Race Track / 13 April 2014

FIA WTCC - Round 1 & 2 - Marrakech - Paul Ricard


The Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team is always trying to beat the clock at racing circuits around the world. But now the Team is facing the biggest challenge yet – to assemble a brand new racing Honda Civic in just 3 days! Can it be done? No one is certain but Honda Racing never ever backs away from a challenge. 72 hours to go.

What’s caused this drama? On the first day of track action in Marrakesh, the North African street circuit that hosted the first round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, the brand new Honda Civic WTCC of Gabriele Tarquini was ruined when another competitor crashed into the side of the Civic, bending the chassis beyond repair. Whilst Gabriele spectated for the rest of the weekend, the Honda Racing team swung into immediate action.

With the second race meeting taking place at Le Castellet in the South of France this very next weekend the race is on to build a completely new race car in time for the first on-track action on the Friday. Within minutes of the damaged Civic being returned to the paddock in Marrakesh it was loaded into one of the team trucks and two members of the pit crew set off to drive through the night to Tanger to catch the first available ferry across to mainland Europe. Once on firm soil the truck faces another tough race through Spain and into France, aiming to reach the Paul Ricard Circuit at Le Castellet by Tuesday morning.

From the other end of the Team logistics plan, a new prepared bodyshell is hurriedly being completed overnight in the JAS Motorsport race shop in Milan, Italy. Mechanics will work 24 hours Sunday and Monday to get the shell into as advanced build as possible before it too is loaded for transport to Le Castellet. The plan is to have both the damaged car and the new shell at the circuit by Tuesday morning. An Italian GT team has sportingly offered its workshop at Le Castellet to JAS Motorsport for the assembly work.

Meanwhile mechanics working on the cars in Marrakesh have changed their flight plans and will now fly directly to Marseille to reach Le Castellet late on Monday evening ready for the challenge of building Gabriele’s new Civic in time.

Can it be done? – Honda has just 72 hours to make this happen. The Race to Race is on! Keep watching the 72 hours race by on Facebook and see how the Honda racing team attempt the impossible.