh! It is like a time attack revolution. Just before Thanksgiving, James opened up the doors at Lavigne Motorsports in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and gave us an opportunity to see virtually every aspect of the K-Tuned Acura Integra Type R. If there was anything off limits, it was not much. As we were discussing the car and the build it was interesting to note how some of the most significant new parts were locally sourced. Initially, the Type R’s parts came from around the globe and specifically from the U.S.A. and, while that is still quite frequently the case, in addition to Canadian names like K-Tuned we are hearing a lot about relative newcomers to the field like Unit 2 Fabrication Inc and Spage Sport. Both of the latter are businesses located in Kitchener that are creating some incredible products for the motorsport industry. The author has followed these businesses from their early days and, like this car’s track progress since it was a street car, they are impressive.

The Integra has undergone a lot of changes over the years. Each year it has gotten better looking! And faster! A lot faster. Photo Credit: AimForApex

The stock Acura Integra Type R is an awesome car that still causes people to look when one is seen on the street or track – even though the most recent versions are nearly twenty years old. The K-Tuned Type R has been a work in progress since James purchased it just slightly less than ten years ago. James and Eric had met about five years before that purchase and Eric’s appreciation of the Honda marque has rubbed off on James. His foray into the world of Mazdas and Subarus has been left long behind. In the early years, Eric was involved in every aspect of the Type R’s development. And the changes have been dramatic. In 2011 while in competition with CSCS at Toronto Motorsports Park in Ontario, Canada (referred to as TMP from here on) set a street car record of 1:20.821 while pushing out about 198 wheel horsepower. Interesting to note that this record stood for five years before it was taken down (the author tried once but was a few seconds off pace!) TMP is a small track – short with some very tight corners and the last turn literally brushes up against a very imposing concrete wall. In Time Attack in Ontario, this track may not be the best track, but it is by far the most popular track and almost everyone knows their time at this circuit. And 99% of the drivers who have attacked this course know that they cannot come close to James’ times. At the final CSCS event of 2018, James and the K-Tuned Type R put down a blistering time at TMP to reset the unlimited FWD record. Putting down 809 FWHP. Even more shocking is that data showed that there was even more time left to be found. During our interview, James expressed a bit of regret, slightly tinged with frustration, that a slight miscalculation meant hitting a bump on the final corner that caused the car to push way to close to the concrete wall on the driver’s left. That correction cost James and the team a fraction of a second – but still resulted in an incredible 1:09.5; which became another FWD record in the books. This Acura Integra Type R is a seriously fast car with Eric Lavigne, of Lavigne Motorsports, the head of the team that now works on developing this car.


    1. This is absolutely the K-Tuned Integra Type R! K-Tuned is not engine management. There are so many K-Tuned parts on this car that I’ve lost track – the shifter, suspension, fuel rail to name a few. Visit K-Tuned.com for more of their product line. The Haltech ecu is tuned by Evans Tuning. Enjoy reading.

  1. Love watching the progression of this car. Good stuff on the turbo setup with the thermal insulation and cold air source. I would consider a small scoop on the hood for the intake. Love the new heat exchanger arrangement with the ducted hood. Interesting stuff with the new Stoptech setup.

  2. Khiem, I had that same question/comment for James about an intake scoop. James, there are two of us who’d like to see a scoop! Thanks for the comments! This car is even more of a beast!

  3. I wouldn’t use a scoop –> Drag! But a naca-duct would work fine Or if your adament on using a scoop: design a backward facing one close to the front window. There should be enough pressure there….

    As for the splitter/wing thing: Its a packaging thing: I would use a single splitter/wing combo if room permits, It’s easier to calculate how much downforce you can expect that way. But when there are packaging constraints you can double up like your doing now. It’ll create a bit more drag, and the effectiveness in creating downforce of the splitter will deminish on the part where the wings are above. But thats compensated by the higher amount of downforce (and drag) of the wings placed above it.

    And as for the next step: When you still want to use separate wings above the splitter: Just incline and extend the lower part of the wing . Extending is a simple trick to run less angle (surface area is king) without loosing downforce, but decreasing drag. A straight piece can be used if thats easier to fabricate.

