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1998 Acura Integra Type R - Seek & Destroy

Sportcar Motion Delivers Another White Rocket Built To Annihilate The Competition

Joey Lee
Jun 24, 2010
Photographer: Rodrez

Loi Song's 1998 Integra Type R
There's really no introduction needed for Loi Song, owner of Sportcar Motion. His association with Honda Tuning goes back years. This feature signifies the fifth time one of his projects has graced the pages of this publication and we are truly honored to see his continued evolution in the Honda community. Song, better known to his buddies simply as "The Tea-Father", started out with an innocent venture into uncharted waters. The once Ford fanatic suddenly switched camps to build one of the most inspirational RX7 FDs in the country. Then, without warning, Song decided to see what all the Honda fuss was about. A boosted Del Sol street car led to a fully built drag Civic that muscled its way into the nine second club. Years later, with a trail of highly touted Honda projects behind him, Song has turned his attention to road racing and pushing the envelope of K series performance. His trio of aggressive yet functional time attack competitors have managed to make a name for themselves amongst one of the stiffest forms of automotive competition. He's grown with every one of his builds and he is now known as one of the most knowledgeable shop owners when it comes to just about anything K-related.

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Last we heard, the Sportcar Motion crew had assembled a K24/K20 hybrid-swapped Civic CX that represented Honda Tuning at the 2009 Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge. Though it didn't finish with top honors, it reaffirmed that Hondas were highly competitive vehicles in the sport compact world. The low budget brawler proudly clawed its way toward cars that cost more than four times the price of the little hatchback. The Civic had earned the respect of other publications that were running higher horsepower builds and had some scratching their heads in wonderment as to how it managed to do so well. In all honesty, it really didn't need the Castrol event to get Sportcar Motion noticed; the K-powered hatch was already busy making noise on track. It was so dominant that it broke track records in its class and had the competition running the other way because they simply had no answer to Sportcar Motion's dominance.

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While the Civic was busy kicking ass and taking names, Loi Song had this 1998 Acura Integra Type R tucked away in the back of his shop. Song had been searching for an ITR for years, but was finding it difficult to source one in the condition he wanted. After eluding him for years, Song was about to give up and try his hand at building a time attack S2000. Fate always has a way of smacking us in the face when we least expect it, and for Loi, the Type R literally came out of nowhere.

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"A friend of mine gave me the heads up about the Type R," Song says. "It was all the way out in Utah, but was perfect and unmolested. I immediately drove out there with a trailer to pick it up."

The Type R was everything Loi wanted: A '98-spec chassis that was untouched, with no exterior flaws or damage. More importantly, the car carries a clean title, unlike many of the DC2Rs floating around California. Of course, it also happened to be white. If you've seen Loi's stable of cars, then you know that they have to be white, though no one knows why. Even his daily driver, which is not even a Honda, is white. It could be that he is indecisive when it comes to other tones, or that he wants a simple exterior so that performance can take priority over appearance. Through all the feature-worthy builds he's presented us, the color has always remained a constant. We inquired, hoping for a detailed explanation that might involve some sort of childhood dream or something elaborate relating to a dream car but he only furthered our bewilderment with a question. All we got from him was; "what's wrong with white?" We're inclined to believe that we could probably discover the meaning of life long before we'd ever figure out Loi's affinity toward the simple hue.

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The neutral tone helped to keep his new project under wraps. The R sat in the back of his shop for months on end without anyone asking about it. At the time, a K-swap was already lurking under the hood of his newly acquired project, but because it blended in so well with all the other white cars at the shop, no one had a clue.

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"If anyone asked me about it, I would just tell them that it was a customer's car," Loi says. "I wanted to build-up the Type R with all the things I learned from the (Civic) we were campaigning throughout the year, but improve on it. The R chassis was a much a better starting point compared to the Civic CX and I knew it was going to do well. We had a lot of success with the K in the Civic so there was no doubt that it would perform even better inside a much stronger chassis. We were also getting better and better with chassis tuning and custom aero, so it was a simple transition to the Integra."

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There's no question that the original B18C5 that came with the R would be perfectly suitable for road racing, but that just doesn't match the plan of action Song had in mind. He and his crew had come to know the K very well, so the B was quickly replaced with a K24/K20 mash-up. Skunk2 Racing has been a devoted supporter of Sportcar Motion's K-series endeavors since the very beginning, and they were quick to offer their services. The K20A2 head has been completely re-tooled with a complete Skunk2 package. Pro Series valves, springs, retainers, and a set of Stage 3 cams call the SCM-prepped head home. Skunk2 also supplied Loi with their new Pro Series intake manifold and a 74mm throttle body. The K24A2 block sees upgraded Wiseco pistons and rings as well as a lightened OEM crankshaft. External bolt-on goodies include a DTR header and a custom Sportcar Motion three-inch air intake.

