Honda took the opportunity to test the new car at Brands Hatch.
Honda Racing have taken the wraps off their 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car challenger after the brand new Civic Type R was put through its paces during a two day test at Brands Hatch.
The official unveiling of the car comes next Tuesday as part of the annual Media day, held for the third year running at Donington Park, however c-the scene for the opening meeting of the year in a little over two weeks- where Ominously for Honda’s competitors triple BTCC champion Matt Neal has already described the new car as “quicker than the Tourer” used last year, which was also in action to compare against the new car.
The Civic Type R is an iconic car.
The racer was built by Honda’s long term BTCC partners Team Dynamics and is based upon the all new Civic Type R which isn’t set to hit the UK roads until July this year. For the sixth consecutive year Neal will be partnered alongside 2012 champion Gordon Shedden with both having high hopes for the coming year and are excited about driving the new car with Neal saying, “This is a car that not just us, but the entire automotive industry has been waiting for. We are as excited as anybody to start running the Civic Type R, which is a massive step forward from last year’s Tourer – from the engine to the handling and aerodynamics.”
Meanwhile Shedden commented by saying, “The Civic Type R is an iconic car. We are champing at the bit to get this distinctive, aggressive looking car out on the track. It’s going to stand out and cause a real stir on the track. Especially when we clean up in the championship!”
The car took to the track in a plain white livery with Neal doing the majority of the driving with Shedden driving last year’s Tourer. The new Type R first hit the track for the first time in the afternoon of day one following a wet morning and ran without issue, however the car did stop on its opening lap out of the pits on day 2 before returning to the track just before lunch running without issue for the rest of the day, while ironically the Tourer also had a similar problem in the afternoon stopping in exactly the same place however following the test Neal described that the team were “pretty pleased” with the two days.
Honda weren’t the only team to take advantage of the test with many of their fellow competitors taking part over the two days while WSR, Team BMR and Andrew Jordan were out testing the previous week. On the day Motorsport.com were present at the test (day 2) Honda were joined by Eurotech pair Martin Depper and Jeff Smith, Rob Austin Racing’s Hunter Abbott and Rob Austin, Handy Motorsport’s Simon Belcher, Mercedes pair Adam Morgan for Wix Racing and Aiden Moffat in his Laser Tools A-Class, Dextra Racing’s Alex Martin with the final car out on circuit being Andy Wilmot driving for the first time the Welch Motorsport Proton.
While the day before there were a trio of former Clio Cup champions out in the form of Jack Goff for MG, Dave Newsham having recently signed to drive a Chevrolet Cruze for Power Maxed racing and reigning Clio Cup Champion Mike Bushill in the AmD Focus.
The next time all the cars will be out on circuit is at Donington next Tuesday for official testing, which forms part of the media day. To view images of the new Civic and the other cars out on track from Brands Hatch please click here to visit our pre-season testing gallery which also features images from a test held at Thruxton from earlier in the year.