Honda has announced that Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro will be its works team drivers in the FIA
World Touring Car Championship next season.
Honda confirmed its entry in the WTCC
from 2013 onwards earlier this year, with the two car works team to be managed by JAS Motorsport, Honda's long term racing partner.
JAS Motorsport is currently developing the European Honda Civic 5-door for the WTCC, while Honda R&D has created a 'bespoke', brand new 1.6 litre 4 cylinder direct injection turbo-charged petrol engine at its research and development centre in Tochigi, Japan.
As part of its development programme, Honda will enter the final three WTCC
races at the end of this year, with Monteiro behind the wheel of the Honda Civic WTCC
at Suzuka, Shanghai and Macau.
champion Tarquini will also assist the works team on the car's development this year.
“We are delighted to have Gabriele back with us and excited to welcome Tiago into the Honda racing family for the first time,” said Hideo Sato, general manager of Honda Motorsport Division in Japan.
“Both are former F1 drivers and have also proven time and again that they belong in the absolute top echelon of world touring car drivers.
“We are convinced that both drivers will contribute to the success of the Honda Civic in the FIA
“I'd also like to express a special gratitude to the FIA
and Eurosport Events, who have both been instrumental in making our entry into the WTCC
possible from this year onwards.”