    1. Really great insight, Kevski-style. I hadn’t even thought of a naca-duct but that would be a great possibility. Drag is exactly why James has been running it like this! And I cannot contribute anything to your aero comments except to say thanks for sharing. Frank

      1. No problem, just glad I could help! I designed this stuff for single seaters with a “slightly” bigger budget, so its no biggie to help out. Besides: I like the car!

      1. And not really that hard: So long as you keep the de inclination angle no more then 10 degrees from the surface its mounted on. So long as you know your math (Pythagoras) your good to go. You know what the intake side needs to be dimension wise. So thats the verticle side of the Pythagoras equasion. You already know the maximum angle, so you can of from that to measure your minimum length. But you also know your maximum lentgh that can physically Fit on the hood. Because less inclination angle, is less air disturbance, is less drag. The other trick in designing your own is using 1/5th or 1/4th of the with of the back up front, using a widening taper for the initial part of the intake of roughly 10 degrees and let the actual duct begin to widen from 1/3th of the total length of the duct.

        Seriously good tech, but also seriously old tech: 1945 . But then again: V-bands which where actually Marman Clamps are from the ’30’s 😉

  4. I wouldn’t use a scoop –> Drag! But a naca-duct would work fine Or if your adament on using a scoop: design a backward facing one close to the front window. There should be enough pressure there….

    As for the splitter/wing thing: Its a packaging thing: I would use a single splitter/wing combo if room permits, It’s easier to calculate how much downforce you can expect that way. But when there are packaging constraints you can double up like your doing now. It’ll create a bit more drag, and the effectiveness in creating downforce of the splitter will deminish on the part where the wings are above. But thats compensated by the higher amount of downforce (and drag) of the wings placed above it.

    When you want to use a wing above the splitter: Use a single wing as long and wide that is allowable. You can then lessen the angle of the wing, to create the same amount of downforce but lower the drag. Its all about surface area: The higher the surface area, the lower the the angle can be for the same amount of downforce.

    1. What do you think about the front wing and what the front of the car does to the flow field behind the front wing?

      1. Lets first separate wing and splitter. Not for you Mike Kojima, but for the rest thats also reading this. And replace “wing” with spoiler. I’ll come to that in a minute. A splitter is a low drag solution. It increases drag only in the slightest as long as you don’t go overboard. In other words: The magic number is about 10cm of splitter material thats sticking out, or 4″ in the obsolete system (yeah, I’m from Europe 😉 ). A splitters works only because of 2 things: A resistance behind the splitter (a.k.a. the front of the car) and because of the lack of pressure underneath the splitter. So in itself it isn’t any better then a spoiler, but it’s using resistance that already there.

        A wing, or a spoiler as I like to call it, does exactly what the the spoil means: It spoils. In this case air. It creates a deflection of air to create a vacuum below the wing (Bernoulli). And because of that vacuum air gets sepparated. So to answer your question: It desturbs it a lot.

        What you ideally want is to only use a splitter for downforce, as it is the most efficient because of what I said earlier. Spoilers are used best on the backside of the car. If you use a spoiler on the front of your car, it becomes your problem. If you use it on the back of the car, it becomes somebody else’s problem.

        Where problems start to arise in with using front spoilers, is that you have to have a fairly high understanding of aerodynamics, high computational power, a wind tunnel, or have to get fairly creative with string, tape and a video camera on the road on a day without any wind. Otherwise it’s luck at best. Every spoiler spoils air for the back, making the aerodynamic setup on the rear of the cars less efficient.

        I would much rather use a larger splitter if rules permit it. And if using a spoiler, would use one with the highest amount of surface area and the least bit of inclination angle. If rules don’t allow that then spoilers come into play. But only if there is a real gain to be had. And in a sense, that all comes down to horsepower and car weight: Downforce you generate is way more effective on a lighter vehicle. I would much rather build a vehicle that is way to light and ad weight to strategic places then the other way around. And having horsepower to spare is the place where spoilers really come into play. There still is a drag penalty, but is overcome by high horsepower figures.

