TCR / 24 April 2023

New Honda Civic Type R TCR on podium with Langeveld and MM Motorsport

The new Honda Civic Type R TCR FL5 scored a second podium finish in as many events as Niels Langeveld and MM Motorsport put the car inside the top three in the opening TCR Italy event of 2023 at Imola.

The reigning champion, who has joined MM for this season, was part of a three-way race-long battle for second spot that also involved JAS Motorsport Driver Development Programme graduate Mattias Vahtel.

Vahtel, who was driving the older FK7 Civic for ALM Motorsport, qualified a career-best second and looked set for the runner-up spot until his floor became loose and led to his car losing performance during the second half of the race.

This issue worsened when he and Langeveld made contact at the Aqua Minerale bend and he was forced to slow his pace for the rest of the race; eventually finishing 17th.

He bounced back with eighth spot on Sunday while Langeveld - aiming to add to his third-place finish the previous day - himself retired with a technical issue.

Langeveld's team-mate Paolo Rocca - who last year won a pair of Coppa Italia Turismo titles with MM - was a career-best sixth on Sunday and ninth on Saturday. He's now second in the Under-25s points as a result.

The third MM driver, Romanian Horia-Traian Chirigut, finished both races with a best result of 20th on Sunday.

ALM's Antti Rammo's best finish was 13th while team-mate Ruben Volt - another JAS DDP graduate - was eliminated from the opener in a high-speed incident caused when he was pushed off at the Rivazza. The damage to his Civic prevented him starting Race Two.