Honda switch focus to the 2015 season car
Gabriele Tarquini admits that Honda will struggle to win a race in the 2014 season against the might of Citroën, and that the JAS Motorsport team which run the Honda factory programme in the FIA World Touruing Car Championship, are already turning their attention to the 2015 season, following recent tests at the Nürburgring, which will join the calendar next season.
“We are working both on the car and the engine, because this year’s performances were undoubtedly below our expectations,” said the 2009 World Champion to Omnicorse.it. “We therefore have a lot of work ahead of us for next year, and we are focussing on that. We have to take risks to make sure we can grow in 2015 and be ready by that time.”
After two races in China, the highly anticipated Race of Japan at Suzuka will host Honda’s home race.
“It is a very important event and last year we were able to win. This year we will have to do our best to try to get on the podium. I believe winning would be very hard, because the Citroëns have a completely different pace compared to us, but we will do as much as we can to reach the podium. It would be a very important step for the development of the Civic. In Summer we worked quite well, but it’s not enough, so we need to try to do better.”
Tarquini also talked about the aborted test race at the Nordschleife, which seems to have been enough to start understanding the track and the car ahead of next year.
“We went there before our competitors. Tiago and I did not know the track, I had only done a few laps in a rental car. We went there for the VLN race in a Group N Civic to start understanding the track. Then we did a test in the WTCC car and I have to say it is a completely different track compared to what we normally do and it requires a completely different set-up.
“The Civic cannot lap the Nordschleife on a basic set-up, so we will need to do something to adapt it and I believe this experience was important, although the race was cancelled and we didn’t do as many laps as we wanted. The ones we were able to complete were still very useful to develop the car ahead of next year’s race.”