Honda have revealed that Super GT driver Takuya Izawa is to race a third works-backed Honda Civic for the team in the WTCC in Japan, and will be therefore eligible for the series’s new Asia Trophy.
The Japanese driver will line-up alongside regular drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro for the marque’s home event, having tested one of the JAS-run cars last year in Portugal.
“I would like to thank everyone at Honda, Honda Racing Team JAS and everyone involved in the WTCC for the opportunity to race at Suzuka,” said Izawa. “I was able to join the JAS Team for a test in Portugal last year, and the sheer professionalism I experienced really inspired me. They are a great ally to have for support at the Suzuka race.”
Izawa, 29, has been competing in the Japanese Super GT championship since 2007 at the wheel of Honda machinery, taking two wins during 2009 on his way to second overall in the championship. Izawa expects that he will have plenty to learn from his experienced WTCC team-mates when the series visits Japan on the 21st and 22nd September.
“The two Honda teams in WTCC have a broad range of driver experience too,” added Izawa. “Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro, of course, have come from F1 and other world-class racing backgrounds, and the precision of Norbert Michelisz with the WTCC race car is just fantastic. I am excited to join them for this race as well as compete with all of the other world-class drivers at Suzuka.
“I would imagine that getting results will be difficult at such a top level racing series, but competing in a touring car on a circuit that I grew up on is a new adventure for me, and I am certain that this experience will help me build my future career. I am truly thrilled about the prospect and hope to deliver a great performance for all WTCC fans.”
Izawa will be the 12th Japanese driver to compete in the WTCC since the series was resurrected in 2005.