In the fifth and final of a planned series of lap record attempts across Europe in 2018, Honda’s Civic Type R has set a new record for a front-wheel drive production car at the Hungaroring GP circuit in Hungary. The car was driven by Formula One World Champion and current NSX Super GT driver, Jenson Button. The track holds special significance for Button, as the circuit where he won the first Grand Prix of his career with Honda in 2006.

The Hungaroring circuit, a venue in the F1 championship, is a twisty and narrow 4.38-km track with 180-degree corners and a complex chicane, making it one of the more technical tracks in Europe. However, this proved to be a perfect demonstration of the Civic Type R’s Adaptive Damper System, delivering a firmer, flatter ride and greater agility for high-performance handling around the tight circuit.

Alongside the suspension system, the unique steering setup and improved aerodynamics enabled Button to secure the lap record for Honda at the circuit.

Commenting on achieving the lap record, Button said: “We came here to the Hungaroring, where I won my first F1 race in 2006 with Honda, to set a new front-wheel drive production lap record in the new Type R, and I’m very happy that we did it!”

As for the Type R itself, he said: “The first thing I noticed when I left the pit lane was how neutral the car was. I come from a background that is not front-wheel drive focused, so it was very different for me but because the Type R is so well balanced it was instantly really enjoyable and more natural.”

He went on to reveal that what surprised him most was how late he could brake with the car. “The manual gearbox works really well, too. 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,” he added.

Honda set the original benchmark time for Hungaroring during a similar challenge in 2016, using the previous-generation Civic Type R. This new benchmark time is the fifth front-wheel drive lap record set by Honda in The Type R Challenge 2018, achieving the objective set out by the challenge.

The challenge was conceived after the new Type R became the fastest front-wheel drive production car ever round the Nurburgring Nordschleife in April 2017, with a lap time of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds.

The challenge saw five of Honda’s racing champions put the car through its paces around 5 tracks in Europe, setting new record lap times for a front-wheel drive production car and confirming its position as the quickest car in its class.

Newly engineered from the ground up, this latest generation Civic development programme has been the largest in Honda’s history. The Type R retains the heritage of Honda’s high-performance hatchback bloodline and is the fastest accelerating and quickest car in its class.

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