Honda has confirmed that it will return to the World Touring Car Championship in 2017 for a fifth consecutive season, off the back of what is the manufacturer’s most successful season to-date.
Having first joined the championship full-time in 2013, Honda expanded to a three-car works squad for the first time in 2016, with Norbert Michelisz joining the ranks alongside Tiago Monteiro and Rob Huff.
The step up in 2016 has also produced the best-ever season for the manufacturer, even with four races still to run, with its trio of drivers scoring four wins to-date and all being in contention for the runner up spot in the championship.
The Japanese marque has decided to continue its programme with Italian-based JAS Motorsport, and further development of the Civic will take place during the winter.
With Citroën pulling out of the championship at the end of the year, the brand knows that arguably its best chance of outright title success will come in 2017.
“The WTCC has been a fantastic platform for Honda to promote its products and values,” said Honda Motor Europe’s Auto Sport Manager, William De Brakeleer. “We are delighted to be announcing our commitment to the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship while we are still more than two months away from the end of the current season.
“Support received for participation throughout the Honda organisation, both globally and on a national level, has also been fantastic. Furthermore, the enthusiasm of our customers and fans had been really exceptional this year and we would like to dedicate the continuation of our participation to them.”
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events who are the WTCC promoter, was naturally pleased to hear of the brand continuing their racing programme.
“We are delighted Honda has renewed its commitment to the FIA World Touring Car Championship,” said Ribeiro. “Clearly it has examined the extensive benefits that a WTCC campaign can bring to a manufacturer and to the iconic Civic Type R model.
“I expect WTCC 2017 to be very open with close competition between Honda, Volvo Polestar, Lada Sport and the former factory cars from Citroën.”