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Formula One world champion Jenson Button has driven Honda’s Civic Type R to a new record.
The Brit, who took the F1 crown in 2009, got behind the wheel of the Swindon-built hot hatch at the famous Mount Panorama circuit in Bathurst, Australia. There, he set the fastest lap by a front-wheel-drive production car with a time of 2:35.207.
That lap time would have been good enough to put the Civic sixth on the grid for a six-hour race involving specially-prepped racers that had taken place the day before Button’s lap, despite the F1 champ’s car remaining in a factory-fresh specification.
He said: “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”
It’s not the only record Button holds at the 3.86-mile Mount Panorama, most famous for its Bathurst 1000Km endurance race, having set a 1:48.8 time behind the wheel of a McLaren MP4-23 Formula One car in 2011 — the fastest lap ever done at the track. It’s worth mentioning the 39-year-old has never competed in a race at the circuit, either.
Having retired from Formula One at the conclusion of the 2017 season, Jenson Button has gone on to race for Honda in Japan’s Super GT series, winning the title in his debut year.