Civic WTCC race car unveiled
GETTING READY FOR 2013: The Honda Civic WTCC race car has been unveiled and sports an aerodynamic body and modified engine.
Honda has unveiled the 2012 Civic WTCC race car as they began track testing for the IAF World Touring Car championship.
Led by WTCC champion Gabriele Tarquini, testing started on July 31 at the Vallelunga circuit, near Rome, Italy and will continue throughout the year. The championship will start at Suzuka in October 2012.
Entering with one car driven by Tiago Monteiro, Honda will partake in three races. Current tests assure the Civic WTCC will be ready for full entry in 2013.
The exterior of the vehicle has also been revealed. The new race car has undergone extensive wind-tunnel testing which resulted in an extended front and rear skirt design. These enhancements ensure smooth airflow, creating a coefficient of drag value that is best in class for a C-sector five-door hatchback.
Alessandro Mariani, team principal of Honda Racing Team JAS, said: "To see the finished Civic finally on the race track is an extremely emotional moment for the whole team. I am so proud of everyone involved. They have managed to accomplish so much in such a short period. Everyone has been working tirelessly for this day to happen and the new car and engine are no less than our expectations.
"The initial track testing has already provided us with a lot of feedback and data, but the road to Suzuka in October remains a long one. This isn't the end. It's just the beginning. From here we will make ourselves even busier."
Test driver Gabriele Tarquini said: "Although I'd never driven the new Civic, when I sat in the seat for the first time I immediately felt I was in a Honda. The bodywork is precise and the engine feels great. But this is just the first track test, so there is so much more for us to work on.
"The car looks beautiful, too, and will, I'm sure, wow all the WTCC fans around the world when it makes its debut in Suzuka later this year."
Underneath the aerodynamic body lies the HR-412E, a modified 1.6litre, four cylinder, direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine, in compliance with IAF regulations for the WTCC.
Both Tarquini and Monteiro will compete for Honda in the full FIA World Touring Car championship in 2013.