The WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup enters its closing stages this weekend with both Civic Type R TCR teams eager to impress at Honda’s home circuit at Suzuka, Japan.
With just three rounds left, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport lie second in the Teams’ Championship with Esteban Guerrieri in the same position in the Drivers’ rankings and eager to re-claim the series lead after a disaster weekend at Ningbo last time out.
Argentinian driver Esteban has won twice this year and is 15 points away from the series lead with 85 available at each of the remaining three rounds. He scored a best result of fourth place at Suzuka last year.
Team-mate Nestor Girolami’s visit to Suzuka as a spectator in 2018 ultimately led to becoming a Honda Racing driver for 2019 and joining Münnich, for whom he has won three times and holds sixth in the standings.
KCMG’s Tiago Monteiro is the only Honda Racing driver to have raced on the Suzuka East Course – which uses the start/finish straight and Esses sections of the legendary Formula 1 track – previously; doing so from 2011-2013 in the World Touring Car Championship.
He was a highly-popular winner for Honda in Japan in 2015 – at Twin Ring Motegi – and last year made a highly-emotional return to racing at Suzuka after more than a year out through injury.
Following on from a heavy accident at Ningbo, the Portuguese driver will have a new chassis for Suzuka.
Team-mate Attila Tassi has never been to Suzuka, but has raced a Civic Type R TCR in Japan; forming part of KCMG’s line-up at the Fuji 24 Hours – the showpiece race of the Super Taikyu series – in June.
The Vila Real WTCR polesitter secured his highest weekend points total in the WTCR last time out at Ningbo, and is keen to continue his progress at Honda’s home circuit.
KCMG expand to three cars for the event with Hong Kong racer Jim Ka To, 34, joining as a wildcard in a third car to be fielded under the KC Motorgroup banner.
The ex-Formula Renault Asia champion has raced the Civic Type R TCR already at Suzuka this year; finishing on the podium there for KCMG in the Super Taikyu opener.