Honda has claimed a new lap record for a front wheel drive car at the Japanese Suzuka Circuit, set during development testing of its latest iteration of the Civic Type R.
The record-breaking lap was achieved by a Type R Limited Edition development car undergoing its final performance evaluation in February 2020. The development car featured the same technical specifications representative of the production version, with no modifications or performance enhancements.
Hideki Kakinuma, Civic Type R project leader, commented, “For this model change, speed was further pursued in collaboration with Honda Racing Development (HRD) Sakura, which plays a key role in Honda’s motorsport development. This partnership led to the establishment of the fastest Type R3 lap record at Suzuka Circuit.”
“Throughout testing, the introduction of a new two-piece floating brake system demonstrated braking feel and deceleration power exactly as intended by the driver,” added Kakinuma san. “Combined with the improvement of load control performance, the result was a reduction in overall braking time and exceptional high-speed cornering performance, specifically enabling vital speed to be carried though the challenging ‘S’ curve and the second corner of the Spoon Curve at Suzuka. In addition to the increased braking performance, the exceptional grip from the adoption of Michelin Cup2 tires and upgrades to the suspension and damper system control also provided the vehicle with highly efficient dynamics and control, to easily manage the high-speed switches of direction through the flowing S’s.
“A reduction of the unsprung weight from the [use of]lightweight forged wheels further improved road holding and increased traction during acceleration from the two tight Degner Curves and the famous 130R corner. An increase in engine cooling performance also enabled the vehicle to fully utilise its 320ps output to reach top speed on the back straight toward the end of the lap.”