Following two successes in the Honda Civic ‘Type R Challenge 2018’ at the Magny-Cours and Spa-Francorchamps circuits, the hot hatch has set a new 2mins 31.32secs lap record for a front-wheel drive production car at the Silverstone GP circuit in the UK, beating the benchmark set by the previous generation Civic Type R in a similar challenge in 2016.
The Type R was piloted by three-time British Touring Car Championship winner Matt Neal, who is currently campaigning a Honda Civic Type R in the 2018 BTCC with Halfords Yuasa Racing.
The Silverstone GP circuit is a 5.89km track featuring fast straights and high-speed corners, combined with technical sections that demand pinpoint placement of the car. With 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque from its 2.0-litre turbo engine, the Civic Type R provided blistering performance to enable Neal to make the most of the straights and accelerate quickly out of the sweeping corners.
Speaking about the lap record, Matt Neal said: “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.”
Continuing his commentary on the Type R itself, Neal added: “There isn’t just one point that makes this Type R the best in its class – it’s across the board. It’s a completely new platform from its predecessors from the ground up, and Honda have scrutinised and improved every area from the stability of the handling with the multi-link suspension, the aero, the centre of gravity which is lower, it’s wider, it’s longer, the feedback the driver gets through the steering, the power delivery of the engine – it’s a step forward in every direction.”
READ MORE: 2018 Honda Civic Type R Review
The driver line-up for the remaining Type R Challenge 2018 circuit record attempts will include former Formula 1 World Champion and current NSX Super GT driver Jenson Button (UK) and WTCR driver Tiago Monteiro (Portugal).
The new benchmark time for the Silverstone circuit is the fourth lap record to be claimed by the new Honda Civic Type R. In April 2017, a production development car became the fastest front-wheel drive production car ever around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with a lap time of 7mins 43.8secs. Following that, the ‘Type R Challenge 2018’ started with WTCR driver, Esteban Guerrieri, setting a new 2mins 1.51secs lap record for a front-wheel drive production car at the Magny-Cours GP circuit in France, before Bertrand Baguette clocked 2mins 53.72secs in the same car at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.