        I would much rather have a low drag setup then a high drag setup. The first car that come to mind is the Mclaren F1 roadcar. Thats because the to what most people think the whole car is actually producing downforce: The hood and the windscreen on roadgoing cars. But on le Mans and single seater cars it’s actually the air channeling through the body itself. A roadcar example, would be car like the Ferrari F50. The clearances in the hood are to warm air away from the radiator. Drag needs to be present there anyway, since you need to cool the engine. Why not use that to lower drag and increase downforce? Its where the front axle is located….

        1. For me, with sedan based race cars, it’s usually a struggle to make enough front downforce to balance the rear.

          1. It always is. As a rule of thumb: The farther in the front the downforce is created, the better it is, Force x arm. Both of the above mentioned cars have a long sloping hood starting a long way before the front wheels. With an sedan thats usually not the case. You could alter the slope of the hood, extend the front, etc. But thats usually not a viable option. And you don’t want to create drag and use wing. Best option is under the hood, but in front of the axe. So a duct for the radiator helps a lot. You can get away with 45 degree angles without causing that much more drag. And if you calculate surface area you’ll be amazed how much it ads.

            But what gets me the most is wheels and fenders. Placing your wheels as far out as possible is a good thing (als long as you don’t get carried away with offset wheels), but why would you leave even the smallest portion of tire exposed? Looking at the Honda above: Lower half of the front and rear tire.

            A single seater has this problem exagerated: About 40% of drag comes from the wheels. But they use slicks. A road car would be worse with exposed tires with tread. Just think of them like a big fan turning against the wind. Enclosing the frontal area fully will reduce lift: A tire forces air under the tire, creating lift. When you incorporate that with a splitter making sure there are no gaps (duct tape). Enclose the ends with and end plate that fully enclosed the side of splitter about 4 inches high. And while your at it: extend it to as low as you can below the splitter. Make sure it also mounts directly to the extended wheelarch without gaps. Fine tuning is done with a piece or cardboard in between the bumper and the end plate. You can slope it any way you want. Then just tape it down and start testing. Works just like a wing, but it forces air over the arch in stead of the sides, where turbulent air resides coming from the wheels.

            For the rear: Rinse and repeat. And after that you could still ad canards to the outside of the end plate to ad more downforce. Thats what the endplates are for: To separate the flow. And aerodynamic devices on the outside of the car won’t have such a detrimental effect on the rest of the aerodynamics. It also limits the amount of air goig under the car if you extend them below the splitter, which means higher speed and less pressure. There is one slight side effect: The car behaves differently on turn in. It will not be as crisp as without the mods. But since your a engineer as well thats something you can probably work out?

            As for vehicle specific info: I have to have specific photo’s/blueprints of the car to help you along.

          2. Your tricks are the same things I do. The other problem is cars with very little front overhang are hard to get downforce on. A lot of late model cars are like this. I have a question that I truly don’t know. What are the louvers that are starting to be incorporated into wing endplates doing?

          3. Mike, the gills in the endplates allow them to directionally bleed high dynamic pressure (usually on top of the wing.) This reduces drag due to the reduction of the vortex strength. F1 cars in the 80s had huge vortices on the rear wings you could actually see in wet conditions.

          4. @ Joe: Thats not the case. In a closed wheel car your theory would be possible, but as I mentioned earlier: wheels account for high amounts of drag and turbulence. So they are in essence used as a curtain. But you are missing quite obvious fact why your theory is incorrect: Look clearly at the louvres? Which direction are they pointing at? All of them are facing outward and down. If you would try to bleed of pressure, they would be facing outward and up. Way less drag that way. Besides, there is already a bleeding device in place: DRS: Drag Reduction System. So they are used to guide air in, not out.

            In my time with Toyota in Köln (in my time Toyota Motorsport gmbh, currently Toyota Gazoo Racing) it was already in the R&D stages in 2007. We decided not to pursue it back then because of the drawback’s. In essence the whole rear bodywork needed to be redesigned to make it work propperly. See below for the actual stuff it need to do….

