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Honda to enter FIA World Touring Car Championship

Honda to enter FIA World Touring Car Championship

FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) fans learned earlier today (February 6th) that the Honda Civic will be among the challengers this season.

The Japanese manufacturer is determined to succeed in the sport and chief executive officer Takanobu Ito has confirmed that a totally new engine will be developed for the project.

"We are all excited about starting this new challenge," he commented.

The project will see Honda team up with Mugen and JAS Motorsport, which will develop a race-prepared version of the new Civic five-door, while Honda Research And Development build the bespoke racing engine.

A statement from Honda explained: "The racing engine is a 1.6 litre four-cylinder direct injection turbo-charged petrol engine, developed in accordance with FIA's Super 2000 regulations.

Honda is keen to get the season underway and is currently in discussion with FIA to take part in a number of inaugural rounds, which will be held in Japan, China and Macau.

"Racing has always been a fundamental element of Honda’s DNA. In the late 1950s Honda first entered the Isle of man T.T and then Formula 1 in the 1960s. The FIA WTCC is the next chapter in Honda's on-going commitment to world motor sport," the firm added.

The decision to enter the WTCC comes on the back of the strength of Honda's participation in the British Touring Car Championship, which also sees the Civic put through its paces.

Indeed, the team's drivers Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden were both shortlisted for the Driver of the Year last season after a string of impressive displays.

Honda has stressed that the two teams will run independently of each other and confirmed that both Neal and Shedden will be back behind the wheel of the Team Dynamics version of the Civic when the 2012 BTCC season starts at Brands Hatch on April 1st.

Posted by Louise ClarkADNFCR-3205-ID-801285435-ADNFCR