Gabriele Tarquini and the JAS Motorsport team completed the first test for the Honda Civic WTCC car which will make its debut at Suzuka in October at the hands of Tiago Monteiro.
After a shakedown test at Vairano near to the JAS Motorsport base in Milan, the Vallelunga circuit played host to another two day test for the team, with Tarquini leading the testing.
“Although I’d never driven the new Civic before, funnily, when I sat in the seat for the first time I immediately felt I was in a Honda,” enthused the 2009 World Touring Car Championship champion. “The body work is precise and the engine feels great. But this is just the first track test, so there is so much more for us to work on.
The car looks beautiful too and will, I’m sure, wow all the WTCC fans around the world when it makes its debut in Suzuka later this year.”
The Vallelunga test saw the exterior for the Civic revealed as well and Alessandro Mariani, the Team Principal of the Honda Racing Team JAS operation explains that seeing the finished product is an emotional event for the team.
“To see the finished Civic finally on the race track is an extremely emotional moment for the whole team. I am so proud of everyone involved,” explained Mariani.
“They have managed to accomplish so much in such a short period of time. Everyone has been working tirelessly for this day to happen and the new car and engine are no less than our expectations.
“The initial track testing has already provided us with a lot of feedback and data, but the road to Suzuka in October remains a long one. This isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning. From here we will make ourselves even busier.”
Suzuka marks the cars’ debut in the World Touring Car Championship ahead of a full campaign in 2013, where the results from the races as well as the testing will be used to mature the car even further.