Words by John Luther Garcia | Photos courtesy of Honda Racing
With Honda sweeping the 2010 and 2011 driver’s, manufacturer’s, and team’s titles at the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), they aren’t resting their laurels for the 2012 Dunlop MSA BTCC season. Their latest assault comes in the form of the the jaw-dropping Civic New Generation Touring Car (NGTC) based on the new 2012 European Civic hatchback. We also expect that the Civic NGTC would be the basis for Honda’s entry to the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) later this year, tweaked to maximize the S2000 specification.
And what better way to unveil your latest racer than to put it through its paces at Brands Hatch and Donington Park. Matt Neal, triple BTCC and 2011 defending champion, reported that the car is ready to race after they fixed some minor problems during the shakedown. His Honda Racing teammate and last season’s runner-up, Gordon Shedden, was also very very impressed with the car and hoped that it will be ready soon for the season opener on the 31st of March.
While there are still no detailed specifications released on Honda's latest machine, it will be running on the new NGTC rules that is being implemented in phases by the BTCC from 2011 to 2013. The new homologation's main aim is to reduce the cost of running a competitive car as compared to the more expensive S2000 specification of the WTCC. The target price tag now of each tourer is £100,000 less the engine (it costs £25,000 for a standard BTCC engine).
For now, only the BTCC and Scandinavian Touring Car Championship (STCC) makes use of the NGTC specification. However, expect Honda, and some privateers, actively participating in more touring car series' across Europe with an excellent baseline in the Civic NGTC.