I ran my first autocross with the Integra today. Overall impression: it is a great car, but the driver could use some work. It takes me some time to learn a new car. I autocrossed my last car for many, many years. I was really tuned into that car. I knew how much I could push in different course elements. The Integra is still front wheel drive, like my old car, but is has so much higher limits in cornering, acceleration and braking. And it is longer and wider too. I really need more seat time to be able to learn the limits of the Integra and to get my distance from cones dialed back in.
First my car setup. I stayed very conservative in wheel and tire size. The wheels are Borbet type W, 18x8 with +50 offset(all stock size). Note for those not familiar with SCCA rules for street classes - the wheel diameter must be + or - one inch from stock. Width must be stock dimension. Offset must be within 7 mm of stock wheel offset. I purchased Falken Azenis RT 660 tires ( a 200tw tire). I kept with stock size, 235/40 x18. The stock Continental tire has a sidewall that bulges out in cross section and then does a little curve before it meets the wheel rim. The Falken is almost dead straight from the edge of the tread to the wheel rim. The sidewall is very stiff on this tire. The Falken has about a .6 inch wider tread patch than the stock Continental of the same size. I did NOT have TPMs sensors installed in the new wheels. After about 10 miles of driving they throw up a warning on the dash about a tpms issue. I ignore it. When I am ready to start a run I defeat the VSC (see below).
My local club runs using SCCA rules for car classing and modifications. As far as I am aware, the SCCA has not yet classed the Integra. Since the mechanicals are all based on the Civic SI, which is classed as G street, my club had me run in G street.
Initial launch I did without any wheel spin. Then a shift into second, where I stayed for the rest of the run. Second gear really seems to come on strong around 4,000 rpm. Which is exactly what I needed for this course. It has good punch out of slower corners. Second gear tops out around 53-54 mph. There was no need to shift into a higher gear for today’s course.
I used individual mode - which I set everything to Sport mode except for engine. I left the engine mode in Normal. Sport mode makes the throttle pedal seem like an on/off switch. I find Normal mode provides a fast enough response , but it s a progressive response which allows better throttle control. I left the auto idle stop on Off mode. I will probably experiment with these setting at a future date, after I am more comfortable in the car while on an autocross track.
The VSC, (Acura’s stability and traction control) is totally defeated by doing the “pedal dance” - see other forum topic for details. I found no trace of intervention in a slalom, high speed sweeper or sharp changes of direction. The car stays very flat in transitions and sweeping corners also.
It was a fun event. I learned that the Integra is indeed a car that I can run in an autocross and come away smiling. My club has a practice event in mid August. At a practice event drivers get many, many runs so you can experiment a lot. I still need to dial in my tire pressure’s and work on placing my wheel close to a cone - especially on the right side of the car.
The one thing I found about the Integra that I definitely do NOT like is trying to shift gears on my way to an event with a large water bottle on the cup holder. You have to be a contortionist to shift gears. My water bottle is too fat to fit in any of the door pocket cup holders. The one in the rear center armrest can hold the water bottle, but only the bottom few inches. With the bottle full of water it would fall out of the armrest cup holder in a few blocks. Coming away from my first autocross with the cup holder being the only negative is a very good result. I look forward to many more events.