THE staging lanes at Drag Challenge are typically full of chrome-bumpered, bent-eight warhorses. So you can imagine how quickly our heads turned when a Honda Integra wearing slicks on all four corners rolled up to sign in on Friday.
It turned out that our interest was well and truly justified, because even though this little Honda may only have a 1.8-litre four-banger, it packs a turbocharged punch to the tune of 800rwhp and an all-wheel drive system pillaged from a Honda CR-V.
The car is owned by Brendon De Ruyter, but for DCW he palmed off the driving duties to good mate Benny Wilkinson, a part-time professional driver with the Hot Wheels stunt team. “The car was originally built for drag racing and events like this all those years ago, so we were really keen to give DCW a crack,” said Benny.
The Honda’s driveline is as intriguing as it is impressive, given there never was an AWD Integra from the factory. Up front is a 1.8-litre Honda B18C four-banger, and while the block has been sleeved and upgraded pistons and rods added, the rest of the package is mostly still standard Honda gear. Bolted to the side is a Precision 62/66 hairdryer, and with the help of a Link ECU, it’s boosting the little mill to 800 horses at the wheels! The gearbox, transfer case and rear diff are all Honda CR-V gear, but with the Integra internals swapped into the gearbox.
“Brendon did a really good job of setting up the car, so it’s actually really easy to drive,” Benny said. “I was flat-shifting for all the passes and never had an issue, and the trick clutch he has in it meant getting it off the line was easy too – we PB’d the car every day, which was awesome..”
DCW 2020 was a solid outing for the first-timers, with the Integra picking up a bunch of silverware including second place in the Turbosmart Outlaw Blown class, Quickest Stick-Shift and Quickest Four-Cylinder/Rotary, with a best of 9.82@145mph on Day Three.
“We did the weekend flawlessly, even with four blokes in the car and the extra weight,” said Benny. “We got kicked off the track on the final day for running a nine-second pass without tech, but Brendon wanted a nine from the weekend anyway.”
Benny has hinted a 1200hp engine is in the build, and reckons the boys will be back with the right tech and eight-second passes on the brain – which we’d love to see!
BRENDON DE RUTYER & BENNY WILKINSON
1995 HONDA INTEGRA
Class: TURBOSMART OUTLAW BLOWN
Turbo: Precision 62/66
Gearbox: GM TH400 three-speed
Diff: Honda CR-V
Previous PB: N/A
Best DCW 2020 pass: 9.82@145mph