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article details
Author WongKN
Categories Integra, TOV World, Motorsports
Create Date May 15, 2002 15:06
Last Update May 16, 2002 01:23
Building the Fastest FF Drag Car in the World

Building the Fastest FF Drag-Car in the World

Drag-Racing, a very popular sport in the U.S. has now evolved to serious professional-level racing. "Import-Drag" racing is a special event created specially for import cars in the U.S. Dominated mainly by Japanese cars, Hondas have always been a successful weapon for many import drag racing specialist. As a result, building a super Honda, specified and tuned for results in drag-racing has now become a target of many Honda specialists.

Earlier this year A'PEX set out to create the world's fastest FF car in drag-racing. A'PEX specially assembled a team to custom design a car for that challenge and the car they chose as the base is the DC2 Honda Integra. The A'PEX racing team comprised Carboy Racing in Texas, Option 2 magazine, Carboy magazine, and Option Video. Sponsors included Ogura Clutch, ORC, Dynapack Dynamometers, Sparco USA, NGK, Sunoco, Rays Engineering, and Option2. The official drag-car was called A'PEX Drag Integra with Ogura.

This challenge and the car has received significant coverage in the U.S. but is surprisingly comparatively unknown in Asia. This is a great pity, especially in view of the fact that A'PEX is a premier tuner in Japan. I first know about it when a member of my Honda club and a reader of TOVW, Pirabaragan sent me emails containing the details of the A'PEX car. Pira has good ties with A'PEX Japan and consequently when I suggested that TOVW can do its part to help publicize the car, he got A'PEX to send me additional details and photos. As a direct result, this article is unique compared to others because the technical information are given directly from A'PEX Japan who also sent many photographs, most of which are special internal photos and so have not been published before.

Pulling Out all the Stops

The A'PEX Drag Integra was designed using all the state of the art technologies that A'PEX can muster up. The car itself was designed to compete in the U.S. drag-racing "outlaw" class, where the most important ruling is that anything goes as long as the entrant vehicle has a bodyshell that resembles the production model that it is based on.

The car is a "tube-frame" design, ie the car's under-lying chassis is a special tube structure. The body of the car was then built using lightweight sheet metal, the shape moulded into that of the very popular DC2 Honda Integra. In addition, A'PEX designed the car as a single center seater in order to obtain a good weight distribution. This car can technically be termed as a hybrid because it uses a Prelude H22A engine as the base and specially worked up using A'PEX turbo parts.

The CAD Drawings above illustrates the special construction of the car very clearly and are originals from A'PEX Japan.

A'PEX Japan's brief about their car to us highlighted on three important points:

  1. Development Period : 2 years
  2. Most difficult to develop : CAD design pipe frame chassis and center seated cockpit.
  3. The reason why A'PEX choose Honda :
    • Challenging (for the title of) fastest FF drag race car in the world at USA. Honda is most popular to tune in not only USA but also all over the world.

The specific target of the A'PEX Integra is

"To beat the current world fastest FF drag, Steph Papadakis's Civic which does 8.51sec (in the 1/4 mile)"
thereby establishing it as the fastest FF drag machine in the world.

A'PEX went on to explain a key design criteria:

We are concentrating to develop parts for Honda like turbo kit, power fc, v-tec controller, radiator, exhaust system, damper, spring, air cleaner. The drag Integra also use almost all our normal products. This challenge is to prove A'pex technology, our normal parts potential (Steph uses one-off special part) and quality. As our company development policy, this race data source will be feedback to our future products.

The spec sheet was sent by A'PEX to me for inclusion in this special feature. This sheet (originally in MS Word format) is reproduced below fully un-edited to ensure its absolute accuracy.


Length			4440mm
Width			1840mm
Height			1230mm
Wheelbase		2591mm
Tread (F) 		1522mm
Tread (R)		1526mm
Weight			830kg
Engine type		H22A
Engine Capacity		2200cc
Engine Management	Apex Power FC
Boost Control		Apex AVC-R
Ignition System		H22A Stock
Fuel System		BOSCH x 2  ,1000cc Injectors
Turbo			Apex53B70Turbo x 2
Bore x Stroke		H22A Stock
Max Power		Over 650ps/6000rpm
Max Torque		Over 60kg/5200rpm
Radiator		Apex GT type
Inter-cooler		Apex Drag type
Exhaust			Apex "Isamu" type (one-off, Titanium)
Transmission		X-TRAC 6speed S/Q
Clutch			OGURA 5.5inch triple
Suspension (F)		Inboard type Strut
Suspension (R)		Strut
Damper/Spring		Apex N1 Damper /Apex Coil Spring
Brake Calipers (F/R)	Brembo(4pot/2pot)
Brake Discs (F/R)       AP lockheed f280
Wheels(F) 		RAYS TE37	15*8J+27
Wheels(R)		RAYS TE37	15*5.5J+35
Tire(F)			GOODYEAR	26*10*15
Tire(R)			GOODYEAR	26*4.5*15
Driver			Tarzan Yamada

A'PEX Japan also sent several high quality photo montages highlighting the many A'PEX products used in the car. These montages are complete by themselves so I simply reproduced them below.

Introducing the A'PEX Drag Integra to the World

The first official challenge mounted by the A'PEX team was on the 2001 IDRC Lone Star Nationals at the Rivercity Raceway just north of Austin, Texas, originally scheduled on March 18 this year.

Unfortunately, bad weather forced the IDRC event to be postponed from the original scheduled date on Sunday March 18th to the night of Monday March 19th. Due to scheduling problems the A'PEX Racing team with Ogura had to pull out of the actual race.

In fact during the routine maintenance at Carboy in Houston Texas, while A'PEX racing originally scheduled 3 test days at the River City Raceway, 2 of the days were completely rained out. Although A'PEX made the 6 hour round trip commute from the raceway to San Antonio every other day in hopes of gaining some track time, unfortunately, they only ended up with one day of sunshine and less than 6 hours to prove themselves.

It was on this one day, March 21st 2001, that the A'PEX Drag Integra with Ogura posted an 8.84 sec time! Trap speed for the run was 161.34 mph. This time makes the Drag Integra the second fastest front wheel drive drag machine in the world, an accomplishment made even more astonishing because the Drag Integra has only made 10 official runs since its conception !

Onwards to the Future

Bad luck may have forced A'PEX to pull out of their first challenge. But they plan to return to the U.S. in the near future. A'PEX's target remains for their Drag Integra with Ogura to be the world's fastest FF car in the quarter mile drag.

Drag racing fans in the U.S. will of course be eagerly waiting to witness live the future exploits of this A'PEX Drag Integra with Ogura. Nevertheless, Honda fans in Asia and the rest of the world can rest assured that with Pira's help, TOVW hopes to continue to cover the car's technical evolution and progress in the future.

Author : Wong KN
Technical Information and Photos : Official A'PEX Japan communications
Drag Racing Event Information : A'PEX USA web-site
TOVW's Contact : Pirabagaran
May 2001
Temple of VTEC World
Note : The technical contents of this article as well as the photos used are contributed directly by A'PEX Japan. The rights to all materials in this article belongs to A'PEX Japan.

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