If you didn't know this already, the FK8 Civic Type R is one of the best - if not the best - hot hatch anywhere. It is a personal favourite of mine. It's amazingly refined when it needs to be, but morphs into a scalpel-sharp driving experience when you turn the wick up. Safe to say, the development team got this car's tuning absolutely spot on.
That said, it seems that Honda isn't content to rest on its laurels. After all, one can always strive to scale greater heights. With that, Honda has announced that its in-house development team (called the 'Honda R&D Challenge') will participate in in the ST2 class of the 2021 Super Taikyu Series. The challenger for the race? An FK8 Civic Type R, of course.
The goal of competing in this race series is to, in Honda's words, "Foster a challenging spirit, cultivate knowledge about sports car development, and develop human resources for the next generation by conducting activities that embody Honda's motorsports DNA."
One of the drivers participating in this endeavour is Hideki Kakinuma. If that name rings a bell, it's because he is the Project Leader and basically creator of the FK8 Civic Type R. He's an all-round nice guy to boot. So, when Kakinuma-san talks driving dynamics, he knows his onions, because he was in charge of how the Type R drives.
Given Honda' passion and pedigree in motorsports, this exercise does feel more than just a marketing spiff. Refreshingly, isn't it brilliant seeing actual employees of car companies walking the talk? They actually want to go racing their way to improve, develop and hone their skills, not just for themselves but also to pass on to the next generation.
It's really great to see not only Toyota (spearheaded by its Master Driver), but now Honda taking an interest in motorsports, believing that it will improve the breed and reap benefits in vehicle dynamics and development. 'Genchi Genbutsu' indeed.