Fresh from the shock news of Rob Huff’s departure, the Honda WTCC team has announced that Super GT veteran Ryo Michigami will replacement the Englishman in its three-car line-up for the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship season.
Huff made the surprise announcement that he was quitting the JAS Motorsport-run outfit after a single season to return to Münnich Motorsport – with whom he had previously raced in 2013 – which had secured the use of an ex-factory Citroën C-Elysée for 2017.
Honda announced on Monday that the Briton’s seat would be taken by Michigami for 2017, who will race alongside Tiago Monteiro and Norbert Michelisz – both of whom have been retained – in the outfit’s updated Honda Civic WTCC cars.
Michigami has long been associated with Honda, and contested last year’s WTCC round at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in a one-off appearance in a fourth Civic WTCC, finishing just outside the points in eleventh place in the opening race.
“As a Japanese driver, I’m extremely proud to be given the opportunity to represent a Japanese manufacturer in a world championship,” the 43-year-old said.
“I’m aware that this season will be a huge challenge for me, but I will use all the experience I have gained during my career in Japan and I am incredibly motivated to perform strongly across the season.
“I want to make this the pinnacle of my life in motorsport and together with Honda, JAS Motorsport, Tiago and Norbi, I will make the maximum effort possible to achieve this.”
Image via FIA WTCC Media