A HUGE thank you must go out to the very talented Archee Lal for making this feature happen. She has a serious photographic skillset and we’re proud to have her contribute on TimeattackR.com. Enjoy! — René
Hey Suhail, we’re a huge fan of your street DC2. When and how did you first acquire the Integra?
I purchased this thing back in 2015. I was still in high school about to finish my final year. There's a bit of a story behind this; I’ve followed this car and its sales path for a while. I was browsing the infamous NZHondas.com forum one day – as I did every day – just looking at things for sale and I stumbled across this car when it was initially for sale. His car was super clean — not even a ding to be seen. It had been taken care of on levels which can’t be explained. I bookmarked that page and everyday I’d open it and stare at it before it was eventually sold.
The new owner then posted it up for sale on NZHondas again. His reason for sale was, “it's too low for my driveway”. It wasn’t up for long. I think maybe a couple weeks before it was sold to the person I purchased it off. At this point I’m obsessed with this car — I dubbed it Snow White because it was Championship white on new white Enkei RP02’s. Trust me they were WHITE. I message the owner, made small talk when I could and a few days into chatting I ‘accidentally’ arranged a viewing. As soon as I arrived, I knew I was going to own the car. I went for a ride and I was sold. I arranged a proper time for pick up with my old man and I’ve never had a larger smile on my face like that night upon collection.
Whose Honda is your biggest inspiration?
I’ve always loved the Integra chassis for the way they look mainly. The DC2 was always my favourite chassis and to be honest my dream car.
My family have always been into cars. My uncles were the main drivers to me owning the Integra. One of them whom we call Chief (Shafin) built and owned a K20 DC2R back around 2007. I’d confidently say this was one of the first ever K-swaps in little old New Zealand and he is very well known for that car. The plate was FQTRBO — a bit of a reminisce to my number plate.
My cousin had numerous DC5R’s over the course of me being in high school and I knew I wanted the DC2R and my other cousin would own an EK9R.
After driving the Integra I just felt at home; the handling of Honda’s poster car was more than what I could have ever imagined. Everyone has their own opinion on Hondas as the internet knows, but you can’t beat on it until you drive one.
What build is your biggest inspiration?
I don't specifically have a single build which would be my biggest inspiration because at that point I feel like I'm trying to mimic someone else's car which is something that wouldn't suit me. I definitely have taken a few leaves out of a few books to get the car where I am today and I'm still changing the car to suit me. To name a couple; Reggie C Mah (@reggiecmah), Ryan from Rywire (@rywire_motorsports_electronics), Chief, Tim Chai, Kieran Munro, Beggz, and Justin Pillay. So as you can see just to name a few of my inspirations.
Each car has their own unique aspect which I love.
What have you done to the Honda since owning it?
Well since owning it I’ve done a few things, to be fair not much. With cosmetics I’ve been through a few phases. I had the complete stock DC2R look, I’ve had the Spoon style lip with the optional side skirts and rear end caps and now I’m onto Mugen. I currently only have the front bumper on, but the side skirts will hopefully be on soon to complete the exterior or this phase.
Suspension wise I’m currently running BC BR Series coilovers and Hardrace camber arms. Nothing too extreme yet, but a good base to branch off from. The engine is still stock, it has had an OEM rebuild done with the basic bolt ons; intake, exhaust and a bit of a turn on the dizzy. It’s a really basic reliable set up that gives me no issues which I owe to Ajay from Brian Payne Motors.
What is next on the cards for the Honda?
Next is definitely a bit more power; when you have friends with over 400kW cars you get left behind rather quickly. After that is more suspension work, although it is fine as is, but Fortune Auto coilovers would be nicer and to get the car dialed in. It’s easy to drive a car fast on the track, but if it’s not the way you like it what’s the point of doing it?
Do you plan to do any circuit work?
Yes definitely, I’ve done a couple track days and I love being on the track. I’ve learnt a lot and I've made a few changes since then and I’m eager to see how the car would perform the next time I attend. I’d love to do NZ Super Lap, but with University it proves to be a tad difficult.
What's the most fun you can have in the Honda?
Everyone would say its being on track and I do agree but, I find it really fun passing turbo cars. Look = priceless.
Are you a B-series or K-series fan?
Everyone on the internet knows I love the B series engine and I will run it till I no longer can. The VTEC crossover of the B-series is unbeatable and every Honda head knows that but, you cant beat the power the K-series can make when in the right hands. I’ve heard a few people saying B will die soon and K will take over — I disagree with that. The B series will live on forever.
Will the Honda ever be finished?
Well.. I’d like to think some day it’ll get to a point where I wont do anything to it but that day is quite far away.
What has been the best and worst thing about owning this car?
The best thing about owning this car would be the smile it brings when I drive it. As cliché as that sounds, it really is the car I’ve always wanted and I don’t regret any of it. The worst thing would probably be how much money I spent on engine oil!