Honda’s quest for the FIA World Touring Car Championship continues with a welcome return to the world’s most challenging street track, the Macau Guia Circuit, this weekend.
Following a third victory of the season at the Honda-owned Twin Ring Motegi last month, Norbert Michelisz lies second in the Drivers’ Championship, just 16.5 points away from the series lead and with 120 up for grabs at the final two rounds of the season.
The Hungarian, who has won more WTCC races than any other driver this year, has strong memories of Macau, which returns to the calendar this year after a two-year absence. He collected his maiden victory in the series there in 2010 and finished as runner-up in 2014.
His Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team-mate Esteban Guerrieri, who continues to deputise for the recovering Tiago Monteiro, has never raced a touring car at Macau.
He does, however, have Formula 3 experience at the track and memorably made up 14 positions in a stirring fightback in the category’s Grand Prix there in 2007.
An impressive Honda debut in challenging weather conditions in Japan resulted in a third and a fourth-placed finish, maintaining his eighth place in the Drivers’ Championship.
Ryo Michigami enjoyed his most competitive WTCC weekend to date in Japan after taking a career-best fifth place in qualifying and then securing a points finish in the Opening Race.
Like Esteban, he too has Formula 3 experience at Macau and raced there twice in the 1990s.
Macau’s event format is unusual in the context of the 2017 WTCC. Practice begins on Thursday with qualifying and MAC3 the following day. The Opening Race takes place on Saturday with the Main ‘Guia’ Race held on Sunday.
The Civics will carry 70kg compensation weight in Macau; a reduction of 10kg from the previous two events in China and Japan.