History-making win and two titles for Civic Type R TCR drivers
Rio Shimono made history in TCR Japan as she led home a one-two-three finish for Honda Civic Type R TCR drivers last weekend while the JAS Motorsport-built car also secured two major titles in Italy.
Shimono completed a flawless lights-to-flag victory in Race Two as the Drago Corse driver - who had qualfied on the front row as best of the bronze-class drivers - became the first female to win a series event outright.
She was followed home by fellow Civic Type R TCR drivers Resshu Shioya, of Zenyaku Kogyo by Team G/Motion, and Takuya Shirasaka, of Jyakkou DreamDrive with KCMG. She now has a commanding lead in the Saturday Series’ bronze standings with one race left.
Shimono’s victory was in addition to a class win in the opener - a replacement for the Sugo Sunday race at the start of the season that was cancelled due to bad weather. Shioya was second in bronze while Shirasaka was disqualified for a ride-height infringement.
Shirasaka was the best-placed Civic driver in Race Three in fourth overall while Shimono - who started last as a result of a track-limits penalty in qualifying - retired after contact at the chicane with Shioya while carving through the field. Shioya was second in bronze.
Coppa Italia Turismo
Kevin Giacon snatched the title at the Vallelunga season finale with a pair of solid points finishes to edge out his MM Motorsport team-mates Davide Nardilli and Alessio Aiello.
Giacon, who held a one-point championship lead coming into the weekend, qualified on pole position to put himself in the best possible position to seal the title, and then strengthened his situation by finishing second in Race One.
Despite a penalty in the season finale that dropped him out of the scoring positions, he still did enough to be crowned overall champion by four points from Nardilli.
For Nardilli, there was consolation that third place on Saturday, followed by fifth in the finale, was enough to secure him the TCR sequential championship - level on points with Giacon but ahead on countback due to more second-place finishes during the season.
Civic Type R TCRs have now won five major titles worldwide this year and 36 in total since the car’s debut.
Aiello, who had won twice earlier in the year, qualified ninth and scored a best finish of sixth to seal third in the points and complete an all-MM Motorsport top three in both the overall and TCR sequential standings.
Main: Rio Shimono, Drago Corse Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Japan, Suzuka, Japan (credit: TCR Japan); Lower 1: Rio Shimono, Drago Corse Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Japan, Suzuka, Japan (credit: TCR Japan); 2 (L) Resshu Shioya, Zenyaku Kogyo with Team G/Motion Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Japan, Suzuka, Japan (credit: TCR Japan); (R) Taku Shirasaka, Jyakkou DreamDrive with KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Japan, Suzuka, Japan (credit: TCR Japan); 3 Kevin Giacon, MM Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, Coppa Italia Turismo, Vallelunga, Italy (credit: ActualFoto/MM Motorsport); 4 (L) Davide Nardilli, MM Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, Coppa Italia Turismo, Vallelunga, Italy (credit: ActualFoto/MM Motorsport); (R) Alessio Aiello, MM Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, Coppa Italia Turismo, Vallelunga, Italy (credit: ActualFoto/MM Motorsport).
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 has claimed 36 major titles so far (22 with the current model), and is also responsible for the build of the NSX GT3 Evo race car.