WTCR / 09 February 2018
JAS Hondas to contest FIA World Touring Car Cup
Multiple examples of the new Honda Civic TCR, built by JAS Motorsport, have been ordered by ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport and Boutsen Ginion Racing to contest the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup this year.
Tiago Monteiro and Esteban Guerrieri, who drove for the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team in 2017, are the first two drivers confirmed to race the Civic TCR.
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport have chosen Esteban to lead their line-up while Boutsen Ginion Racing have recruited Tiago for their team.
Tiago, 41, was a standout performer in World Touring Cars last year and was cruelly denied a chance of turning his championship lead into a world title when he sustained injuries in a mid-season testing accident that forced him to sit out the rest of the campaign.
The only Portuguese driver to finish on a Formula 1 podium, Tiago is one of touring-car racing’s global stars with 11 wins and 44 podiums in the WTCC to his name as well as victories in the prestigious Macau Guia Race and TCR Benelux.
Esteban, 33, joined Honda for the final three WTCC events of 2017, substituting for the injured Tiago, and took a dominant victory from pole position at the season-ending race in Qatar on his way to fourth place in the Drivers’ Championship.
He is a multiple race winner in Super TC2000 in his native Argentina and has also claimed victories in the Indy Lights and Formula Renault 3.5 single-seater series to add to championship success in the Formula Renault Eurocup.
All-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, who have previously run a Honda Civic TCR in the FIA European Touring Car Cup, bring a wealth of racing success to the Honda Racing family.
FIA GT1 World Champions in 2012, the team from Friedersdorf, Germany, have claimed a number of WTCC victories and have twice triumphed at the Macau Guia Race.
Boutsen Ginion Racing have been customers of the Civic TCR programme for the past two seasons and achieved huge success in both.
Stephane Lemeret claimed the TCR Benelux drivers’ crown in 2016 while Benjamin Lessenes did likewise in 2017 as well as adding the junior drivers' title for the team from Wavre, Belgium.
Technical support will be offered to all customer teams by JAS Motorsport with an on-site supply of spare parts and technical assistance at each event, aimed at helping all Honda drivers with their title challenges.
The new Honda Civic TCR, designed and manufactured by JAS, made its global race debut in January this year at the 24 Hours of Dubai. It is the successor to the Civic TCR which won 12 championship titles last year - seven drivers' and five teams' crowns.
The FIA World Touring Car Cup begins at the Circuit Moulay el Hassan in Marrakech, Morocco, on April 7-8 and comprises 10 events in Africa, Europe, South America and Asia; concluding on the iconic Macau street circuit on November 17-18.
Alessandro Mariani, JAS Motorsport CEO, said: "We are pleased that the Honda Civic TCR, built at our Milan headquarters, will contest the FIA World Touring Car Cup with teams with such strong records as ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport and Boutsen Ginion Racing. We have good relationships with both teams and a relationship with Honda that dates back to 1998, and we look forward to supporting the teams in WTCR as they hunt for more success. Since it first turned a wheel last October, the Civic has undergone more than 3000km testing, tackled a 24-hour race on its competitve debut and has proven to be an improvement in all areas over the previous model, which delivered 12 championship titles in 2017. We look forward to the challenge ahead."