First the Nurburgring, then Magny-Cours, now Spa-Francorchamps.
Honda is adamant that its Civic Type R is the fastest hot hatch on the market. And to prove it, the automaker's taking it to tracks across Europe and setting new front-drive lap records. It already set the fastest time at Magny-Cours, longtime former home of the French Grand Prix. Now it has headed a little further north to an even more famous track, where it's claimed yet another record at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. The new Honda Civic Type R set a blistering lap time of 2:53.72.
That's more than three seconds quicker than the previous record which was set in 2016 by... the previous Civic Type R. That model had also held the front-drive record at Magny-Cours until its successor beat it, and still holds the top times at Estoril, Hockenheim, the Hungaroring, and several more tracks across the old continent. But Honda is out to beat its own times on several of those with the newer version. Of course, the Civic didn't claim the top time overall. That still belongs to Lewis Hamilton, who clocked a blistering 1:42.55 lap time – almost a minute faster – in the Mercedes-AMG W08 at the Belgian Grand Prix there last year.
Behind the wheel for this latest record run was none other than Bertrand Baguette (seriously, we couldn't make up a name like that if we tried). The local driver previously won the LMP2 class in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the vital Formula Renault 3.5 Series title, and is currently driving a Honda NSX-GT in Japan's popular (and highly competitive) Super GT series, where he won the round at Suzuka last year. Following Magny-Cours, Spa, and the Nürburgring lap record it achieved last year, Honda has signed top talents to take part in the 2018 Type R Challenge, including former F1 champ Jenson Button. So expect more records to fall to the mighty Civic in the coming months.
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