Racer Rides: Stefan Ramirez’s 2001 Honda Integra DC5 Type R

We’re peeking into the garages of the Giti-Formula V1 Challenge drivers to see what our racers like to drive in their personal time. It’s the all-stock duo of Ensport/Fourth Floor Racing’s Stefan Ramirez! Before his JDM special though, let’s look at the unassuming daily driver half of the Formula V1 racer’s combo: a manual 2012 Hyundai Accent.

As practical as it gets!

What’s the story behind the car?
It’s been roughly two years of owning it. It was an ex-Uber car, barely got used, got it super cheap, and I picked it really because of the price and it’s just an A-to-B car.

What are the pros and cons of owning it?
Maintenance is easy and its very low-key running around the city. It really doesn’t use much gas to get around. Sometimes I wish it had more power, but it’s zippy enough to use around the city. Also wish I got the diesel, more torque and cheaper fuel!

Have you changed anything on it?
No mods! Manufacturers put a lot of time and money into developing a car, modifying it would require also more maintenance. So I like to keep it simple.

Most memorable drive?
I haven’t really taken it anywhere, I’d say my most memorable memory was in the rain going downhill and I locked the rear so I could enter the gate of our house sideways. It’s light and has small tires–it’s fun to handbrake turn it in the rain and play with the rear of the car!

It’s the ultimate pairing of plain daily driver with rare weekend car for Ramirez, as his silver Honda wears that legendary red badge. And he’s managed to keep it fresh. How do you keep yourself from driving a car like this everyday? Well, being a HPDE instructor probably helps!

Give us the geeky details on it
It’s a 2001 Honda DC5 Type R. Manual and runs the K20A. The car was brought in from Japan by a family friend then converted to LHD with Acura RSX parts for the conversion. It’s been in the family for more than four years now. It’s at 150,000km on the odometer but that’s from its time in Japan.

Everything is all stock Type R, even the shocks are still Type R, It also came with the Brembos and Type R interior. Fun car–it handles well and has good low end torque before you get to the VTEC which just makes it scream!


Will you ever mod?
Again, it’s all stock and I like to keep it that way as everyone seems to modify them. From the factory the car is great, so having everything up to the manufacturers standards is still the best way to keep a car.

If I did though–probably KW coilovers, nice offset lightweight mags, and maybe poly bushings.

What’s it like driving a real deal Type R?
It’s easy to get up to speed and runs a close gear ratio so you go through the gears quick! The K20A is pretty much bulletproof in its stick form so I haven’t had issues there! I do wish it didn’t need to be converted, original LHD/RHD is still better. Also you end up shifting a lot with the six-speed, ha ha!

I don’t have one specific fond memory with the car, but I do have to say, in our line of work I’m given the opportunity to try a lot of different cars and whenever I sit back in the Integra, it never ceases to make me smile! It has such a good car to driver connection that sometimes I do prefer driving it over some brand new cars. It just gives so much feel. Honda really made a great car with this one!

Do you think owning a legit Type R makes you a lord amongst Honda Boys?
Sadly, no, I don’t think I’m a Honda lord for driving a Type R, ha ha! It’s just a basic car eh! And a lot of people are bigger fans than me!

We wonder how many of them are here in the PH?

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