In the second round of the 2018 Type R challenge, the FK8 Civic Type R has set a new production FWD lap record at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium with a time of 2 minutes 53.72 seconds in the hands of former FIA WEC LMP2 class World Champion, Bertrand Baguette.
The 2018 Type R challenge will see the FK8 attempting to beat the FWD lap records in five different circuits, piloted by five different drivers. Just last month, the Civic Type R broke the FWD lap record at the Magny-Cours circuit with Honda Racing’s WTCR race driver Esteban Guerrieri behind the wheel.
The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is one of the longest tracks in motor racing with long fast straights and high speed corners – where the Type R excelled with the explosive acceleration of its 2.0-litre VTEC turbo engine and aerodynamic advantage.
“With a front-wheel drive usually you always expect understeer but this car is so balanced. Straight away you get a lot of confidence as it gives you a lot of feedback through the steering wheel, especially in +R mode. The chassis is very rigid, the rear is very stable and the front is biting really well to give you a lot of front grip. The aero package really helps the car feel planted at high speed and it’s amazing the level of traction,” said Bertrand Baguette.
“For me as a race car driver, it’s clear that Type R is born for the track but it also feels just as right on the streets in everyday driving. When I sit in the car, it is very comfortable and the visibility all round is very good,” he added.
Interestingly, Honda also set the previous lap record during a similar challenge in 2016, with the previous generation Civic Type R. The new FWD benchmark time for the Spa circuit is the 3rd lap record to be claimed by the new FK8 Civic Type R – the other two took place at Magny-Cours and Nurburgring.
Earlier this year, the Civic Type R set itself apart by being the fastest front-wheel drive production car ever around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with a lap time of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds.
Other drivers confirmed for the remaining three Type R Challenge 2018 circuit record attempts include former Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button, WTCR driver Tiago Monteiro and BTCC legend Matt Neal.