I met Myles Bautista about nine years ago; so long ago, in fact, that I did not even own a car or better yet, have a driver's license. My older brother, Nee, and Myles used to race together; back then, I was only known to Myles as "Nee's little brother."
Every Friday night I would sneak from the house, jump into the back seat of my brother's ride, an '89 Civic, and tag along to Sylmar, Ontario or Strong Beach wherever the action was that week. Weekend after weekend I would witness my brother, Myles and his crew (Team Precision) face off against other street racers.
In my first encounter with Myles, he was running a 1986 Honda CRX, sporting a Mugen body kit and a ZC engine with dual carbs under the hood. I was barely 5 years old, and the idea of an engine swap and dual Mikuni carbs was mind-boggling.
I was blown away with the kind of technology (yes, dual carbs were high tech then) he unleashed, making his ride one of the most-feared vehicles at the street races. He was constantly trying new things to make his CRX faster and faster.
As I recall, he was one of the first to utilize a turbocharger on a Honda.
Although the street races were fun, the proving ground to be named top dog was at the Battle of the Imports. The Battle was the place to etch your name in import racing history. Myles along with many other import legends like Tony Fuchs, Archie Medrano, Junior Asper and Stephan Papadakis battled toe-to-toe to claim the top prize: be named the quickest Honda. Myles and the CRX claimed the title a couple of times and he finally retired the CRX in 1997.
Fast forward to the 21st century and Myles' experience modifying Hondas has resulted in the creation of Rev Hard Manufacturing, which specializes in developing high-powered turbo kits. Jojo Callos, Kenny Tran and Leevon Eisle are just a few of the racers who utilize Rev Hard turbo kits in their racers. Today, Rev Hard Racing sponsors a stable of race vehicles. We decided to catch up with Mr. Bautista to check out its new toys.
With the CRX now minus the powerplant (and other assorted goods), Myles was in search of a new weapon.
The search resulted in the puchase of a 1999 Acura Integra shell. Instead of swapping in the 1.6-liter engine from the CRX, a larger displacement engine was to reside in the engine bay--a fully built, turbocharged H22A. The DOHC Prelude VTEC engine pounded an earth shattering 680 horses to the front wheels. Unfortunately, the crew was unable to adequately put the power to the ground; but while the Integra was plagued with driveline failures throughout the next two seasons, it was still able to run a 10.33 e.t. on one of its few complete passes. Myles anticipated running the 2.2-liter Prelude engine for one more race and if it still suffers driveline problems they are going to switch to a smaller 1.8-liter engine.
Mid way through the 2000 season, the Rev Hard crew acquired a new racer--a 1993 Honda Civic coupe previously owned by Jeff Tirado. With the lessons already learned from the Integra, the Civic was only going to be outfitted with a 1.6-liter, B16A engine.
The choice proved beneficial, with no broken driveline parts at the very first outing where the Honda made its quickest pass of 10.24 at 138 mph--with a slipping clutch. With the clutch changed, it was again time to bring the Civic to the track. On its second outing, the Civic was able to blast into the coveted nine-second club with a 9.92 at 142 mph. The third race of the season for the Civic was not as rewarding as the first two. At the season finale, the IDRC International Finals, the crew decided to hook-up the juice (nitrous oxide) to compensate for the 1.6-liter's lack of torque. Unfortunately, the juice burned the number three piston on its first pass, taking the car out of the competition for the rest of the race.
The Rev Hard team is ecstatic with the Civic and feels its potential has been barely tapped. With only three races under its belt and a nine-second timeslip already on the board, the Civic's future does look bright.
Under The Glass Eye. Quick Class racing has evolved from weekend warriors who strip out their interiors at the track to purpose-built vehicles that flex tin interiors. Although the Civic once rolled the city streets of Los Angeles, the Honda is now a Trailer Queen. The only street it sees is the one with two lanes.
The Civic's bottom half of its B16A engine is filled with Arias 9.0:1 compression pistons, custom forged con-rods and a custom cut crank. Displacement now registers in at about 2.0-liters. The crew hopes the larger displacement will give the Civic the added torque missing from the previous combination. Housing the forged components is a Benson's Full-Metal Jacket block. Thick, ductile iron sleeves are incorporated into the block to safely contain the high-pressure boost exploding in the combustion chamber with each power stroke. Dictating airflow to and from the chamber is a custom ported and polished head from KG Engineering. Orchestrating the SI stainless-steel valves and JUN springs and titanium retainers to perfect harmony are a pair of Civic Type-R camshafts and Jotech Motorsports adjustable sprockets. A Rev Hard custom equal-length turbo manifold harvests spent gases and directs them to a secret-spec Turbonetics hairdryer. The turbocharger is capable of producing 35 psi of boost pressure but is only regulated to 24 psi by a GReddy Profec B boost controller and Type-C wastegate. A Spearco liquid-to-air intercooler handles cooling of the compressed air. After the air has been chilled, it is then fed into a 70mm BBK throttle body, mated to a Venom custom intake manifold. Fueling chores have been left to a Weldon pump and regulator feeding four 960cc injectors through a Venom high-flow fuel rail. Spark energy has been upgraded with the addition of an MSD 7AL-2 and MSD coil. The amped charge is transferred to the NGK spark plugs via Magnecor 10mm plug wires. The Civic runs the ultimate in sequential fuel injection, a Motec M4PRO installed by JGM Automotive of Huntington Beach, Calif.
Harv St. Mary of Harv's Dyno Tuning in Huntington Beach, Calif. handled tuning duties. The 600-plus crankshaft horsepower is transferred to the transmission via a JUN chrome-moly flywheel and ACT heavy-duty race clutch. Custom driveshaftshop.com axles transfer the power to a pair of import-compound Hoosiers gumballs.
Like many race vehicles, traction is key to quick e.t.s, especially on fwd racers. Residing at the four corners are HKS Hiper Damper coil-overs. These offer both ride height and shock dampening adjustments for different track conditions. A Raceworx wheelie bar adds additional traction needed to claim the nine-second timeslips. At the track, the Civic runs a pair of Hoosiers 13 x 9 racing gumballs mounted on Bogart hardware. On the show circuit, the Honda rolls on 18-inch Sprewell Racing CP10 wrapped with Toyo rubber.
With already two title contenders in its stables, you would think the Rev Hard crew would be content. However, sources have revealed Rev Hard has enlisted the services of Leevon Eisele, the number two points leader in the 2000 IDRC championship series, to pilot the Team Rev Hard flagship in 2001.
Leevon's Civic will also share a similar recognizable paint sceme as the Civic and Integra. Rev Hard is also planing on adding a fourth full tube-frame, front-drive racer to its line-up in 2001. With three cars in the Quick class line-up and one in Outlaw, it's certain that Team Rev Hard is not only out for being title contenders, but all-out world domination.