Photo: Honda Media

Honda to race with the Civic Tourer in 2014

The Honda Racing Team will enter an all-new model in the 2014 British Touring Car Championship season, confirming today that they will compete with the Honda Civic Tourer (estate) model built to the Championship’s Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) regulations, marking the first time an estate model car has competed in the Championship in 20 years.

2013 teams’ and manufacturers’ champions Team Dynamics will design and build the new cars which will be run by the works outfit next year. It will be the fifth year that the Worcestershire-based Team Dynamics operation have represented Honda as a manufacturer entry in the BTCC.

The cars will also compete with a new two-litre turbocharged engine built by long-time engine partners Neil Brown. The development of the Tourer model of the Civic will mean that there will be two different models of Civic on the grid next season, with Eurotech Racing continuing to run the hatchback model which was developed for the 2012 season, and has won the last two drivers’ titles for Gordon Shedden and Andrew Jordan.

The entry of the Civic Tourer also sees the return of as estate shape car in the BTCC for the first time since 1994, when Tom Walkinshaw Racing campaigned a pair of Volvo 850s for Jan Lammers and Rickard Rydell during the Super Touring era.

“2013 was an incredibly competitive season in the BTCC with the championship battle going right down to the wire,” said 2013 Championship runner-up and 2012 champion Gordon Shedden. “Of course it was disappointing not to retain the drivers title but we’re looking forward to what I’m sure will be a strong year for the team in 2014 – and more excitingly, with a new car. It might be a Tourer, but it’s still a Civic, the car that has won every championship in BTCC for the last three seasons. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of next season, and to seeing what the Tourer can do on race day.”

Shedden’s team-mate, three-time champion Matt Neal added: “We’re all confident that the car can continue the long-standing success of the Civic in the championship and very much looking forward to putting it through its paces. Although we’re racing a new model, the inherent advantages of the Civic hatchback from the past two years remain so there’s no reason why this car can’t be a winner straight out of the box! We’ll be testing the car early in the new year and I can’t wait to see it on track.”

Peter Crolla, Honda Racing Team’s manager said: “Racing with the Civic Tourer means no compromise over the Civic hatchback. The weight, wheelbase, layout and suspension remain the same, but naturally, the length of the car is extended due to the larger tailgate. After two competitive seasons in the BTCC with the hatchback, it will be an interesting challenge to ensure the Tourer keeps Matt, Flash and the team at the head of the championships throughout next season. We’ve worked hard over the past few months to develop the first car which will be completed as we head towards the new year, with the first run scheduled for early January.”