The JAS Motorsport Honda Civic Type R R3 emerged triumphant from its very first event on gravel as, despite an off for Dani Sola on the first day and a puncture on the second day, the car took class A7 victory on Wales Rally GB.

Throughout the event, the Civic Type R R3 demonstrated perfect mechanical reliability and a strong pace, with Sola regularly setting times within two seconds per kilometre of the four-wheel drive Super 2000 cars.

On stage 16, he even set a strong 25th quickest time overall, just behind the top runners in the Production Car World Championship.

Sola had set off at a good pace, but was caught out on a fast left-hand corner of SS3, when he got out of shape and slid down a bank. Although the Civic was undamaged, there were not enough spectators around to lift it out.

He re-started under the SupeRally system on Saturday with a 20-minute penalty but then dropped another two minutes with a puncture on SS10. For the rest of the rally, Sola had a fast and trouble-free run to the finish, despite horrendous conditions that included rain, mist and fog.

"I've been very impressed with the car throughout the rally, which has given us no mechanical problems whatsoever despite some very tough conditions," he said. "On Friday we were just a little too fast into the corner, so the car jumped out of the ruts left by the World Rally Cars and we went off, luckily with no damage.

"Over the rest of the rally we were able to push quite hard and I'm very pleased with our times. I've also been very proud to contribute to the development of this great car with JAS Motorsport over the course of the year: now we have a really competitive package."

Team principal Alessandro Mariani was equally pleased with the result.

"This has been a fantastic debut for our Civic Type R R3 on gravel, which confirms the pace we have shown over the rest of the year," he said. "Despite losing a lot of time with the off and the puncture we still win class A7, and our stage times have been less than two seconds a kilometre off the Super 2000 cars that benefit from four-wheel drive.

"Conditions could not have been much worse on this rally, underlining the reliability of our Civic even under these extreme circumstances. After a very strong performance on the asphalt of Catalunya, we have now proved that the Civic is an equally competitive prospect for our customers on gravel. It's been a very positive way to end the year."

 

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