TCR / 28 March 2023

Global debut set for all-new Honda Civic Type R TCR

The global race debut for the all-new Honda Civic Type R TCR, developed by JAS Motorsport, has been set.

Chris Smiley and Restart Racing will campaign the first customer example of the car, which is based on Honda’s latest-specification FL5 Civic, at the opening round of TCR UK at Snetterton, England, on April 8-9 as they bid to defend their title.

Restart Racing’s car is the first to race of the 17 examples that have already been sold to customers around the world. All cars are built at JAS Motorsport’s Arluno headquarters in Milan, Italy.

The new car aims to build on the remarkable successes of the FK2 and FK7-based Civic Type R TCRs that have competed across the world since 2015, winning 75 major championship titles and over 400 races, including the Nurburgring 24 Hours and Macau Guia Race.

The FL5 features a brand-new exterior design and aerodynamic package to improve downforce, a new chassis for enhanced cornering stability and greater driver safety, upgraded braking and transmission systems plus a race-prepared version of the four-cylinder, two-litre turbocharged engine featured in the Type R production vehicle.

An ergonomically refined cockpit has been created in line with the latest FIA global safety standards and houses a sophisticated multi-channel driver display providing a greater level of relevant information than ever before.

An ‘endurance’ version, influenced by the knowledge gained through the NSX GT3 Customer Racing Programme, is also available for customers planning to contest championships such as the VLN, 24h Series, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and other long-distance events.

Additional lighting, driver cooling and anti-lock braking is available in addition to a heavily-revised ‘quick-fill’ fuelling system and a more sophisticated cockpit display to provide a greater range of relevant information to the driver in real time.

Last year’s WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup runner-up, Nestor Girolami, has been responsible for the development driving of the new car, which ran for the first time at Cervesina in December.

Mads Fischer, JAS Motorsport TCR Project Leader, said: “We’re so excited to confirm the global racing debut of the new Honda Civic Type R TCR for Easter weekend with Restart Racing in TCR UK at Snetterton. We’ve spent a long time working on the concept and design and testing has gone extremely well with our Test Driver Nestor Girolami reporting the FL5 car is an improvement over the old model in virtually every area. Restart Racing and Chris Smiley made a fantastic impact in TCR UK by winning on their debut at Oulton Park last year with the FK7 Civic and then taking the championship as well. I’m confident that with the latest and most technically-advanced TCR car in the world, they can once again fight for the title, as can all of our customer racing teams globally.”