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First victory for Honda Civic in CTCC

Honda Civic CTCCHonda scored their first victory for the new Civic in the Chinese Touring Car Championship (CTCC) at the Shanghai International circuit, at the event which was supporting the World Touring Car Championship.

The car, which only made its first appearance just one event prior, was being run by the Dongfeng Honda Racing team and driven by Peter Li Zhe Cong, who won the race by more than 14 seconds from Ford driver Rainey He.

The significance for the WTCC is that works’ Honda team J.A.S. Motorsport have been involved in the project, along with Dongfeng Honda Racing and M-Tec Mugen.

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“We were playing catch up for our first race in Beijing as we had some problems with the delivery of parts,” said Mads Fischer, project leader and race engineer of J.A.S. Motorsport. “But the fact that we could immediately fight in front and therefore dominate in Shanghai, has got everything to do with finding the right set-up for our first confrontation in Beijing. It was there that we could really see the car’s potential.”

M-Tec Project Leader Yoshihiro Nezu emphasised the strong partnership that J.A.S. have with the Chinese outfit.

“It underlines, once again, the strong relationship that exists between M-Tec and J.A.S. Motorsport as partners in the CTCC,” said Nezu.

J.A.S. Motorsport is no stranger to the CTCC either, having already supported a number of Hondas in previous rounds of the Championship.

“For every constructor involved, the CTCC is THE showcase for the technical potential of their cars,” added Fischer about the CTCC’s choice to feature 1.6 litre turbocharged TC2 cars. “And because of that, the CTCC will stick to the same formula in 2015. Unquestionably, the TC2 remains the pinnacle touring car championship in China for the brands involved.”

“Dongfeng represents Honda’s factory in China, where a lot of the team’s technicians are employed. For them the CTCC is more than just a job; it’s an extension of their passion for Honda in China and the races are their DNA. J.A.S. Motorsport has provided four employees, and next to four engineers from Mugen, there are also nine team members from Honda China. Together we form a strong team and that also explains our early success.”

Two weeks after tasting their first success, the united team is preparing itself for the final round of the CTCC in the Yancheng Street-race, held in the north of Shanghai.

“Street races aren’t risk-free, so our main goal in Yancheng is simply to bring both cars across the finish line, and preferably in a good position,” diagnoses Fischer. “We already have one victory under our belt, which we’re thrilled with and whilst these three races in the 2014 Championship are important, they’re really about our preparation for next season because it’s our intention to participate with two Civics in the CTCC in 2015.”

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