Honda works driver Norbert Michelisz is gunning for the title in this year’s WTCC, starting with this weekend’s World Touring Car Championship season-opener in Morocco.
Michelisz will start the season as one of the favourites for the 2017 title, especially with main rival Citroën having pulled the plug on their factory effort at the end of last year.
The 32-year-old expects to be in the mix at the front of the field, with Honda having carried out several upgrades during the off-season which he believes have taken the Civic a step further forward.
On top of that, the Hungarian driver will carry no compensation weight for the first race of the season in Marrakech.
“My target is simple; to become World Champion this year,” said Michelisz. “That has to start with a good points score in Morocco, especially while the Civic isn’t carrying any compensation weight.”
Michelisz pointed to the form the team enjoyed at the track in 2016, where Honda finished 1-2-3 before being excluded for a technical regulation breach, as reasons to be confident.
“Last year we were very fast at the revamped Marrakech circuit, which features a lot of low-speed corners and rewards a car that is well-balanced under braking and has good traction.
“Several upgrades to the car were made at our final pre-season test at the Hungaroring and I think we’ve taken a significant step forwards compared to where we were even a few weeks ago, so everyone in the team can feel confident of a strong performance.”