Honda restarts its sporting heart

Carsguide ·

12 March 2012

Honda restarts its sporting heart

The Japanese brand has announced its re-entry with a new generation Civic to race in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) possibly this year.

"We have made a decision to enter the WTCC with the European Civic. We will develop a totally new engine for this project," says said Honda CEO Takanobu Ito. Honda has formed a joint partnership with Mugen and J.A.S. Motorsport to build and race the car.

Honda R&D is developing a custom made racing engine, while Mugen will manufacture and maintain it. J.A.S. Motorsport will develop the race car, using the new Honda Civic 5 door produced in Honda's manufacturing plant located in the UK. The racing engine is a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, direct injection, turbo-charged, petrol engine, developed in accordance with FIA's Super 2000 regulations.

Honda's ambition is to join the WTCC as early as this season, with a string of "inaugural rounds".

Discussions are currently being held with the FIA, but these rounds would include Japan (held on 21 October 2012 at Honda's Suzuka circuit), followed by China and Macau. Honda will then enter a two car team, managed by J.A.S. Motorsport, into every race in the 2013 championship season.

This activity is being run independently to the Honda Racing British Touring Car Championship winning team. Three-times BTCC Champion, Matt Neal and Gordon `Flash' Shedden will be behind the wheel of the race-prepared Team Dynamics version of the new Civic and lining up on the grid at Brands Hatch on April 1 for the first race of the 2012 BTCC season.

Racing has been a fundamental element of Honda's DNA. and the WTCC is the next chapter in Honda's on-going commitment to world motor sport.

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Published 12 March 2012