Honda has today announced that it will re-enter the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2013, marking the carmaker’s return to action after it last competed in the series in 2008.
In fact, the Japanese car giant could have a car ready before the end of the upcoming season, with its board announcing that it will prepare Honda Civics to be run by the Italian Honda specialist team, JAS Motorsport. The new cars could make their debut as soon as the Suzuka round in October.
JAS has previously competed in the World Touring Car Championship, running Honda Accords in the Independent Trophy category in 2005-6. Honda’s second tilt came in 2008, when James Thompson was run by N.Technology (pictured left); he won one of the races at Imola, before the team (and Honda) elected to withdraw from the championship.
More recently, Honda’s involvement in the European touring car scene has been with Team Dynamics in the British Touring Car Championship. Team Dynamics had themselves indicated an interest in joining the World Touring Car Championship, but this idea has since been abandoned while the team elects to concentrate on its BTCC commitments.
Honda’s R&D team is working frantically with engine partner Mugen to develop a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine to meet the WTCC’s sporting regulations.
[Images via Honda Media and XPB]