Five wins on superb weekend for Honda Civic Type R TCR
The Honda Civic Type R TCR scored five victories in four series on three continents in a sensational weekend for the JAS Motorsport-built car.
A dominant performance from the Dome Racing Team resulted in a memorable one-two finish in the ST-TCR division of Japan’s ultra-popular Super Taikyu series at the demanding Autopolis circuit.
Victory went to the reigning champion #98 car of Tayiou Iida, Kazuho Takahashi and Hiroki Kato, who started from third place, but moved into the lead instantly and held the advantage for the first two thirds of the race.
Their pole-sitting sister #97 car of Shinji Nakano, Hiroki Otsu, Tadao Uematsu and Takashi Kobayashi snatched the lead with an hour to go, but Kato would not be denied a first win of the year and re-asserted his position before the flag. The #97 machine maintained its championship lead.
Lo SzeHo and Pattarapol Vongprai were both first-time winners in the TCR Asia Series as it made its annual trip to the Bangsaen street circuit in Thailand.
Vongprai moved into the lead early on in Race One and took a superb win for Vattana Motorsport – his victory also netting him maximum points for TCR Thailand; which he continues to lead.
Lo qualified on the front row and made his way to the front of the field in Race Two to claim the spoils for Maximum Racing – a result that moves him to second place in the points table.
Chariya Nuya of Billionaire Boy Racing and Nattachak Hanjitkasem of TBN MK IHERE Racing each secured a fourth-place finish among the TCR Thailand runners.
The results also gave Lo, Vongprai and Nuya secured second, third and fifth spots in the South-East Asian Drivers’ Cup, which concluded in Bangsaen.
Ryan Eversley maintained his points lead in the Pirelli World Challenge TCR division with a third win of the season at Portland International Raceway, USA.
The RealTime Racing driver led virtually the entire distance in Race One from pole position, but fell to third with three laps to go when he was blocked by a backmarker he was trying to lap.
He made amends in Race Two with a commanding victory, backed up by new team-mate Michael Cooper, who finished third, despite having been drafted into the team at the last minute when regular driver Adam Merzon had to stand down from driving duties after practice.
Ollie Taylor claimed the first TCR UK victory for the Civic Type R TCR at Castle Combe. The Pyro Motorsport driver started from his maiden pole position in Race One and showed all the speed necessary to claim the spoils.
He added a fine second place in Race Two from the back of the grid to maintain second in the points table. Verizon Connect Racing’s Finlay Crocker did not start the second race due to damage sustained when he was pitched into the barriers by another car in the opener.
Benjamin Lessennes claimed a hard-fought fifth place in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup at the Slovakia Ring while Boutsen Ginion Racing team-mate Coronel achieved his highest single-weekend points total of the year with seventh and eighth places.
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s Yann Ehrlacher was sixth and 10th, but was unlucky to be caught up in a first-lap incident in Race Three that dropped him to last place and put him in fightback mode. His team-mate, Esteban Guerrieri, qualified third, but was twice eliminated by first-lap contact and scored a best finish of ninth.
Marco Pellegrini scored a pair of fourth-place finishes for Target Competition to wrap up his best weekend of the TCR Italy season. His team-mate Jose Rodrigues was sixth in Race One while Misano race-winner Jurgen Schmarl was 10th twice.
Lorenzo Nicoli was MM Motorsport’s highest finisher in 11th in both races while Nannini Racing’s Walter Margelli was 18th in Race Two.
Mads Fischer, JAS Motorsport TCR Project Leader, said: “It’s been a fantastically successful weekend for the Honda Civic Type R TCR across the world. The wonderful one-two finish from Dome Racing Team in the Autopolis five-hour event in Japan shows that the car is an ideal endurance racer while the wins at Bangsaen, Castle Combe and Portland show that it can handle street circuits and regular road courses just as well as each other. We’re extremely proud to have so many winning teams choose our cars and hope to support them in many more victories this year.”
Notes to editors:
Main: Tayiou Iida/Kazuho Takahashi/Hiroki Kato, Dome Racing Team Honda Civic Type R TCR, Super Taikyu Series, Autopolis, Japan; Lower: (Row 1 L) Ryan Eversley, RealTime Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, Pirelli World Challenge, Portland, USA; (R): Lo SzeHo, Maximum Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Asia, Bangsaen, Thailand; (Row 2 L) Marco Pellegrini, Target Competition Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Italy, Mugello, Italy; (R) Benjamin Lessennes, Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, WTCR - FIA Touring World Touring Car Cup, Slovakia Ring, Slovakia.
About JAS Motorsport
Founded in 1995, JAS Motorsport is one of the world's leading touring car teams and constructors. Initially fielding Alfa Romeos in the ITC, JAS became a technical partner of Honda in 1998 and has been at the forefront of its activities with touring cars and rallying ever since. In 2012, JAS was chosen to develop, in partnership with Honda R&D, the Civic WTCC, with which it claimed the Manufacturers' world title a year later. JAS designed and built the Civic Type R TCR, which claimed 12 major titles in 2016 and '17 and is now responsible for the build of both the all-new Civic TCR and the NSX GT3 supercar.