New Honda Civic Type R to compete in 2015 BTCC

Civic Tourer unceremoniously dumped in favour of Honda's latest hot hatchback

Honda’s latest Civic Type-R, revealed in full at the 2015 Geneva motor show, will this year compete in the British Touring Car Championship.

Honda Yuasa Racing struggled with last year’s Honda Civic Tourer, missing out on the team’s title to the eBay Motors BMW team. There are much higher hopes for this year’s car, whose bodywork is based on that of the road-going Civic Type-R.

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While the racer will use the shell of its road-going equivalent, current BTCC cars still bear little resemblance to the cars that spawn them.

The Civic Type-R road car sends 306bhp through its front wheels – enough to make it the most powerful front-drive car in its class – but the racing version is set to develop 350bhp. Interestingly, both share a torque figure – 295lb ft – but the racer’s aerodynamics package is further developed from that of the aggressive road car.

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The new shell is said to create less drag and has better airflow management than the Tourer which predeced it.

‘We are as excited as anybody to start running the Civic Type R,’ explains Matt Neal, who continues at the team unchanged along with teammate Gordon Shedden. ‘[The car is] a massive step forward from last year’s Tourer – from the engine to the handling and aerodynamics.’

Honda Yuasa Racing has been working closely with Honda UK manufacturing since last September, readying the racing version long before the road car made its official debut.

It should put the team in a good position ahead of the official media day at Donington on March 24 – and the first race of the season at Brands Hatch, on April 5. 

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