The fastest lap time around the Hungaroring GP circuit in a front-wheel drive production car has been set by a Honda Civic Type R, again.
Piloted by Jenson Button, former Formula 1 World Champion and current NSX Super GT driver, it clocked a time of 2:10.19.
The Hungaroring circuit is one of the most technical tracks in Europe. Its twisty and narrow 2.72-mile layout features plenty of tight corners and a complex chicane.
The 38-year-old Button who turned back the clock with this remarkable lap record 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!” He added, “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.”
Aside from the car’s general performance, he also had a thing or two to say about the brakes and transmission. Jenson stated, “The thing that surprised me most is how late you can brake with this 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.”
Previously, in a similar challenge back in 2016, Honda set a benchmark time for the Hungaroring GP circuit using the last-generation Civic Type R not available to us in the States. The new lap time set in the current Type R is the fifth and final of a series of successful lap record attempts across Europe in 2018.
After the Type R became the fastest front-wheel drive production car ever round the Nürburgring Nordschleife in April 2017 with a lap time of 7:43.8, Honda with the help of five of its racing champions set new lap records times around five tracks in Europe. First, it was WTCR driver Esteban Guerrieri who drove a 2:01.51 lap at the Magny Cours GP circuit in France. Then came Japanese Super GT star Betrand Baguette who set a record of 2:53.72 at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium. BTCC legend Matt Neal followed suit, clocking the quickest time of 2:31.32 around Silverstone and, more recently, it was WTCR driver Tiago Monteiro who clocked a time 2:01.84, the fastest for a FWD car at the Estoril circuit in Portugal. And now, Jenson Button has the fastest time around the Hungaroring.
Honda says, “These six records cement the Civic Type R’s position as the quickest car in its class.” Considering its 2.0-litre VTEC Turbo produces 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which allows it to get to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in less than six seconds and hit a top speed of 170 mph, it is hard to debate that claim.