Honda races into World Touring Car Championship
Honda is to return to international motorsport with a programme in the World Touring Car Championship.
The bid will be based around the brand’s latest Civic model and begin racing late in 2012, before a full programme in 2013.
The WTCC takes in races right across the globe, from South America to Japan and China. Honda cars last ran competitively in the series in 2008.
However the brand has dominated the UK’s top race series, the British Touring Car Championship, in recent years with Civics run by West Bromwich-based Team Dynamics. Team leader Matt Neal took his third series title in 2011.
Honda will be defending its UK title in 2012, with new cars based on the recently-launched five-door version of the latest Civic built in the brand’s UK plant at Swindon.
Italian-based J.A.S. Motorsport, which has a long history of running European programmes for Honda, will take charge of the WTCC bid. BTCC and WTCC engine rules are different so a new engine will be developed with Honda’s long-term powertrain partner Mugen.
Words by: Andrew Charman