Former Super GT title winner Ryo Michigami has taken up Rob Huff's factory Honda drive in the FIA World Touring Car Championship for 2017.
After Huff left Honda for the Munnich Motorsport squad with a privateer Citroen last week, Michigami has been called up by the Japanese manufacturer as his replacement after impressing during a WTCC wildcard outing at Motegi last year.
Despite missing out on the points in Motegi, the 2000 Super GT title winner is confident of a smooth transition into the series and has hailed the move as 'the pinnacle of my life in motorsport'.
“As a Japanese driver, I'm extremely proud to be given the opportunity to represent a Japanese manufacturer in a world championship,” Michigami said. “I'm aware that this season will be a huge challenge for me, but I will use all the experience I have gained during my career in Japan and I am incredibly motivated to perform strongly across the season.
“I want to make this the pinnacle of my life in motorsport and together with Honda, JAS Motorsport, Tiago [Monteiro] and Norbi [Norbert Michelisz], I will make the maximum effort possible to achieve this. I would also like to thank everybody in advance for their help and support in 2017.”
Michigami will run under the Honda Racing Team JAS banner as the squad begins pre-season testing in Spain this week ahead of the 2017 season-opener on the 7-9 April in Marrakech.