The Type R Challenge 2018 continues, and the latest front-wheel drive production lap record broken is at the Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, where the FK8 Civic Type R did 2 minutes 53.72 seconds. This comes after the mega hatch broke the FWD record at the Magny-Cours GP circuit last month.

The Spa record Civic Type R was piloted by former FIA WEC LMP2 class champion Bertrand Baguette, who is currently racing a Honda NSX-GT in Japan’s Super GT series with Nakajima Racing.

Spa-Francorchamps is one of the longest tracks in the racing seasons of many categories at 7.004 km, and features very fast straights and high-speed corners, along with more technical low-speed sections and significant elevation changes. Acceleration and outright speed from the 320 PS/400 Nm 2.0 litre turbo engine played its part here, and so did aero.

Of course, there’s no shortage of aero bits on the FK8R, including a smooth underbody, front air curtain, slim rear wing and vortex generators on the roof. In the car’s most extreme +R mode, the adaptive dampers produce a firm and flat ride ideal for track driving, enabling more speed to be carried through Spa’s famous Eau Rouge and Kemmel Straight sections.

“With a front-wheel drive usually you always expect understeer, but this car is so balanced. Straight away you get a lot of confidence as it gives you a lot of feedback through the steering wheel, especially in +R mode. The chassis is very rigid, the rear is very stable and front is biting really well to give you a lot of front grip. The aero package really helps the car feel planted at high speed, and it’s amazing the level of traction,” Baguette said.

“For me as a race car driver, it’s clear that Type R is born for the track, but it also feels just as right on the streets in everyday driving. When I sit in the car, it is very comfortable and the visibility all round is very good,” he added.

Honda set the original benchmark time at Spa during a similar challenge in 2016, using the previous-gen FK2 Civic Type R. It also claimed record lap times at Silverstone, Estoril, and the Hungaroring. The 2018 edition of the challenge will revisit these three tracks through the summer. Drivers confirmed for the remaining record attempts include Jenson Button, WTCR driver Tiago Monteiro and BTCC legend Matt Neal.

Of course, one can’t talk Civic Type R and track records without mentioning the Nurburgring Nordschleife. In April 2017, a production development car became the fastest front-wheel drive production car ever around the Green Hell with a lap time of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds, and that has since been the Civic Type R’s calling card.

The FK8 Civic Type R was launched in Malaysia in November 2017 for RM320k. Read our full review of the dual-natured beast.

GALLERY: FK8 Honda Civic Type R