With just two rounds of the 2018 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup remaining, a strong end to the season is the target for the Honda Civic Type R TCR, starting with this weekend’s home event at Suzuka.
Japan has been one of Honda’s most successful destinations in World Touring Car racing. After debuting with a manufacturer programme at Suzuka in 2012, victories were achieved in each of the next five seasons with the Civic WTCC.
Now with a switch of venue from Twin Ring Motegi back to Suzuka Circuit, Honda’s customer racing teams are ready to do battle and add to the three wins and eight podiums achieved so far in 2018.
Tiago Monteiro makes his WTCR debut at Suzuka after a 14-month recovery from injuries sustained in a testing incident.
The Portuguese takes over the Boutsen Ginion Racing Civic Type R TCR driven by Benjamin Lessennes and Ma Qinghua so far in 2018 and is delighted to be back behind the wheel after attending every WTCR event to date in an advisory capacity.
Team-mate Tom Coronel is a star in Japan, having won the Super Formula (then known as Formula Nippon) and F3 titles during his time racing there. He is also a three-time World Touring Car race-winner in Japan.
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver Esteban Guerrieri scored a hard-fought fourth place last time out in Wuhan, China, but is pleased to return to Japan, which was the scene of his first race – and first podium finish – as a Honda factory driver in the WTCC last year.
Team-mate Yann Ehrlacher has won twice in 2018 and the Frenchman believes the characteristics of the 5.8-kilometre circuit near Nagoya will suit Civic Type R TCR particularly well as he aims to add to his victories at Hungaroring and Zandvoort.
Timo Scheider debuted in the WTCR at Ningbo, but has been highly unlucky to suffer opening-lap contact in four of the six races he has started so far and is aiming for a drama-free weekend as he searches for his first points finish.