The Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team welcomed international media today at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, during the World Touring Car Championship’s official media kick-off to the 2015 season.
As well as today’s media activities, the team also recorded more track time during the series’ official pre-season test.
The 2015 WTCC season sees the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team commence its third year in the series with the Honda Civic WTCC, which once again will be campaigned in the hands of Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro.
In its inaugural two seasons the Civic WTCC took six victories and one world title, but after extensive development during the off-season, the 2015 version promises to be stronger than ever.
The team have been in action already this year during private testing in Valencia at the end of January, ahead of the first round of the season in Argentina on 7-8 March.
Daisuke Horiuchi, Large project Leader for Civic WTCC Development at Honda R&D
“We have done a lot of work on the car since last year to increase our power. We’ve changed the compression ratio, and we’ve developed a new exhaust system with smoother exhaust gas exit, which have helped us in this. But when you change compression ratio, engine management is very important so we have also developed a good engine map. We are still developing all of these points every time we test so we still have work to do but I am happy with our progress so far since last year.”
Alessandro Mariani, Managing Director, J.A.S. Motorsport
“We started the plan of the development and testing in the second half of last year, but of course the regulations made it difficult to change the car while the season was running. After that, coming back from Macau we started to follow our testing plan developed with Honda R&D.
“Step by step we started to test different parameters on the engine and chassis and lap-by-lap we could see a good improvement. Of course in testing it’s pretty hard to know where you are and what the competitors are doing, but the feeling with the drivers and lap times and consistency makes me quite confident for the beginning of the season.
“We have a big gap to fill because we started last season with a big delay compared to our competitors but after one year we can for sure be much closer to the front.”
“Last season was difficult but we have worked very hard with the support of Honda and J.A.S. in development and testing to improve the performance. It’s not easy, because especially in the winter the conditions are not the same as in the season so it’s difficult to compare performance, but we are quite optimistic. I think we are in the right direction in terms of performance so we are quite happy.”
“There has been a lot of development last year so now we need the track time with the new car. But I’m looking forward to the season, and I’m very excited about the Portuguese round at Vila Real, especially as it was quite unexpected. It’s a revival of this former racetrack with a lot of history, and like a mix of Nordschleife and Macau, so it will be a big challenge for us drivers.”