World Touring Car Championship driver Norbert Michelisz has launched a new team, which will take on the 2017 TCR International Series with drivers Attila Tassi and Roberto Colciago.
The new team has been co-founded by factory WTCC driver Michelisz and renowned race engineer David Bári and will field a pair of Honda Civic TCR cars from its base in Kecskemét.
Bári will take on the role of Team Principal, while Michelisz himself will focus on developing the next generation of Hungarian touring car drivers.
17-year-old Tassi joins the team having taken part in the TCR International Series in 2016 with B3 Racing, whilst 48-year-old Robero Colciago will take on his first full season in TCR International this year, having won the TCR Italy title last year and also taken victory in the International Series in Malaysia.
“For many years I have had ambitions of creating my own race team, but had always assumed that this would come at the end of my driving career,” explained Michelisz. “However, at the end of 2016, all the ingredients were in place to create M1RA.
“The right people; like David Bári, the right car; the Honda Civic Type R TCR, and the right programme in TCR International, were all available, so this is the ideal time.
“We evaluated a number of different series, including WTCC2, but for now, TCR International provided the best fit for our aims and objectives.
“In terms of the choice of machinery, I raced a Honda Civic Type R TCR several times in TCR Benelux last year and won six races, so I know how good a car it is. It’s a proven championship winner and my relationship with JAS Motorsport – who build the cars – is also very strong as they run the factory Civics I race in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
“There was no other car under consideration really and it will form a very strong basis for our team.”
Michelisz also explained the logic behind the team’s name and outlined an ambitious target for his young team’s first season.
“I’ve been heavily involved in setting up the team, even down to the name; Mira is the name my wife, Johanna, picked out for our daughter, who is due to be born later this month and so it’s a name that’s very close to my heart.
“For now my primary focus is on my ‘day job’ as a factory Honda driver in the WTCC and on fighting for the title, so my role within M1RA will focus on nurturing and developing the next generation of Hungarian racing talent. This starts with Attila Tassi who, like me, started out in Sim Racing and is one of the few people in the past 10 years who has beaten me!
“David Bári will be Team Principal. He is an extremely talented engineer with a lot of experience and success behind him in touring-car racing and he will do a great job. I’ve been very close to the Bári family for a long time as David’s brother, Gergo, is my Race Engineer in the WTCC.
“[We want] to win the championship. I know that sounds very ambitious for our first season as TCR has some very strong and experienced teams and drivers, but I genuinely think that we have all the ingredients necessary to mount a serious challenge.
“Attila has incredible potential and has already been a podium finisher in his first season while Roberto is an experienced championship winner in touring cars and will definitely be a force to be reckoned with. Nobody thought 10 years ago that a sim racer like me could be a genuine contender for major racing titles, so I think we’re in a good position to show people what we can do.”