  5. @ Mike Kojima:

    Main reason is to use pressure/turbulance from the tires as beneficial as possible. But its a double sided sword really: It can have quite detrimental effect if not properly designed, and if properly designed: Gains a very small benefit.

    That being said: F1 has dabbled with it since a couple of years. All because of the class rules. You could potentially make a spoiler bigger when flowing more air then it normally would by forcing turbulent air through a strainer (the louvres) and in essence making it less turbulent (drag) and used for downforce (introducing it to the airstream of the spoiler). So unless your running in a class which dictates spoiler dimensions, stay far away from that. And if you really want to do it: First spend a lot of time behind a computer testing everything as much as possible. Then start building to account for real life data. Because you really don’t want to do this unless you’ve a got a couple of million to spare.

    As for the overhang: Yep, thats correct. You have to make a frame thats supports everything to the chassis for that. But rest assured: I’m more into old cars: Currently need to extend the front of car nearly 20cm or 8 inch just to reach the splitter. And the splitter itself is nearly 20cm from the ground itself. Kind of like a bigfoot, but normal back in the day.

    But it is kind of possible. Ford in the states did it on a pickup in the 80’s or 90’s I believe. Ugly as hell, but it does work kind of: Bonnet spoiler. Ads some drag in itself, be lessens drag at the windshield.

    Or use a multi stacked front wing: As long as each an every new wing above the other is farther apart o the back of the wing compaired to the front (1:2 ratio) you could stack it. But drag will become an issue eventually. Thats why every stacked wing is usually made shorter the farther its up on top. But in essence its still Bernoulli.

    1. That’s why you build a shallow diffuser in front of the tire, or use strakes to divert airflow. Porsche usually has small ramps for a low drag flow diverter. You can also build air curtains that vent in front of the tires to reduce drag.

      The main problem with FF front downforce is no place to direct air in order to get sufficient mass air flow. A MR would be able to direct through the hood (ala Ferrari 488 Pista S-Ducts), or out through the front wheel wells. There is a nice LP zone in front of the wheels if you have enough front overhang.

      Otherwise, more DF in front is a real puzzler. Too long of a splitter and you must run really aggressive spring rates to reduce porpoising, which is really dangerous (think losing DF entering a corner on the brakes.)

      It looks awful, but Padakis built a high mount front wing. That, obviously works.

      I wonder if you could build an air intake on the HP zone on the bumper and exhaust on the windscreen area, but it will probably hurt rear DF.

      Not a lot of good options on FF, unfortunately. If you built a front subframe you could probably engineer a pretty impressive set of side wings with VGs. The ones pictured are very simple. Take a look at a modern F1 front wing with 10-20 elements for ideas. They use the Y250 vortex (through the chassis and inside the tire.) But, you would have to use an outboard VG, on the endplates (expanding cone shape.)

      1. A agree with you fully on this one. In stead of stronger spring rates, you could also use anti dive. That should eleviate the problems a bit, but has it’s own problems in itself.

        As for the Y250 vortices: They are used quite extensively, but always in conjunction with the existing aerodynamic shapes. There has to be flow separation at that point on the car. Otherwise they do more harm then good. A ton of data has to be collected for them to work properly. Because in essence, they are just used to re-energise the boundary layer separating. So in the same essence, they are only used to make the systems you are using more efficient.

        Y250 litterally stand for Y=center axes of the vehicle 250=250mm wide . So thats about 10″ in the outdated system. An FF road can be designed to incorporate that, but it has to be a very thight package: Less front overhang means less space to incorporate the duction out through the bonnet, and a sollution for the radiator has to be made, because a real S-duct cant have any obstruction it. But if there is room besides the radiator and after it you could use 2 channels next to the central intake of the radiator. But in most cases thats not possible because of the way the car is built. Y250 is generally only usefull on open wheel cars because of the shape of the body and the rules. On road cars that would be a far wider area: Usually the whole width of the hood. so anywhere from Y1000 on smaller cars tot beyond that on the wider ones.

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