JAS Honda Civis Type R TCRs win on three continents
The Honda Civic Type R TCR was victorious on three continents in a fabulous weekend for the JAS Motorsport-built touring car.
Maiden wins in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup and the Pirelli World Challenge added to a dominant display in Japan’s ultra-popular Super Taikyu Series.
Yann Ehrlacher took his – and Honda’s – first WTCR win of the year at the Hungaroring on Saturday; leading a one-two finish for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport ahead of team-mate Esteban Guerrieri.
Ehrlacher, who added a fourth place on Sunday and set the weekend’s fastest race lap, is second in the Drivers’ Championship with the German outfit second in the Teams’ points table.
Boutsen Ginion Racing’s Benjamin Lessennes was a career-best fifth in Race Three while JAS Official Test Driver Attila Tassi fought his way from the back of the grid to a best finish of 15th on his series debut with HELL ENERGY Racing Team with KCMG.
Just hours after Ehrlacher’s success, Ryan Eversley won the first World Challenge race at Virginia International Raceway from pole position.
The RealTime Racing man then added second place on Sunday to make it four podiums from four races and take over the series lead. Team-mate Adam Merzon was 11th and 12th.
Super Taikyu moved on to Sugo, but a different venue produced the same result as the Suzuka opener as Dome Racing Team’s Shinji Nakano, Tadao Uematsu and Hiroki Otsu maintained the 100 per cent winning record for 2018.
The sister car, driven by Hiroki Kato, Taiyou Iida and Hiroshi Hamaguchi started from pole position in the ST-TCR class and finished fifth.
Mike Halder scored a second straight TCR Germany pole position at Most, Czech Republic and added a second-place finish in his Honda ADAC Team Sachsen car on Saturday, but a drive-through penalty for causing a collision left him to fight back from the tail of the field to 10th on Sunday.
Team-mate Dominik Fugel was the best-placed Honda driver in Race Two while his brother Marcel Fugel – in a year-old Civic – was fourth and sixth in the rookie standings each time.
Halder and the Fugel Sport TCR-run entrant are fourth in both the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships.
Jose Rodrigues was the best-placed Honda driver as TCR Italy kicked off at Imola. The Portuguese driver took his Target Competition-run car to fourth and sixth places.
MM Motorsport’s Lorenzo Nicoli and Max Mugelli had best finishes of sixth and eighth respectively while Rodrigues’ Jurgen Schmarl was seventh in Race One and Marco Pellegrini in the third Target car spun out third place in Race One.
Mads Fischer, JAS Motorsport TCR Project Leader, said: “It’s been the best weekend to date for the new Honda Civic Type R TCR with wins in Hungary, the USA and Japan, and in both sprint and endurance-racing series. This shows not only the versatility of the car, but also how user-friendly it is. Customer teams using the Civic Type R TCR are now leading two major championships, which is fantastic to see, but this has only come as a result of some extremely hard work from ourselves, our customers and their drivers, because the competition is extremely close in TCR racing all over the world and the advantage can swing very quickly."
Main: Yann Ehrlacher, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, FIA WTCR, Hungaroring, Hungary; Lower: (Row 1 L) Benjamin Lessennes, Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, FIA WTCR, Hungaroring, Hungary; (R) Attila Tassi, HELL ENERGY Racing Team with KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR, FIA WTCR, Hungaroring, Hungary; (Row 2 L) Ryan Eversley, RealTime Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, Pirelli World Challenge, Virginia, USA; (R) Shinji Nakano/Hiroki Otsu, Modulo Dome Racing Team Honda Civic Type R TCR, Super Taikyu Series, Sugo, Japan; (Row 3 L) Mike Halder, Honda Team ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Germany, Most, Czech Republic; (R) Jose Rodrigues, Target Competition Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Italy, Imola.