The 2023 Acura Integra’s First Race Will Be Pikes Peak
The new Integra will take on the hillclimb backed by an all-volunteer team from Acura’s Ohio R&D facility.
The Acura Integra is set to make its motorsports debut at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb on June 26 at the 100th running of the famous "Race to the Clouds."
The production-based race car will appear alongside two NSX Type S entries and a pair of TLX Type S sedans. The cars will be prepared and driven by a volunteer team of engineers from Acura's Ohio-based R&D facility, in what is sure to be the best after-work activity ever conceived.
Paul Hubers will drive the new Integra at Pikes Peak, coming into the event as a rookie on the mountain. Hubers has form when it comes to hot Acuras, however. He was previously involved in a company project to build a tuned 1997 Acura SLX which debuted at Radwood with 350 hp back in 2019.
Upgrades for competition include upgraded brakes and suspension, along with a differential sourced from the Honda Performance Development catalog. Pirelli racing slicks are mounted on 18" HRE wheels to reduce unsprung weight and keep the hatchback glued to the winding Pikes Peak asphalt. The stock turbo 1.5-liter engine is present, good for 200 hp, paired with the standard six-speed manual transmission.
The new Integra has been given a red, grey and white livery in tribute to Acura's first race car. The company's first-generation Integra wore the livery when winning back-to-back IMSA Championships in 1987 and 1988 with Parker Johnstone behind the wheel.
Testing photos show the race-prepped Integra's stripped-out interior, racing seat, and roll cage. Interestingly, the door jambs indicate the car was initially finished in the Indy Yellow hero color for the 2023 model year, before it received its race livery over the top.
This year will mark Acura's twelfth consecutive year of competing at Pikes Peak. Over that time, the team has scored 25 podium finishes, 12 first place finishes, and scored several course records.
It's a project that raises the question as to whether Acura might field an Integra in events beyond the famous hillclimb. Honda already runs the Civic in various touring car disciplines worldwide, making it difficult to justify racing the Integra, given it's based on the same underpinnings. A one-off run at Pikes Peak with volunteers is a long way from running a full racing team, too. However, if the right series had an opening, it would be great to see the Integra duking it out on track.
As it stands, though, Honda and Acura do a lot to support motorsports. It's especially evident at the grassroots level with the company often competing with staff from their own facilities. Here's hoping the trend continues and we see many more of the company's products tearing it up in future.
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