1999 Honda Civic LXI – All motor brawler

It’s both a show car and a drag car

Thanks to people such as Javier Gutierrez, Ed & Ron Bergenholtz, Charles Madrid, Myles Bautista, Stephan Papadakis, including the late Shaun Carlson and many others, their groundbreaking efforts in the American import drag racing scene have firmly rooted Hondas in the drag racing scene. But it wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of various aftermarket performance companies that has made Honda’s a popular platform for drag racing. Whether it’s an entry level, unibody build with a stock bottom end or an all out tube frame chassis with a full race engine, the possibilities are shall we say, endless. It’s a burning fact that only serves to fuel more and more drag racing enthusiasts to build and come up their own formidable combination in the quest for quarter mile supremacy.

One of them happens to be Kristoffer John Apostol who stumbled upon this Civic after having campaigned a turbocharged Corolla (AE92) in the National drag races. “This build started when I bought it from Richmond Sunga of Autogenix with a stock 1.5-liter, SOHC engine. He also won the 2011 National Drag Racing Championship in his class in the car using the same stock engine and a nitrous oxide system.” Thankfully, the car was still intact and in good shape which served as a good platform for them to mod. Since this build was going to be a well-executed show car and drag car, it didn’t take long for things to escalate as Kris explains, “The itch really started when I decided to embark on a DOHC, B18C, Type-R Engine swap and complete rebuild.”

Winston Ballesteros of Winsport performance was tasked to rebuild the engine where the bottom end was stuffed with the tried and true, Type-R spec pistons. After the cylinder head was ported and polished for better flow, it was fitted with a Rocket Motorsports MX22 Camshafts, valvespring and retainers. Featuring a more aggressive lift and duration profile than the Type-R cams, this mod normally requires using stiffer valve springs and retainers as these are suited for heavily modded engines that are purpose built to perform well in the high RPM range. Something that’s normal for any drag application that relies on peak power. Fuel delivery comes from an AEM fuel pump that feeds four Injector Nation fuel injectors that can be found on each Individual Throttle Body (ITB) made by OBX.

Acting more like a modern version of the twin side carburetor setup, these ITB’s greatly improve engine response and power output because it features a single throttle body per cylinder. But its biggest advantage would be the increased airflow and velocity. Think of having four individual 48mm throttle bodies as opposed to having a single 70mm throttle body and you get the idea. Obviously, these ITB’s are not power adders, but if your tuner wishes to have immediate throttle response and midrange power, then an ITB setup might just be what’s needed like in this case where all out power in the high rpm range is required. Also worth mentioning is the soundtrack that comes with it that can only best be described as a mechanical symphony for any gear head which Kris can attest to. Oh, there’s also the wire tucked and shaved engine bay that’s a delight to look at and makes working on the engine much easier.

Widely acclaimed for its features and characteristics among Honda enthusiasts, a Hondata S300 programmable ECU was used with Joel “Zap” Zapanta doing all the tuning. Aside from expanding the capabilities of the factory ECU, it allows for the use of forced induction, data logging, real time programming, engine protection and even Bluetooth are just some of its long list of comprehensive features. Hooked to a dyno, Zap was able to squeeze 205 whp (for now), which is just shy over their target whp of 200. Currently, its best quarter-mile time is 13.9 seconds, but with a little more fine-tuning by Zap, more weight savings, drag slicks, and maybe an aluminum drag wing out back, I’m betting it can easily do low 13’s. Despite having the option to use a power adder like a turbo or a supercharger for even more horsepower, Kris swears by his Normally Aspirated (N/A) power plant as he explains, “I’m not a big fan of turbocharging. For me, the power generated by a N/A engine is something entirely different because it’s more difficult to squeeze a lot of power out of it and can only be achieved if the engine is properly built.”

