Honda Racing and Team Dynamics have confirmed that they will remain a key player in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) in 2012, and will be embarking upon the campaign with a race-prepared version of the all-new, ninth-generation Civic hatchback.
Two brand new race cars are being built by Honda's long-standing BTCC partner, Team Dynamics, to meet the latest NGTC regulations, and Honda Racing will continue to contest the championship as a full 'works' entry, hoping to replicate the glory it achieved in 2010, when it triumphed in both the teams' and manufacturers' battles. Currently, drivers Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal sit respectively second and third in this season's title chase, with eight victories and 14 podium finishes between them.
“We are delighted to enter the new Civic in next year's BTCC, and hope to build on the success we've already had with the current model,” remarked Dave Hodgetts, managing director of Honda (UK). “We've made significant improvements to the new road car, and we're confident those changes will make for a competitive race car, too.
“The Civic is the perfect model to compete in British Touring Cars, as it has been born-and-bred in the UK. The new car has been tested on more UK roads than any other Honda, and it will continue to be built exclusively in Swindon.”
Although drivers are yet to be confirmed for next year, it is believed likely that both Neal and Shedden will be staying on-board – and the former is palpably enthusiastic about his new 'toy'.
“We are all looking forward to 2012, and from my point-of-view, it is very exciting to have the prospect of driving the new Honda Civic,” enthused the 2005 and 2006 BTCC Champion. “The team's development of the car is already well underway, and the new Civic will fit the BTCC's 'Next Generation Touring Car' regulations. I'm sure it will keep Honda at the front – and in the winner's circle – both off and on-track!”
A production version of the 2012 Civic will make its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month, whilst Honda has released the first of four documentary films on what drives its BTCC operation to achieve such tremendous success. You can watch it right here