29 November 2013
Honda Yuasa Racing to use new Civic Tourer in BTCC 2014
Matt Neal: We're all confident that the car can continue the long-standing success of the Civic in the championship and very much looking forward to putting it through its paces.
Honda will switch to using the new Civic Tourer next year in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, it has been announced.
It will be the only estate car on the BTCC grid and will be the first time an estate car has been used since the Volvo 850 in the 1990s.
“We wanted to add a new challenge to the mix and really show what Honda and the team can do. By racing the new Tourer after several years with the Civic hatchback we can really showcase our growing range and demonstrate that the versatility and practicality of a Tourer doesn't compromise dynamic performance,” said Honda UK managing director, Phil Crossman.
“We are only four months away from the start of the 2014 season and I can't wait to see the cars out on the track. They're going to look great and there's no doubt in my mind that they will win races.”
Honda Yuasa Racing team manager, Peter Crolla, meanwhile is adamant it won't have any influence on performance: “Racing with the Civic Tourer means no compromise over the Civic hatchback. The weight, wheelbase, layout and suspension remain the same," he explained, "but naturally, the length of the car is extended due to the larger tailgate.
“After two competitive seasons in the BTCC with the hatchback, it will be an interesting challenge to ensure the Tourer keeps Matt [Neal], [Gordon] Flash [Shedden] and the team at the head of the championships throughout next season. We've worked hard over the past few months to develop the first car which will be completed as we head towards the new year.”
Testing of the new model will now commence in January ahead of its race debut at Brands Hatch for the first round of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship on 29/30 March.
“We're all confident that the car can continue the long-standing success of the Civic in the championship and very much looking forward to putting it through its paces,” Neal remarked. “Although we're racing a new model, the inherent advantages of the Civic hatchback from the past two years remain so there's no reason why this car can't be a winner straight out of the box! We'll be testing the car early in the new year and I can't wait to see it on track.”
“2013 was an incredibly competitive season in the BTCC with the championship battle going right down to the wire! Of course it was disappointing not to retain the drivers title but we're looking forward to what I'm sure will be a strong year for the team in 2014 - and more excitingly, with a new car," Shedden continued.
"It might be a Tourer, but it's still a Civic, the car that has won every championship in BTCC for the last three seasons. I'm really looking forward to the challenge of next season, and to seeing what the Tourer can do on race day,” he concluded.
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