This show-worthy and drag ready Civic made its debut during last year’s Manila Auto Salon that says a lot about its overall finish. Done by Autogenix, much attention was given to the exterior as well as the fiberglass panels, which can be difficult to work with. Being a racecar, it also features hardcore race parts and all the safety requirements such as the roll cage and harness. Such a well-executed show n’ race build can be daunting for most, but Kris has proven that it can be done as he offers this piece of advice, “For those planning to do a similar build my advice is not to rush things and always choose the best parts and the right people to do the job.” Since the show, this car has been a regular entrant in the current 2017 National Drag Racing Championship at Clark International Speedway as Kris quips, “By actually drag racing it, this strongly proves that it’s not just for show but also a weekend battle car.” Something that best sums up and describes this neat and clean build while perfectly illustrating form and function.

Remember; race on the track and not on the streets!


1999 Honda Civic LXI

Kristoffer John P. Apostol

Engine: B18C Type-R (JDM)

Engine Mods: Fully rebuilt and balanced using Type-R pistons, Ported & polished cylinder head, Rocket Motorsports MX22 Camshaft, valve spring, retainers, TODA Racing Cam gears, TODA Racing Timing Belt, OBX (48mm) Individual Throttle Body, AEM Fuel Pump, SARD Fuel pressure Regulator and Fuel Pressure Gauge, Injector Nation Fuel Injectors, 1320 Megaphone Headers

Other Stuff: Ninja Performance Aluminum Radiator, BWR Radiator Stay, Dynamics Performance Silicon Hoses & VTEC Solenoid Cap, Dynamics Performance Magnetic Drain Plug, NGK Plug Wires, Cusco Battery Tie Down, Circuit Hero Plug Wire Cover, Hasport Motor Mounts, Wiretuck by Agotworks

Engine Mngmt: Hondata S300

Horsepower: 205 Wheel Horsepower

Timeslip: 13.9 seconds

Transmission: 5-Speed Manual with LSD (Type-R Trans), Circuit Hero Panel, Exedy Tri-Puck Clutch, K-Tuned Short shift and extension

Suspension: Dynamics Performance Coilover and Camber Kit, Cusco Front and Rear Strut bars, ASR (rear) Subframe Brace, Function 7 Lower Control Arm, Benen Industries Tie Bar

Brakes: Wilwood Brake Set, Goodridge Steel Braided brake lines, Brake Tuck Job by Auto Genix

Rollers: M&H Racemaster frontrunners & Drag Slicks, Lenso Lightweight Drag Wheels, Volk Rays CE28N, Advan Neova AD08 Tires, Muteki Lug Nuts, ARP Extended Lug Nuts

Interior: Rollcage (12-point) by Clean Ones, Type-R Gauge Cluster, J’s Racing Steering wheel, NRG Quick Release, Momo Hub, Bride Low Max Racing Seats, Takata Safety Harness, Craft Square Blue Lens Carbon Rearvier Mirror, Defi Gauges with control unit, Type-R Climate Control Panel,

Exterior: Stage 21 FRP Hood and Fenders, Craft Square Side mirrors, Type-R Headlights, Grill, Bumpers, First Molding Carbon Fiber Chin Spoiler,

Body and Paint: AutoGenix using Custom Paint by Polygloss

Kudos To: Sonson Lim/Dynamics Performance, Ian Reynoso/Garage R, Richmond Sunga/Autogenix, Paul Tan/Ninja Performance, Winston Ballesteros/Winsport Performance, Meikichi JDM, Joel “Zap” Zapanta/Zap Tuning, Martz Alexander/PartsPro, Daron Arnuco/RND Visions, Polyglos, Stage 21 Bodykits, Boyok Marcelo/D Lucky M Tire Center, Kreditquest Solutions, Pow Lo and Bodz Garcia /JDMUndergroundPh, EK Elites, Ed Dt/Naughty Krato, Maffy Yu Tan, Olivier Reyes, Honda Club of the Phils, Erik Rugayan, Ronaldo Sanchez, Zeon Paranginog, Henry Chua of Outlast Battery, Clean Ones