The Integra Type R provides a more race-bred platform over other, more commonly used Hondas because of its reinforced chassis. Additional spot welds and thicker metal around the shock towers and lower sub-frame provide the stiffness that make the Type R such a potent competitor. A fully adjustable coilover system can only help further the DC2's development into a full fledged time attack vehicle. Loi has built a relationship with Tein USA over the years and he made a call to them once again to request a set of their SRC-line of dampers. These externally-valved coilovers also include an EDFC unit that allows for adjustment of damping force from inside the cockpit. One of Loi's lucky customers most likely came up on the original Type R rollers because they've been removed to make room for a much wider set of 16x8 Enkei RPF1s. Toyo Tires supplies Sportcar Motion with all the R888 rubber this DC2R will ever need.

Once upon a time Loi not only wanted a Championship White Type R but he also had night time fantasies of rocking a Mugen Gen II rear wing. He was finally able to locate one shortly after he purchased his R, but sold it without a second thought once he got his hands on a Voltex 3D GT spoiler. While the custom wood splitter was certainly functional on his hatchback, Loi had to admit that it was a bit ghetto. Type R owners around the world would blast Loi for doing the same on his Integra, so he went a different route and decided to go with a much cleaner, carbon fiber front splitter. Sheet metal PCI sideskirts, exactly like the previous Civic build are bolted up, but have been color-matched for a cleaner look.

As expected, Sportcar Motion's success has continued and the transition to the DC2R has been a smooth one. It made its debut at a recent FF Battle and easily dominated the event. It has since won numerous awards, placing at the top of its class in both the Super Lap Battle and Redline time attack series. It doesn't end there though; Loi hopes to further his success this upcoming season with a Kraftwerks supercharged K24-propelled Civic.

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All of Loi's builds may be dull white in color, but with all his previous success, it's apparent that the future shines brightly, and anything Sportcar Motion touches turns into K-powered gold.

Bolts & Washers

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Propulsion
K20A2 cylinder head
K24A2 engine block
Balanced Portflow cylinder head
Skunk2 Pro Series valves
Skunk2 Pro Series valve springs
Skunk2 Pro Series retainers
Skunk2 Stage 3 camshafts
Lightened crankshaft
Wiseco 87.5 pistons
Wiseco piston rings
Skunk2 Pro Series intake manifold
Skunk2 Pro Series 74mm throttle body
Sportcar Motion custom 3-in intake
SSR/DTR exhaust manifold
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
750cc RC fuel injectors
BDL fuel rail
Earl's lines and fittings
Earl's fuel filter
SX adjustable fuel pressure regulator
Koyo full-size radiator
Type-S 6-speed transmission
4.78 final drive
Exedy twin-disk clutch
Exedy flywheel
BDL oil cap
Skunk2 radiator cap
Custom coated valve cover
GReddy oil catch can
Canton Racing "Accusump" system

Stance
Tein SRC coilovers
Cusco anti-roll bars
Full spherical bushings
Carbing 3-point shock tower brace

Resistance
Hawk HP brake pads
Custom stainless Sportcar Motion-spec
brake lines

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Wheels & Tires
16x8 Enkei RPF1 +30
225/45-16 Toyo R888

Exterior
Custom fabricated front splitter
Voltex 3D GT rear wing
P-CI sideskirts

Interior
Recaro Pro Racer seat
Takata safety harness
Autopower roll bar
Personal steering wheel
Circuit Hero shift knob
NEXT Miracle X bar

Electronics
Hondata K-Pro

Props
My BFF Morgan Jade
My drivers and friends Tim Kuo
and Renzo Marsano
The Sportcar Motion staff, Socrates & Romeo

Owner Specs

Favorite website
NWP4Life

Screen name or nickname
The Tea-Father

Building Hondas for how long
5 years

Your dream car
NSX Type R (white of course!)

Build inspiration
the drive to be the best

Whats playing in your iPod/CD MP3 player right now
Enter the Wutang (36 Chambers)

Greatest movie of all time
Iron Man 3.5 (Chinese bootleg)

Roots in the 1320
While Sportcar Motion has seen many triumphs in the time attack community, don't forget that Loi and Sportcar Motion started out in the world of drag racing. The "drag EG," as he called it, was a 742hp, GT4088R-boosted Civic CX hatchback that ran consistent nine-second passes. The Civic is actually still alive and well, although it is no longer a U.S. resident. The Tea-father sold the drag Civic to a resident of Dubai where the new owner continues to race it today.

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Sources

Skunk2 Racing
Norco, CA 92860
951-808-9888
http://www.skunk2.com
Tein USA
Downey, CA 90241
562-861-9161
http://www.tein.com
Takata Racing Products
Greensboro, NC 27408
http://www.takataracingproducts.com
Toyo Tires
800-442-8696
www.toyotires.com
By Joey Lee
243 Articles

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