Honda’s Civic Type R Time 2018 puts Jenson Button and other drivers to the test

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Two years ago Honda asked a few of its World Touring Car and British Touring Car Championship to set self-certified lap records at five historic European tracks in a 2016 the Civic Type R. The automaker’s putting together another record-seeking circus for the new Civic R, and have asked ex-Formula 1 driver and F1 World Champion Jenson Button to lead a ragtag band of apex hot-shoes for what’s called Honda’s Civic Type R Attack .

The final roster of drivers and tracks is still in the works, but we know the wheelmen include and his fellow NSX Super GT driver Bertrand Baguette, and World Touring Car drivers Tiago Monteiro and Esteban Guerrieri. The five tracks from the last go-round will definitely feature, meaning trips to Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, Estoril and the Hungaroring. Even though the Civic Type R holds the current record for front-wheel-drive production cars at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, we’re certain Button & Co will pay it a visit.

After a bit of YouTube archaeology, we discovered that Honda wasn’t first to the idea of a Type R track tour. In 1997, a posse of pro drivers took the 190-horsepower Integra Type R — the first Type R to turn a wheel outside of Japan — to nine tracks from England’s Silverstone to Austria’s A1 Ring (now the Red Bull Ring). The coupe was practically a homologation special, so labor intensive to build, that Honda could only produce 25 per day, and the carmaker lost money on every one. But the team behind the lap tour wanted to promote the racer’s entry in the N1 2.0-Liter Class.

The 306-hp Civic Type R will run in stock form and with road-legal tires, but don’t be surprised by the addition of a roll cage. We’ll get our first look at the 2018 Time Attack Type R at the Geneva Motor Show next week.

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