There are some combinations in life that go together too well; peanut butter and jelly, chicken and waffles, cereal and milk, just to name a few. But when it comes to racing, the combination of the parts used on the car is as important as the race team that builds it. Such was the case for the Acura Integra Type R and RealTime Racing, as this combination dominated the race scene for decades and made a small comeback late last year.
RealTime Racing’s Integra Type R
RealTime Racing (RTR) is a professional racing team that was founded back in 1987 by Peter Cunningham. This team raced various Honda and Acura cars on ice, gravel, dirt, and sanctioned road courses and together won 18 different titles throughout the years. In the early 90s, the team focused its attention on the SCCA Pro Rally in which they won two titles using an Acura Integra GS-R.
So it’s safe to say that RealTime Racing knows what they’re doing behind the wheel of any Honda product. They even have a storied history from the early 90s when Peter Cunningham himself, along with Michael Galati, piloted a Honda Prelude Si to four straight Manufacturer’s Championship wins from 1993 to 1996. But 1997 marked the dawn of a new era for RealTime Racing and Honda when the Acura Integra Type R was introduced to the U.S. market.
At this time, the RealTime Racing team turned their efforts in building an Integra Type R to compete in the World Challenge Touring Car program. Not only did RTR compete, but they ended up winning multiple championships from 1997 to 2002 with Pierre Kleinubing, Michael Galati, and Peter Cunningham as the main drivers of the cars.
According to RTR, “The Integra Type R would go down as the most successful car in the history of the World Challenge Touring Category scoring more wins, poles, and championships than any other model before or since.” The car was retired after 2002 and now resides in the Honda Museum.
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Back to the track
RealTime Racing recently brought one of its Integra Type R’s back out to race it. It had been 17 years since the car was retired, so they took the time to completely strip the car down and revamp the sheet metal to get it back into fighting form.
Luckily, due to the near race-ready fashion that the Integra Type R is in from the factory, RTR never really had to do much as far performance modifications. According to Cunningham, they just had to put in a roll cage and change the springs and shocks, the engine and transmission were left mostly stock as the car was already made to “run at 9,000 rpm all day long with great reliability.”
The following video highlights the RTR team’s efforts in bringing their Integra Type R back to the track to perform at the SPEED Touring Car Championship in late 2019.
It didn’t skip a beat
As we can see from the video, the RTR Integra Type R ended up finishing fourth in a field of 60 different cars, which we would say is really good considering the car has been out of commission for almost two decades. Cunningham stated, “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!”
Considering all the championships the RealTime Racing has won over the years, they definitely didn’t have any to prove this time around and we can guess that having fun is really all they could ever ask for.