Following the tradition started with the previous-generation (non-US) Civic Type-R, Honda has set many front-wheel drive lap records as its press release writers can handle.
This article was updated 8/6/18 with footage from the Type R's Hungaroring record.
Frankly, the big fish was the Nürburgring last year, but Honda didn't stop at beating Volkswagen by getting a 7:43.80 lap time out of its 306-horsepower turbocharged hatchback. The ‘Type R Challenge 2018' started out at Magny-Cours in France, only to continue in Belgium at Spa-Francorchamps with a record run of 2 minutes and 53.72 seconds.
The 4.35 mile long Spa circuit features all the good stuff, including very fast straights like the Kemmel, high-speed corners with significant elevation changes like Eau Rouge, and technical low-speed sections. But record-setting Super GT driver and LMP2 champion Bertrand Baguette was aided by the Type R's high-speed stability and virtually no understeer.
It's July, the sun is at its brightest, and Honda isn't slowing down. The new front-wheel drive lap record at Silverstone's GP circuit now stands at 2 mins 31.32 secs, thanks to Matt Neal and his Type R:
As Matt Neal put it:
"Where I found the real advantage of the Type R was really in the high-speed corners – the stability which is a combination of the aero and the new advanced suspension system. Into corners like Copse and Stowe at the end of the Hangar straight, you can carry big entry speed with supreme confidence."
Being a six-time BTCC champion on home turf also boosts one's confidence, no doubt.
Shocking no one, the Civic Type R set the front-wheel drive lap record around Estoril in Portugal, with touring car racer Tiago Monteiro. Running a 2:01.84, it beat the 2:04.08 lap laid down by the previous Civic Type R at the F1 circuit.
For now, Honda is finally done setting records with the Type R. With F1 champion Jenson Button at the wheel, the Civic Type R has managed a 2:10.19 around the Hungaroring, home of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Additional reporting by Chris Perkins.