As the saying goes: records are always made to be broken. For Honda and the Civic Type R, this can't hold any more truth than its recent run through circuits such as Magny-Cours and Spa-Francorchamps. Two tracks, two records set. On to the third, and another record was set.
Following the first two legs of the “Type R Challenge 2018”, Silverstone was next on the list. The result: another record.
With three-time British Touring Car Championship winner Matt Neal behind the wheel, a new record was set at 2:31:32, outlapping the older FWD production car record that was, coincidentally, held by a previous version of the Type R. Spanning 5.89km, Silverstone features high-speed corners and fast straights with highly technical sections. All three features of the track didn't seem to bother the Type R. With the +R mode on, and its adaptive damper system, carrying speed throughout the track was done so with ease.
“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”, said driver Matt Neal. “Into corners like Copse and Stowe at the end of the Hangar straight, you can carry big entry speed with supreme confidence.”
Worth remembering is that the Type R has a 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo power mill under its hood. Churning out 310 horses and 400 Nm of torque, Neal was able to make the most out of the straights and rocket out of corners on the way to his record-breaking run.
Neal added on the Type R's performance, “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.”
With another record in the books, the Type R firmly remains the benchmark of Honda and its motorsport heritage. And with the Type R Challenge looking at more tracks and courses to conquer, they should probably make more space on that proverbial cap of theirs.