The all-new Honda Civic Type R TCR took its maiden victory on Sunday thanks to an impressive performance by the Dome Racing Team at the opening round of Japan’s hotly-contested Super Taikyu Series.
Having started third in their JAS Motorsport-built car, Shinji Nakano, Hiroki Otsu, Tadao Uematsu and Takashi Kobayashi hit the front early on at Suzuka and steadily pulled away to begin the team's ST-TCR title defence with a one-lap victory.
The sister car; driven by Hiroki Kato, Taiyou Iida and Hiroshi Hamaguchi started sixth and climbed to fourth by the chequered flag.
Lo SzeHo capped off a superb TCR Asia Series debut with a pair of podium finishes in his older-spec Civic at Sepang, Malaysia.
He finished third in Race One for Maximum Racing and carved through the field in the reversed-grid second race to finish second; a result that puts him third in the points and second in the new TCR South-East Asia Trophy.
Reigning Cup class champion Abdul Kaathir took a double victory in the category for R Engineering by finishing fifth and fourth overall. His team-mate Akash Nandy was fourth overall in Race One.
Vattana Motorsport’s Pattarapol Vongprai won the concurrent TCR Thailand event in Race One in sixth place while reigning champion Chariya Nuya was twice second in class; the Billionaire Boy Racing driver having led Race Two overall for a short period.
There was also a double-podium finish for Pyro Motorsport driver Ollie Taylor as the all-new TCR UK Series began at Silverstone; the TCR newcomer twice finishing third on an overcast day to sit second in the points table.
Howard Fuller, the best-placed of the Honda drivers in qualifying, started third and finished fifth and fourth in his Sean Walkinshaw Racing Civic. He is fourth in the points. Finlay Crocker, driving a new model, finished sixth and ninth.
Mads Fischer, JAS Motorsport TCR Project Leader, said: “We are delighted that the new Honda Civic Type R TCR has become a race winner in only its third event, and even happier that this success has come in a series as hard-fought as Super Taikyu. Dome Racing Team are a fantastic organisation – as proven by their many championship successes – and they have done a great job to achieve this result in their first race with the car. It’s also fantastic to see that the older Civic – which we continue to support – remains competitive. To see Lo SzeHo and Ollie Taylor on the podium in TCR Asia and TCR UK respectively is extremely encouraging and a testament to the job done by Maximum Racing and Pyro Motorsport.”
Main: Norbert Michelisz, M1RA Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR International Series, Buriram, Thailand.
Lower: (Row 1 L) Tadao Uematsu/Shinji Nakano/Hiroki Otsu/Takashi Kobayashi, Dome Racing Team Honda Civic Type R TCR, Super Taikyu Series, Suzuka, Japan (R) Lo SzeHo, Maximum Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Asia Series, Sepang, Malaysia; (Row 2 L) Abdul Kaathir, R Engineering Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Asia Series, Sepang, Malaysia; (R) Pattarapong Vongprai, Vattana Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Asia Series, Sepang, Malaysia; (Row 3) Ollie Taylor, Pyro Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR UK Series, Silverstone, UK; (Row 4 L) Howard Fuller, Sean Walkinshaw Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR UK Series, Silverstone, UK; (R) Finlay Crocker, VFR Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR UK Series, Silverstone, UK;