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May 12, 2019

Honda Civic Type R Breaks Another Lap Record

The Honda Civic Type R has proven itself to be a formidable track weapon by breaking another lap record, this time at the Mount Panorama, Bathurst race circuit in Australia.

Driven by 2009 Formula One world champion, 2018 Super GT Series champion and Honda ambassador, Jenson Button, the factory specification Civic Type R recorded a 2 minute 35.207 second (2:35.207) lap around Australia’s greatest racetrack setting a benchmark lap time for a front-wheel drive production car.

Mount Panorama is best known as the home of the Bathurst 1000 motor race, held each October. An incredibly challenging track for both man and machine, it’s technically a street circuit, as it is as a public road for 350 days each year when no racing events are being conducted. The current layout is 6.213 km in length with 23 corners and a 174-meter vertical difference between its lowest and highest points, not to mention gradients as steep as 16 percent.

Button holds the unofficial lap record for the Mount Panorama circuit, a spectacular 1:48.8 lap time set in a Formula One car in 2011 as part of a special event to promote the Australian Grand Prix, so it was fitting that he was the driver to set a benchmark time in the Civic Type R.

The time attack at Bathurst was inspired by the ‘Type R Challenge 2018’ program, which saw a team of Honda racing stars break front-wheel drive production car records at a range of legendary European racetracks in a standard production Honda Civic Type R with road tires – eclipsing the previous record set by the last generation Civic Type R.

With Honda Australia celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, it was fitting to hold the first Type R challenge outside of Europe there.

Despite having never raced at Mount Panorama, Button was able to draw on his vast experience at the highest level of motor racing, 17 years and 306 race starts in Formula One, to come to grips with the difficult Bathurst track.

“I definitely put the car through its paces and it was a quick time, 2 minutes 35 seconds is a really good time in a front-wheel drive car and it was hot as well, so I think if it was cooler you could go a bit quicker, but I do feel like I got everything out of the car,” Button said.

“The Honda Civic Type R really is the perfect car for a time attack challenge like this. And it’s 100 percent a road legal car that’s straight off the production line, so to do a 2 minute 35 second lap is fantastic.

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