Honda set the front-drive lap record at the Nürburgring last year with the Civic Type R. Now it can add another track to its list of records.
Esteban Guerrieri took the hot hatch to the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France and proceeded to set the lap record for front-drive production cars there as well. The 2:01.5 lap beats the 2:06.4 set by the previous Civic Type R by some margin. And it also handily beats the 2:07.4 set by the Peugeot 308 GTI and even the 2:07.7 achieved by the more powerful, all-wheel-drive Ford Focus RS.That makes the Civic the new king of the GP circuit, which hosted the French Grand Prix from 1991 through 2008. The overall lap record still stands at 1:15.37, set by Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari F2004."The best thing about the Type R is that it gives you confidence. It’s very responsive and gives you good feedback. People call the Type R the ultimate performance hot hatch and we proved today that it really is; the car continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible from front wheel drive," said Guerrieri, who pilots a Civic TCR in the World Touring Car Cup. "The beauty is we could use '+R mode on track but then switch to Comfort mode and drive home."The achievement comes as part of the Type R Time Attack Challenge 2018, which aims to set a series of lap records in the Japanese hot hatch. The previous model set the benchmark lap times at Estoril, Hungaroring, Silverstone, and Spa – all grand-prix circuits – and Honda aims to best those all with the new version. To that end, it’s solicited the talents of former F1 champ Jenson Button, Super GT racer Bertrand Baguette, BTCC legend Matt Neal, and Guerrieri’s rival Tiago Monteiro.