R is for racecar: First Honda Civic Type R for the track debuts

We've only just met - and driven - the Honda Civic Type R, and already one is ready to go racing.

JAS Motorsport has announced the new Type R TCR, which becomes one of 19 models eligible for touring car racing in 2018. It will likely compete in motorsports beyond the TCR International Series as well, JAS says, and it plans to offer an "endurance" version as well.

JAS, based in Milan, has worked with Honda since 1998 and first developed a racing version of a Type R predecessor back in 2001. Since then, JAS-developed Civics won the FIA World Touring Car championship in 2013 along with the European Touring Car Cup, TCR Germany, Middle-East, Italy and Benelux series and the Macau Guia Race.

As if the stock Type R didn't already have advancements in aero and suspension - advancements great enough to help it set a new record at the Nürburgring - Mads Fischer, the leader of the Type R TCR project, says, "We are delighted and excited to announce today that we will make the new Honda Civic Type R TCR available to customers for next year and send our warmest thank you to Honda for continuing to give us their blessing for this project.

"The new car shows significant development in several key areas such as aerodynamics, suspension and electronics. Our first Civic Type R TCR car has won five championships already and is in contention for another eight this year in Europe and Asia, and our aim is to ensure that the new car continues to raise the bar for TCR competition globally."

The car reportedly has 330 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque - presumably just a tweak of the ECU beyond the stock Type R's 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet. There has been some weight reduction off the Type R's 3,117 pounds, however. Weight of the JAS car is 2,750 pounds for a manual transmission and a bit over 2,800 for a car with a racing gearbox.

Honda, of course, is dreaming up its own Type R variants, but just in case you want to race on an international circuit, deliveries of JAS' car begin in December, and the company expects to have 25 cars ready for the 2018 TCR season.

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