Honda has wound up the 2018 Civic Type R Challenge, a series of lap record attempts across Europe, with a fifth and final record lap, this time at the Hungaroring, as former Formula One world world champion (and current NSX Super GT racer) Jenson Button set a new mark for a production front wheel-drive vehicle of 2m10.19s. It also holds particularly fond memories for Button, as it's the circuit where he won his first Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2006 before going on to become World Champion in 2009. The British driver lapped the 2.7-mile Hungaroring, near the Hungarian capital of Budapest, in 2:10.19 minutes - a new record for a front-wheel-drive production vehicle. The automaker had set the previous benchmark time on the 4.38 km-long track during a similar challenge in 2016, using the previous-generation Civic Type R. Speaking of the auto itself, he commented: "The first thing I noticed when I left the pit lane was how neutral the vehicle was". 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.
Button was also impressed with how late he could brake into corners, and he also praised the fact that the auto comes with a manual transmission, explaining that no other transmission type lets you feel so connected with the vehicle. He described the Type R as "really enjoyable and more natural" because of its balance, and joined every single person who's ever driven a fast Honda in praising its manual gearbox. "You always feel a lot more connected to the vehicle".
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What impressed him the most was how neutral the auto felt, despite its engine powering the front wheels only. "This new Type R is a mega bit of kit, as they always have been, and it's definitely not lost any of its charm", he added.
For the five front-wheel drive production vehicle lap records, Honda asked five different Honda racing champions to drive the Civic Type R. The other drivers to take part in the challenge were WTCR driver Tiago Monteiro (Estoril), BTCC driver Matt Neal (Silverstone), Japenese Super GT driver Betrand Baguette (Spa-Francorchamps) and WTCR driver Esteban Guerrieri (Magny-Cours).