Redline Racing's -DRP Impressions
Saturday, 05 May 2001 08:00

Redline Racing's

by: Chuck Montecillo

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I recently had the oppotunity to spend a few days driving a Honda Civic Type R, modified by Redline Racing. Yes, I did write, modified!

How lucky can a person be? Well, in my case, extremely lucky!

The Type R is a car that comes from the factory, ready for action. Seam welded uni-body, no non-sense components, bigger brakes, a potent B16B power plant, close-ratio gear box, limited slip differential, taller cams and Recaro seats. What else can you do to this already fortified machine? Quite a bit, I found out.

In the suspension department, coil overs were installed, while the binders were replaced by AP racing disks and calipers. The seats were replaced by a different model Recaro and the guage cluster was fitted with Mugen pieces. Even the steering wheel and 16" wheels were Mugen! A/C was also installed from a local Honda dealer to keep interior temps down.

The engine was beefed up with forged pistons, stiffer valve springs and even bigger cams. A Mugen 4 to 1 header takes care of spent gases, routed to a Tanabe "Stinger" style muffler. In charge of the fuel and ignition mapping is an Apexi computer box. A twin plate clutch now resides within the bell housing of the transmission.

With this much HP on tap, I find it amazing that the car was completely docile to drive in city traffic. Though, the clutch was quite on the heavy side, after driving it awhile, my muscles learned to modulate it properly. The engine doesn't get hot and the A/C keeps the interior very chilly!

The coils overs were surprisingly comfortable over rough city roads. Not at all like a race car. Handling was crisp and quite neutral in all kinds of corners. At speed, this car inspires confidence.

At the strip, launching on the street radials proved to be a challenge. Clawing at the track surface, I couldn't really give it full throttle until well past the 60 foot sensors. The best short time I could muster out of the car was a 2.301.

Shifting the close ratio gear box was really easy! THe short throw shifter was a bit heavier than the stock unit, but it didn't bind or hinder the shifting action. Power shifts were a blast, but shouldn't be done too often when the car doesn't belong to you.

The engine was just amazing! Rev it till 9,500 then grab the next gear... then, do it all over again. The car crossed the finish line consistently at redline (9,500rpms) in third gear. Out of the countless runs I made during the 2nd PDRF event this year, the engine didn't miss a beat. Not a misfire, stumble or complaint. Same thing goes for the rest of the car, for that matter.

I used up all my 7 time trial runs, ran eliminations the hard way, (2nd chance bracket), three times (once in the Sportsman class and the others in the Shoot outs)!

My best time of the day was a 14.152@ 96.56mph. Not bad considering that the car was driven as is... in STREET trim. This same car once ran 13.10 on slicks and avgas!

If there is anything negative about driving the Type R it would have to be the fact that it costs so much money! I was paranoid every where I went. It was tough finding a parking spot where it wouldn't be dinged or driving in traffic where every bonehead wants to chop the nose off the car!

All in all, it was a great treat to have been able to spend time with this car. I got to know it well enough that it was hard leaving it behind at the Redline HQ. Its the perfect blend of performance, looks and streetablility... Now, if it only had some ntirous, then I would call it perfect.

PS- in the fourth video, I did pass the Starlet on the big end.

 

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Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

 
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