The car itself is currently in Milan, Italy being tested and prepped by JAS Motorsport, a collaboration we've already had a taste of in the dirt with their Honda Jazz rally car. Honda has also partnered with Mugen on its WTCC project. It will be three months before we see the Civic WTCC going for the checkered flag, the Suzuka race running October 19-21. Have a read of the presser below for a few more details on the engine and the drivers.
Tokyo, July 27th 2012 - Honda today unveiled the new racing engine HR412E to power its Civic WTCC race car in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
Developed at Honda's R&D centre in Tochigi, Japan, the HR412E is a completely bespoke 1.6 litre 4 cylinder direct injection turbo-charged petrol engine, fully conforming to FIA regulations for the WTCC.
Commenting on the announcement, Daisuke Horiuchi, the WTCC Development Project Leader at Honda R&D said:
"In the continuous technological development of an internal combustion engine, the thermal efficiency is the essential key for improvement. And a race engine is not an exception. This HR412E was born from such thought process: aiming for higher efficiency."
"The HR412E heralds a new generation of high performance racing engines from Honda. All engineers at the R&D centre in Tochigi have worked hard to develop a race engine that will deliver great driveability to our racing drivers, with no compromise on peak power performance."
"We believe the innovations that have led to this revolutionary engine will also lead to benefits beyond the race track, helping us to further increase the efficiency of our road car engines."
The engine has been delivered to the Honda Racing Team JAS workshop in Milan, Italy, where the Civic WTCC is being developed, and successfully passed all initial tests.
The news follows the recent naming of Honda's works team drivers in the the FIA World Touring Car Championship - Italian Gabriele Tarquini and Portuguese Tiago Monteiro.
Honda will enter the WTCC as early as this season with one car. Behind the wheel of the Civic WTCC will be ex-Formula One driver Tiago Monteiro, who will compete in three races, starting at Suzuka in October 2012. Honda R&D and Mugen will provide trackside support to the team.
Both drivers will compete in the full FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2013.
Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro announced as Honda's WTCC drivers
- Tiago Monteiro will race in Suzuka, Shanghai and Macau this year
- Gabriele Tarquini will assist Honda Racing Team JAS on the car's development
- Both will race the new "Civic WTCC" in 2013
Tokyo, July 18th 2012 - Honda announced today that Italian Gabriele Tarquini and Portuguese Tiago Monteiro will be its works team drivers in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).
Earlier this year, Honda already confirmed its entry in the WTCC from 2013 onwards, with a two car works team - Honda Racing Team JAS - managed by JAS Motorsport (Milano, Italy), Honda's long term racing partner.
J.A.S. Motorsport is currently developing the European Honda Civic 5-door for the WTCC, whilst Honda R&D has created a bespoke, brand new 1.6 litre 4 cylinder direct injection turbo-charged petrol engine at its research and development centre in Tochigi (Japan).
As part of its development programme, Honda will enter the WTCC as early as this season with one car. Behind the wheel of the "Honda Civic WTCC" will be ex-Formula One driver Tiago Monteiro, who will compete in three races, starting at Suzuka in October 2012. Honda R&D and Mugen will provide trackside support to the team as the new engine makes its racing debut.
Drawing on his extensive experience in the sport, 2009 World Touring Car champion Tarquini will also assist the works team on the car's development this year.
Both drivers will compete in the full FIA World Touring Car Championship (FIA WTCC) in 2013.
Commenting on the announcement, Hideo Sato, General Manager of Honda Motorsport Division in Japan, said:
"We are delighted to have Gabriele back with us and excited to welcome Tiago into the Honda racing family for the first time. Both are former Formula One drivers and have also proven time and again that they belong in the absolute top echelon of world touring car drivers. We are convinced that both drivers will contribute to the success of the Honda Civic in the FIA WTCC.
I'd also like to express a special gratitude to the FIA and Eurosport Events, who have both been instrumental in making our entry into the WTCC possible from this year onwards."
Gabriele Tarquini's racing career began in karting, where he became both Italian and World Champion. He then moved to Formula 3000 for three seasons, followed by Formula One, participating in 78 Grand Prix and working with teams such as Osella, Coloni, AGS, Fondmetal and Tyrrell.
In 1994 the Italian then made a successful switch to touring cars. Starting with the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), he won the title at his first attempt.
In 1997 he began a five year relationship with Honda, firstly in the BTCC behind the wheel of a Honda Accord. In 1998 he moved to Germany to support Honda's assault in the country's STW Cup, and then in 2000 returned to the BTCC. This first 'Honda era' drew to a close in 2001 and was marked by winning nine races in the European Touring Car Championship.
Since then Tarquini has competed in the FIA WTCC, including a championship winning season in 2009, when he took the drivers' title at the last race of the year.
In the same year that Tarquini first joined Honda (1997), Tiago Monteiro was making his debut in the French Porsche Carrera Cup.
After a spell in the French Formula 3 and the GT Championship, he moved to Formula 3000 in 2002 and then the American Champ Car series in 2003.
He then pushed through to Formula One, driving for Jordan Grand Prix, Midland F1 and Spyker F1 team. In the 2005 United States Grand Prix he obtained a podium finish (3rd place) and in the same year went on to break the record for the highest number of finishes in a season as a rookie (18); a record that he still holds to date.
Monteiro moved to the FIA WTCC in 2007, where he continues to compete at the highest level.
About Honda Racing Team JAS
Team Name: Honda Racing Team JAS
Drivers: Gabriele Tarquini as 2012 development driver and 2013 racing driver, Tiago Monteiro as 2012 racing driver from Suzuka round and for 2013 season
Team Principal: Alessandro Mariani
Chief Designer: Andrea Adamo
Technical Director: Stefano Fini
About the Honda Civic WTCC
Car Designation: Honda Civic WTCC
Base Car: Honda Civic 5Door, produced in Honda's manufacturing plant located in Swindon (UK).
About J.A.S. Motorsport
- J.A.S. Motorsport is a racing car builder and racing team founded in 1995 to compete mainly in touring car races. It became Honda's partner in 1997 as a works team in the Super Touring Car era (STW (Germany)) in 1998 &1999, BTCC (UK) in 2000 and has run Honda Racing Customer Support on behalf of Honda Motor Europe since 2001. Located in Milan, Italy, J.A.S Headquarters and factory consists of a surface area of 2500 square meters.
- J.A.S. Motorsport's President is Maurizio Ambrogetti and Managing Director is Alessandro Mariani.
More information can be found at www.jasmotorsport.com
- Mugen is a brand of M-TEC Co., Ltd. a company based in Saitama (Japan) whose main motorsport activities are: designing, development, manufacturing and marketing of racing engines; parts and components for Honda cars and technical services at racing circuit.
- M-TEC has subsidiaries in America (MUGEN America Inc. (U.S.A.)) and in Europe (MUGEN EURO Co., Limited (U.K.))
More information can be found at www.mugen-power.com/
- WTCC is the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
- Vehicle specification is strictly regulated by FIA Super 2000 category
- All vehicles who compete in the championship are based on mass production cars with more than than 4 seats.
- The championship is reserved for cars powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine, turbo-charged with direct injection.
- The distance of each race varies between 50 km and 60km
- The full racing season covers 12 racing weekends (two races per weekend)
More information can be found at www.fiawtcc.com