Three-time British Touring Car Champion Matt Neal drove the UK-built hot hatch around the GP circuit in just 2:31.32, beating the front-drive lap record set by the previous Civic Type R in 2016.
“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 Neal. “Into corners like Copse and Stowe at the end of the Hangar straight, you can carry big entry speed with supreme confidence.”
Silverstone is the third stop Honda has made along the Type R Challenge 2018 campaign, following Magny-Cours in France and Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. And it’s set a new lap record for front-drive production cars at each one. The greater claim, though, was staked last year when the Civic Type R achieved the same at the Nürburgring, charting a lap time of 7:43.8 to beat the best hot hatches from the likes of Volkswagen, Seat, and Renault.
In the coming months, Honda will attempt to beat its own lap records at Estoril and the Hungaroring with multiple World Touring Car race-winner Tiago Monteiro and former F1 champ Jenson Button behind the wheel.
“There isn’t just one point that makes this Type R the best in its class – it’s across the board,” added Neal, today’s record-setter at Silverstone. “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.”