The 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship season has barely kicked off, but already announcements are being made for next year’s championship: Swedish racing veteran Rickard Rydell will return to the championship full-time with NIKA Racing, which will get its hands on a TC1-class Honda Civic.

The team had its first full-time season of WTCC competition last year, running a Chevrolet Cruze for Michel Nykjær, who claimed two outright wins and was a contender for the outright and Independent Trophy Drivers’ Championship titles until a funding crisis forced him to leave the team.

The team ran a trio of other drivers – including Rydell (pictured above) – for the remainder of the season, and recently confirmed it would compete at selected rounds this year with a TC2T-class Honda Civic for Yukinori Taniguchi.

Rydell will pilot one of Honda's new Civic TC1 racers next year

Rydell will pilot one of Honda’s new Civic TC1 racers next year

Rydell last competed full-time in the WTCC in 2009 with SEAT, and he’s already looking forward to his return to the championship next year.

“I’m thrilled to be representing an all-Swedish team in the WTCC,” he said.

“The Honda Racing team Sweden project is one of great promise, and I’ll approach it with full dedication. The WTCC is highly competitive and lots of fun, and the new TC1 rules will provide us with an interesting technical challenge. I’m really looking forward to getting testing underway later this year.”

“Ever since we joined the WTCC, it has always been in Honda’s policy to make our cars available to private teams; we think it is giving the championship extra interest,” Honda Europe Motorsport Manager William De Braekeleer added.

“Besides a Hungarian and an Italian/Moroccan private outfit, it’s needless to say that we are delighted to welcome such a professional team as NIKA Racing to the Honda racing family.”

Images via FIA WTCC Media

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.