The factory Honda team will expand to a four-car operation for its home World Touring Car Championship round at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in September, fielding a Civic WTCC entry for local driver Ryo Michigami.

The 43-year-old has been a Honda stalwart in the Japanese motorsport scene, having previously won the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship in 2000 in a Mugen Honda NSX.

Michigami tested the WTCC-specification Honda Civic in a recent outing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya ahead of the announcement of his one-off drive on home soil.

“I will be racing with my heart and soul at Motegi and putting all my experience to best use. Honda and JAS Motorsport have given me a wonderful opportunity; the car felt consistently fast in Spain and I’ll definitely be well-prepared for the races in Japan,” Michigami said.

“Ryo has been racing with Honda for a long time, so he immediately grasped the characteristics of the Civic WTCC at Barcelona. There isn’t much time between now and Motegi, but we’ll be working our hardest with JAS to provide the support he needs. We’re looking forward to Ryo racing fast in front of the Japanese fans,” added Daisuke Horiuchi, Large Project Leader WTCC Development of Honda R&D.

The FIA World Touring Car Championship Race of Japan takes place on the weekend of September 3-4.

Image 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.