We have Volkswagen to thank for all these record runs.
Last year the Honda Civic Type R ran the fastest lap ever at the Nurburgring for a front-wheel-drive car. Then a short while ago the Volkswagen GTI Clubsport S came a long and took Honda’s crown, smashing its record by more than a full second. The engineers behind the hot hatch must've been pissed because the Civic Type R has just gone out and set FWD lap records at five iconic European tracks: Silverstone (Great Britain), Spa (Belgium), Monza (Italy), Estoril (Portugal) and Hungaroring (Hungary).
The first lap at Silverstone was in the wet, with three-time British Touring Car Championship winner Matt Neal clocking a 2:44.45 before returning a few weeks later to run a dry lap of 2:31.85. At Spa Honda factory driver Rob Huff ran a 2:56.91. Portuguese World Touring Car Championship safety driver and former racer Bruno Correia set the lap record on his home turf at Estoril with a time of 2:04.08. WTCC driver Norbert Michelisz set the last two records at Monza (2:15.16) and Hungaroring (2:10.85). Wow, that’s a lot of numbers and names to remember! We’ll give you a second to compose yourself before getting back to it. Lap times mean nothing to casual buyers and sometimes get lost in the sauce when it comes to enthusiasts.
But these records should be seen as impressive due to the fact that the Civic Type R was a full production car with no track tuning done whatsoever. The aforementioned GTI Clubsport S is hardcore and more or less designed for the track, what with its no back doors/back seats and all. If you really, really love videos of lap records you’re in luck as Honda has released footage from all five runs. We bet some of the folks over at Volkswagen are watching these clips and plotting their revenge. All we hope is that the US will eventually be the next front in the hot hatch world war.