Take a Photo Tour of Where They Build Honda Civic Type R TCR Race Cars
Come along as we check out JAS Motorsport.
Not far from the center of Milano, Italy, sits JAS Motorsport, an Italian racing effort that has built successful race cars since the company was founded in 1995. Though it started out building Alfa Romeo 155 touring cars in its formative years, by 1998 it had become an official partner of Honda, building Accords and Civics for the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC), British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). Today, it builds the Honda Civic Type R TCR race car, the 2019 version of which has won 65 races in 14 various series around the globe.
We recently got a tour of JAS Motorsport's facility during the launch of the updated 2020 Honda Civic Type R and 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition models. While we were there, JAS Motorsport employees were hard at work building several 2020 Honda Civic Type R TCR race cars, which our social media editor Billy Rehbock detailed when they ran their first race at Daytona earlier this year.
Naked chassis (also known as bodies-in-white) are shipped from Honda's Swindon, U.K., plant to JAS Motorsport, where the team modifies them for competition duty before fitting them with new composite body panels. There are also plenty of aerodynamic add-ons. Do you think the stock Type R wing is big? How about the massive adjustable carbon-fiber version the race car gets, along with an equally intimidating front splitter. JAS Motorsport is certainly serious about aerodynamics: On our tour, we saw a near-$200,000 quarter-scale wind tunnel model of a 2020 Civic Type R TCR that the company uses to test improvements with tremendous accuracy.
Engines comes from Honda's Ohio plant and receive more modifications—a new heavy-duty head gasket and Honda Performance Development (HPD)/Borla downpipe and exhaust, among other items- before being installed in the car along with a heavy-duty cooling system. While the road-going Civic Type R produces 306 hp, the race version pumps out a full 340 hp and will generally need a major service every 2,000 race miles or so, which is a pretty big interval as far as such things go. The gearbox is a six-speed sequential unit, and the fuel tank is upsized from just more than 12 gallons to 26.4 gallons.
Suspension is based on the original design, but uses more adjustable parts such as HPD inverted coil-over dampers co-developed by Bilstein. HPD front caster and camber plates, along with custom control arms and adjustable anti-roll bars, mean there is a car setup for just about any race venue; the Civic Type R TCR certainly has gobs more potential for adjustment than the street car does. Brake calipers contain six pistons up front, four pistons in the rear, while two-piece brake rotors are similar in size to the 2020 Civic Type R street car. However, the latter are made by Girodisc for racing duty, along with an ABS circuit similarly modified for motorsports.
Want one in your own garage? JAS Motorsport builds plenty of cars for the U.S. market to race in the SRO Motorsports TC America series. At a cost of $172,238 (minus taxes and import tariffs), the 2020 Honda Civic Type R TCR race car isn't cheap, but it's likely a bargain price compared to building one yourself in similar spec. After all, JAS Motorsport estimates it spends some 390 man-hours on each car, from bare chassis to final testing.