The Honda Civic Type R Race Car Is Getting Ready To Make Its IMSA Debut
The last-generation Civic Type R won 397 races worldwide, so this new car has big shoes to fill.
Next April, we'll see the new Honda Civic Type R hit the track in the 2023 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. Honda Performance Development teamed up again with JAS Motorsports to build an IMSA racing version of the new "FL5" Civic Type R, which will compete in next season's Touring Car class.
For duty in IMSA, the Civic Type R gets quite an overhaul. Visually it adds beefier fender flares, a widened wheel track, a new front splitter, vents in the hood, and a big rear wing. Pretty typical touring car stuff. The chassis will be upgraded as well, which Honda claims will make it corner better and improve driver safety, as are the brakes and the transmission. Honda didn't say exactly which transmission is in the new IMSA Type R, but the last-gen car used a six-speed sequential manual from Xtrac.
Obviously, the engine will be modified for racing duty as well. However, being in the IMSA TCR class, it can only make 300-350 horsepower per regulations. The last-gen "FK7" Type R IMSA TCR racer made 340 hp, so don't expect too much more, as it was pretty much topped out anyway.
There will be three teams running Honda Civic Type R TCRs; HART, LA Honda World, and VGRT. LA Honda World will run two cars, driven by Ryan Eversley and Matt Pombo, and so will VGRT, with Victor Gonzalez and Karl Wittmer behind the wheel.
JAS Motorsports will build all of the Civic Type R TCRs in Italy, but they'll be sold to customer racing teams through HPD in North America. The last-gen Type R TCR was a massive success for Honda, winning 397 races between all its customer teams. So, naturally, Honda has high expectations for this new car.
The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge kicks off in April 2023, and teams can order their Civic Type R TCRs beginning February 1, 2023.
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