In January this year, during the Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan, Honda unveiled the Civic Type R-GT prototype as a preview of its new competitor for the Super GT series. Now, the company is moving into the next phase of vehicle development with its first shakedown tests scheduled for July 25 and 26 at the Okayama International Circuit in Japan.
The Super GT series is a major touring car championship that was founded in 1993 and changed its name to its current name in 2005. It is the top level of auto racing in Japan and currently has two classes – GT300 and GT500. The Honda Civic Type R-GT is supposed to replace the NSX-GT Type S that last won it in 2020. Last year, Nissan won titles in both categories with the Z GT500 (in the GT500 class) and the GT-R Nismo GT3 (in the GT300 class).
Honda now says the new race car has been developed on the bones of the road-legal Civic Type-R and features a custom 2.0-liter turbocharged direct injection engine under the hood. The factory has been developed by the Honda Racing Corporation team and is said to continue the legacy of the Type R which delivers “the ultimate in pure sports performance”.
“We are very pleased to be able to begin track testing of the first Civic Type R-GT, which is a racing machine that combines the aerodynamics, engine and other technologies, as well as expertise that HRC has amassed by challenging races in and outside Japan,” commented Koji Watanabe, President of HRC.
The Civic Type R-GT’s race debut is slated for the 2024 Super GT series season, which presumably means we’ll see its official track launch in April next year. The current 2023 season kicks off April 15-16 at the Okayama International Circuit, followed by races at Fuji Speedway and Suzuka Circuit. The next round is scheduled for August 5-6 at Fuji Speedway and another loop around the Suzuka Circuit is planned for August 26-27. The final race of the season will be held at Mobility Resort Motegi from November 4-5.