Budapest, Hungary - Honda has wound up the 2018 Civic Type R Challenge, a series of lap record attempts across Europe, with a fifth and final record lap, this time at the Hungaroring, as former Formula One world world champion (and current NSX Super GT racer) Jenson Button set a new mark for a production front wheel-drive car of 2m10.19s.
The narrow, twisty 4.38km Hungaroring is one of Europe’s most technical tracks, with 180 degree corners and a complex chicane. It also holds a special significance for Button, because this is where he took his first Grand Prix win in 2006 for Honda.
“The first thing I noticed when I left the pit lane was how neutral the car was.,” he said. “I come from a rear wheel-drive background, so it was very different for me but Type R is well balanced and instantly enjoyable and more natural.
“What surprised me most is how late you can brake with this car,” he added, “and the manual gearbox - most cars these days don’t come with manual boxes, so it’s nice to have that manual feel. You always feel a lot more connected to the car.”
The Type R Challenge:
World Touring Car driver Esteban Guerrieri set a new 2m1.51s lap record at Magny Cours in France
Japanese Super GT star Bertrand Baguette, set a record of 2m53.72s at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium
British Touring Car legend Matt Neal set a lap record of 2m31.32s at Silverstone in England.
Touring Car driver Tiago Monteiro set a lap record of 2m01.84s at Estoril in Portugal.
And Jenson Button set a lap record of 2m10.19s at the Hungaroring.
This is actually the current Civic Type R’s sixth lap record, since a pre-production model became the fastest front-wheel drive production car ever round the Nurburgring Nordschleife in April 2017, with a lap of 7m43.8s.