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
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
- Development Period : 2 years
- Most difficult to develop : CAD design pipe frame chassis and center seated
- 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
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.
APEX ORIGINAL DRAG INTEGRA with OGURA
Tread (F) 1522mm
Tread (R) 1526mm
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
© Temple of
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.