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Jensen Button sets lap record at Mount Panorama with Honda Civic Type R

The Easter long weekend saw Jensen Button set a front-wheel drive production car lap record at Mount Panorama driving a Honda Civic Type R.

Inspired by the Type R Challenge 2018 program that saw a bunch of racing drivers set new lap records at a raft of European motor racing circuits with a Honda Civic Type R, Honda Australia decided to get in on the action. To celebrate its 50th anniversary in Australia, Honda tasked Jensen Button to follow the same European formula at Mount Panorama.

It’s worth noting that Button, who’s never actually raced around Mount Panorama holds the unofficial lap record of the place after an exhibition event saw him sprint a Formula One car around the ‘Mountain’ in 2011. He drove the track in 1 minute 48.8 seconds.

Jensen Button sets lap record at Mount Panorama

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The 2009 Formula One world champion, 2018 Super GT Series champion and Honda ambassador, Jenson Button, drove a factory-spec Civic Type R on road tyres around Mount Panorama in 2 minutes 35.207 seconds (2:35.207).

Button’s 2:35.207 lap time in the Civic Type R around the hallowed tarmac of the Mount Panorama circuit was achieved from just 14 at-pace laps spread over a one hour session in the morning and a brief 10-minute session in the afternoon, Honda said.

“Mount Panorama holds a unique place in Australian motorsport, so it was a privilege and a thrill for the Honda Australia team to be able to take on that challenge in the Civic Type R, especially with Jenson behind the wheel,” said Honda Australia Director, Stephen Collins.

“Anything you drive around Mount Panorama is pretty amazing. Up across the top of the mountain, the Type R is so fast through there, so once I got into a rhythm and got used to the speed you can carry, it was really good fun,” said Jenson Button, after returning from his final time-attack run.

“I definitely put the car through its paces and it was a quick time, 2 minutes 35 seconds is a really good time in a front-wheel drive car and it was hot as well, so I think if it was cooler you could go a bit quicker, but I do feel like I got everything out of the car,” Button said.

“The Honda Civic Type R really is the perfect car for a time attack challenge like this. And it’s 100 per cent a road legal car that’s straight off the production line, so to do a 2 minute 35 second lap is fantastic.

“We came here to have fun and see what this amazing car can do around this iconic track and it did very well – it’s definitely an exciting car for enthusiasts.”

To watch an interview with Jenson Button after he drove the Civic Type R around Mount Panorama at Bathurst, click here: https://www.honda.com.au/type-r-challenge


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.