The combination of RealTime Racing and the Acura Integra Type R forged a race-winning record that remains unbroken after nearly two decades.
In a new video, Acura highlights the story of the restored RealTime Racing #42 Integra Type R returning to the track with Sports Car Club of America Hall-of-Famer Peter Cunningham behind the wheel.
The video below 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 in July at the WeatherTech International Challenge vintage race weekend at Road America, where the #42 car qualified and finished fourth in a field of 60-plus 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. “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, according to the company, 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 under-hood chassis-stiffening strut bar straight from the factory, and the suspension and brakes were unique. 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.
“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.”
The car was also on display in the Honda booth at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.