Honda Civic Type R Race Car Debuts at 24 Hours of Dubai

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2018 Honda Civic Type R TCR Race Car

TCR-spec car fails to finish first race, but few will argue it looks spectacular and should be potent enough to compete in many TCR-spec series and classes.

The racing version of the Honda Civic Type R debuted at the Hankook Tires 24 Hours of Dubai January 12 and 13. While the results might have fallen short, the car looks to have a bright future.

English team RKC/TGM Sport campaigned the first Honda Civic Type R TCR, although the car had to retire after nine hours. A blocked radiator overheated the 2.0-liter engine irreparably. The car qualified 12th in a field chock full of well-tested TCR-spec Audi RS3s, Seat Leons, and Volkwagen Golfs.

That may not sound impressive, but all race cars undergo some teething troubles. JAS Motorsport built the car and put the new Type R through more than 2,800 kilometers of testing. However, the grueling churn of a 24-hour race provides a more severe challenge for a race car than single-car test.

Whatever you say about the results, the car looked spectacular. American Honda factory driver Ryan Eversley probably said it best on Twitter, asking if JAS had any spare body kits laying around for a street Type R.

JAS Motorsport delivered the first customer Type R TCR to RKC/TGM to begin a planned 25-unit run of the car. Several will compete in regional TCR series. More will likely participate in the FIA world championship, the new-for-2018 World Touring Car Cup (WTCR).

2018 Honda Civic Type R TCR Race Car

About the Honda Civic Type R TCR

CR is a specification of touring cars that uses production bodies with an eye toward cost-savings. Regulations restrict purchase price to around $135,000 for the car and while that sounds like a lot, it runs considerably less than the old World Touring Car Championship Civics.

Regulations mandate a single-turbo 2.0-liter engine with 330 horsepower. It’s unclear if this is a different engine from the previous JAS Motorsports’ prior Honda Civic TCR. However, the new car likely retains the six-speed, paddle-shifted sequential transmission. Bored? Check out the allowed engine modifications in Section 6 of the TCR Technical Regulations.

Handling updates for the 2018 car include a new multilink rear suspension and anti-rollbar system. The 2017 Type R’s aerodynamic changes should also produce more downforce.

[Photos: JAS Motorsport]

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