Japan has its fair share of one-make race series. For well under $20,000 you can buy a stripped out Vitz (Yaris) from Toyota, a March (Micra) from Nissan, a Swift (Ignis) from Suzuki or a Roadster (MX-5, Miata, whatever...) from Mazda specifically prepared to do battle with identical machinery six or so times a year around Tsukuba, Fuji and Suzuka. But the undisputed leading feeder race into Japanese formula racing is Honda's Type R series.

Wannabe Honda F1 drivers have been contesting Integras for the past seven years, but next year's championship sees a return of the Civic Type R to Japan's tracks. The race going version sports the standard R's 225PS KA20 motor and six speed 'box, but has no need for the road-going car's helical LSD, aircon, seats, interior trim, underseal and expensive HID lights, which knocks off not only several kilos its curb weight, but a whopping 40% off the road car's sticker price, bringing it under $15,000 at 1,690,500Yen.

Pity that the entry fee, roll cage, racing seat and harness plus a season's worth of tires and parts will come to at least as much again.

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