Honda’s ‘Type R Challenge 2018’, which aims to break lap records at five famous European race circuits in the Civic Type R, is progressing well, with the fourth record secured. Honda WTCR driver, Tiago Monteiro, set a new 2 minutes 01.84sec record for a front-wheel drive production car at the Estoril circuit in Portugal – beating the previous 2:04.08 record of 2016, which was set by Bruno Correia in the previous-generation model.
The all-new tenth-generation Civic represents the largest development program in Honda’s history, with the car featuring a lightweight, highly rigid bodyshell, low center of gravity, and a dual-axis strut front suspension system, designed to reduce torque steer and enhance on-the-limit cornering. The 320PS car tackled Estoril’s tricky 2.6-mile (4.2km) circuit, which includes two hairpins, a difficult chicane and a very long main straight.
“The new Type R is a big evolution,” said Monteiro. “I mean we’re talking about a totally different car in terms of design, aero, suspension, geometries, engine, but more than anything the feeling of driving the car.”
“We came here with a goal to beat the existing lap record set by the previous car but you can never take anything for granted – I mean it’s a lap record so it’s no easy feat,” he added. “We beat the lap record, smashed the record actually.”