Honda Civic Type R Sets New Lap Records At 5 European Race Tracks

The new Honda Civic Type R has set lap records for no fewer than five race tracks across Europe. According to the Japanese manufacturer, the Civic Type R is now the fastest front-wheel drive production car on the Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, Estoril, and Hungaroring.

The new benchmarks were set in just two months. The campaign started in April at Silverstone, wheree three-time British Touring Car Championsip winner Matt Neal set a lap time of 2:31.85. In May, Honda moved to Belgium’s iconic Spa-Francorchamps, where Honda Racing driver Rob Huff drove the high-performance hatchback to an amazing 2:56.91-minute lap.

The third record was achieved later the same month, when Norbert Michelisz, another member of Honda’s World Touring Car Championship squad, piloted the car around Italy’s famous Monza track in 2:15.16. Also in May, Honda established its fourth record on Portugal’s Estoril circuit. With Tiago Monteiro, the driver who was supposed to drive the Civic Type R on home turf, injured during the WTCC Race of Germany, Honda turned to Bruno Correia for the official lap. The Portuguese needed only 2:04.08 to lap Estoril.

Finally, Honda arrived at the Hungaroring track in Hungary on June 6, where local favorite Norbert Michelisz pushed the Japanese hatchback to a 2:10.85 lap and the car’s fifth record.

“This challenge secures Civic Type R’s position as the benchmark in the front wheel drive performance segment. With the support of our touring car stars, it is a fitting testament to the team who engineered and designed it as the ultimate race car for the road,” said Philip Ross, senior vice president of Honda Motor Europe.

Why it matters

Honda Civic Type R

The mighty and popular Nurburgring might not be on the list, but Honda set some pretty impressive records here on five important race tracks across Europe, of which three have attained legendary status after hosting motorsport events for several decades. Campaigns like this don’t happen every day and even though it’s true that Honda made use of its WTCC drivers who have a vast experience on these circuits, the fact that it achieved five different benchmarks in just two months is impressive to say the least. Some of you may remember that the Civic Type R was also the fastest front-wheel drive production car on the Nurburgring from 2014 until 2016 as well. That record was broken by Volkswagen ’s new Golf GTI Clubsport S and it seemed a bit painful for the Japanese given the fact that the Germans were less than a second quicker, but it probably doesn’t matter now with the Type R being the quickest on famous tracks such as Spa and Monza. Hopefully this will start a new trend and we’ll get to see more records on race tracks other than the Nurburgring.

Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R

Press Release

Honda’s ‘race car for the road’ Civic Type R has crisscrossed Europe in an effort to set new benchmarks for front wheel drive production cars at five legendary circuits across Europe.

Honda Civic Type R

Inspired by the Civic Type R which smashed the front wheel drive lap time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in May 2014, the Honda team developed this European challenge to assert Type R as the leading front wheel drive performance hatchback.

The campaign started on a rain soaked day in April at Silverstone, the home of the British Grand Prix. Three-time British Touring Car Championship winner Matt Neal took the wheel to set a time of 2 minutes 44.45 seconds. Not content with this time, Matt and the team returned to the circuit later in the month to set a dry lap time of 2 minutes 31.85 seconds.

In early May, attention shifted to the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. The track, beloved by racers of all nationalities and featuring the famous Eau Rouge section, was taken on by Honda Racing new boy Rob Huff. Huff set a blistering time of 2 minutes 56.91 seconds.

With two attempts successfully completed, Italy’s historic Monza circuit was the next target. Another member of Honda’s WTCC squad, Hungary’s Norbert Michelisz, took the wheel and piloted the car around the famous Parabolica to return a time of 2 minutes 15.16 seconds.

Honda Civic Type R

Momentum was building towards the final session at the Hungaroring, but first a trip to historic Estoril with Tiago Monteiro taking the reins on home turf. However, a nasty crash at the WTCC Race of Germany put the Honda ace out of action. Fellow Portuguese racer and WTCC safety car driver Bruno Correia was drafted in at 24 hours notice. With just one day in the car, Bruno posted a time of 2 minutes 4.08 seconds.

Finally, the team arrived at the last session in Hungary on 6th June. The perfect driver for this mission was once again Norbert Michelisz, following his race win here in 2015 while racing a WTCC Civic Type R for independents Zengõ Motorsport. Over two days, Norbert pushed his production Type R to the limit to set a benchmark of 2 minutes 10.85 seconds and wrap up the five circuit effort.

Philip Ross, Senior Vice President of Honda Motor Europe, commented, “This challenge secures Civic Type R’s position as the benchmark in the front wheel drive performance segment. With the support of our touring car stars, it is a fitting testament to the team who engineered and designed it as the ultimate race car for the road.”

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