Technically speaking, the Honda Civic Type R is not the quickestÂ front-wheel-drive car around the NÃ¼rburgring, asÂ the Volkswagen Golf Clubsport S lappedÂ the circuitÂ 1.4 seconds more quickly recently. But while oneÂ could argue that the VW isn’t a proper series-production carâjust 400 units are planned and it has its rear seats removedâHondaÂ let the Germans have this one for now, saying they might headÂ back to the Green Hell later to regain the crown. In the meantime, they got busy setting the front-drive lap recordÂ atÂ a bunch ofÂ other iconic European racetracks.
Since this tire slayingÂ was Honda U.K.’s idea, the campaign started at Silverstone in early April. Of course, being Britain, it was raining.Â Three-time British Touring Car Champion and generally crazy-fast guy Matt Neal did a 2:44.45, before following up a month later in the dry and turningÂ aÂ 2:31.85. Time for a pint!
Less than two weeks after Silverstone, Honda went to Spa-FrancorchampsÂ in Belgium. The clouds stayed away, andÂ Honda Racing driver Rob Huff tripped the timing equipmentÂ at 2:56.91.
At the end of May, Honda’s Hungarian World Touring Car Championship star Norbert Mihelisz droveÂ the carÂ at Monza, piloting a stock Type R aroundÂ inÂ 2:15.16. SzÃ©p munka, as they say 500 miles to the east.
After a crash during the WTCC Race of Germany put scheduled wheelman Tiago Monteiro out of action (he’sÂ since returned to duty), fellow Portuguese racer and WTCC safety-car driver Bruno Correia got the callÂ on 24 hours’ notice. With just one day in the car, he set a time of 2:04.8 at his home circuit. A walk in the park!
Mihelisz won the Hungarian race last year,Â also becomingÂ the Independent WTCC Champion with ZengÅ Motorsport. He’s since received a bump up to theÂ Honda factory team and adopted an all-black Type R as his daily driver. So it’s not exactly surprising that he couldÂ lap this track inÂ 2:10.85.
A version of this story originally appeared on Road & Track.