In the fifth and final of a planned series of lap record attempts across Europe in 2018, Honda has set a new record for a front wheel drive production car at the Hungaroring GP circuit in Hungary.
The Civic Type R, which was driven by ex F1 world champion and current NSX Super GT driver, Jenson Button, lapped the Hungaroring circuit in 2:10.19 minutes.
The track holds special significance for Button, as it was where he won the first Grand Prix of his career with Honda in 2006.
The Hungaroring circuit is a twisty and narrow 4.38km track with 180-degree corners and a complex chicane, making it one of the more technical tracks in Europe.
It proved to be a perfect demonstration of the Civic Type R’s Adaptive Damper System, the steering setup, and improved aerodynamics, as Button was able to secure the lap record for Honda at the Grand Prix circuit.
Commenting on the Civic Type R, Jenson Button said, “The first thing I noticed when I left the pit lane was how neutral the car was. I come from a background that is not front-wheel drive focused, so it was very different for me but because the Type R is so well balanced it was instantly really enjoyable and more natural”.
“The thing that surprised me most is how late you can brake with this car. The manual gearbox works really well, too. Most cars these days don’t come with manual boxes, so it’s nice to have that manual feel. You always feel a lot more connected to the car.”
Honda set the original benchmark time for Hungaroring during a similar challenge in 2016 using the previous generation Civic Type R.
This new benchmark time is the fifth front-wheel drive lap record set by Honda in The Type R Challenge 2018, achieving the objective set out by the challenge, which was thought up after the Type R became the fastest front-wheel drive production car ever round the Nürburgring Nordschleife in April 2017 with a lap time of 7mins 43.8secs.
These six records cement the Civic Type R’s position as the quickest car in its class.
The challenge saw five of Honda’s racing champions put the car through its paces around five tracks in Europe, setting new record lap times for a front-wheel drive production car.
- WTCR driver Tiago Monteiro – Estoril circuit, Portugal (2:01.84 minutes)
- BTCC legend Matt Neal – Silverstone, UK (2:31.32 minutes)
- Super GT star Betrand Baguette – SpaFrancorchamps, Belgium (2:53.72 minutes)
- WTCR driver Esteban Guerrieri – MagnyCours GP, France (2:01.51 minutes)
That being said, the new Civic Type R remains the quickest and fastest accelerating car in its class, thanks to a combination of its lightweight, highly rigid body shell and unique dual-axis strut front suspension system, which reduces torque steer and conquers hard cornering.
“This new Type R is a mega bit of kit, as they always have been, and it’s definitely not lost any of its charm,” said Button.