- RealTime Racing debuts TCR-spec Honda Civic Type R
- Additional Honda efforts take to the track in TC, TCA
- Touring Car season opens this weekend at Circuit of the Americas
A pair of Honda Civic Type Rs will join the popular new TCR category as the Touring Car divisions of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge series begin their season this weekend with a pair of races at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
RealTime Racing will field veteran Honda driver Ryan Eversley and the returning Nick Esayian aboard Honda Civic Type Rs in a competitive TCR field that includes no fewer than 14 entries representing five major automobile manufacturers.
“TCR is arguably the fastest-growing worldwide Touring Car racing category, and all of us at Honda and HPD enjoy taking part in competitive racing series which feature multiple manufacturers,” said Art St. Cyr, president of HPD. “We are looking forward to introducing and offering this Civic Type R-based TCR race car to Honda fans and racers.
“While RealTime Racing has been closely associated with our Acura GT race programs in recent seasons, the team also has been very successful in Touring Car classes, winning multiple titles with both the Honda and Acura brands dating all the way back to the early 1990s.”
“I’m very happy to continue my relationship with RealTime Racing and HPD,” said Eversley, a winner for Honda and Acura in multiple series, including the PWC GT ranks. “If you look at RealTime’s history, they’ve had tremendous success with front-wheel drive touring cars, so being able to race one for them is what I’ve dreamed about since I started out as a race car driver. It’s very exciting.”
The Touring Car division of the Pirelli World Challenge is made up of 12 races over six weekends and includes three separate classes: TCR, TC and TCA. Nine manufacturers take part in the three classes, each of which features a pair of 40-minute races during each event weekend. In TCR, the Honda Civic Type R will take on competition from Audi, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Alfa Romeo in a 14-car field.
A total of 17 entries are entered in the TC class this weekend, including a Honda Civic Type R prepared to TC class rules and entered by Team HMA, made up of associates from Honda Manufacturing of Alabama. Josh Foran, an engineer at HMA, will drive for the team.
Unlike TCR Honda Civic Type R, where many racing components are used with the production engine and chassis, the TC technical regulations require the car to be very close to the production version, with only minor safety and suspension changes allowed.
“The new Honda Civic Type R is the ideal platform for TC class racing,” said St. Cyr. “The Type R was developed to be a race car for the road right from the factory, and we’ve dialed it all the way up for the track through our partnership with JAS Motorsport.”
In addition to its TCR entries, RealTime also will field a Honda Civic Si in the 14-car TCA class for rising star Tom O’Gorman, a race winner last year in his first year in TCA. In 2016, O’Gorman was Rookie of the Year and champion of the former TCB class, driving his Honda Fit to four wins in his first season of Pirelli World Challenge competition.
Developed by Honda partner JAS Motorsport in Italy and available in race-ready condition through Honda Performance Development, the Honda Civic Type R TCR features the latest developments in Touring Car competition, including a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine tuned to produce 330 hp. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed, paddle-operated transmission. The Type R is fitted with a race-tuned suspension and anti-roll bar package, along with an aggressive, aerodynamic body kit and redesigned exterior.
Pirelli World Challenge TCR action begins Friday with two practice sessions, followed by qualifying and the 40-minute Round 1 at 5:55 p.m. EDT Saturday. Sunday’s Round 2 event will take place at 1:25 p.m. EDT.