Norbert Michelisz held the honour of taking a Honda victory in Japan in front of 35,000 fans as the FIA WTCC visited the tight and twisty Suzuka East circuit this weekend.
The Hungarian leaped away from the rolling start and kept a fast, consistent pace throughout to claim his and Zengo Motorsport's first win for 2013 after five podiums throughout this season. The win also saw the first time they have won with Honda machinery in the championship too.
Although his victory was marginally overshadowed by Yvan Muller's fourth world title, Norbi was understandably very happy and described his victory as the 'perfect race.'
"It has been a dream weekend!" said a rather excited Michelisz. "Pole position yesterday and victory today, it was the perfect race. I made a great start and was able to push to create a gap in the first laps.
"My car was so good that I did not even need to push to the limit. I was focusing on not making mistakes and when my engineer told me on the radio that Tarquini had had a puncture, I eased my pace a bit.
"I really wanted to win my first race for Honda, and this was the perfect place to do it. I'm really proud of myself and of the team."
The points for pole and the race one victory see Michelisz overhaul 2012 champion Rob Huff and is now sixth in the overall standings with 156 points. Fifth is a possible target for the Hungarian team now that Michel Nykjaer, who is 24 points further up the road, has departed the championship from his NIKA racing drive due to funding issues.
by Dexter Fielding