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by Adam Lynton
Final exterior of new racecar unveiled as testing in Italy commences.
This week, Honda began track testing its FIA World Touring Car Championship Civic racecar at the Vallelunga circuit near Rome, Italy, and at a circuit near the JAS Motorsport facility in Milan. 2009 WTCC champion Gabriele Tarquini is leading testing, which will continue throughout the year. Meanwhile Honda will enter three races of the 2012 season, starting at Suzuka in October, with Tiago Monteiro at the helm. These races combined with the testing will help to further refine the Civic WTCC for 2013.
Alessandro Mariani, Team Principal of Honda Racing Team JAS said of the track test program: "To see the finished Civic finally on the race track is an extremely emotional moment for the whole team. I am so proud of everyone involved. They have managed to accomplish so much in such a short period of time. Everyone has been working tirelessly for this day to happen and the new car and engine are no less than our expectations. "The initial track testing has already provided us with a lot of feedback and data, but the road to Suzuka in October remains a long one. This isn't the end. It's just the beginning. From here we will make ourselves even busier."
The new race car, unveiled today in a stylish new livery, is the result of extensive wind-tunnel testing and features plenty of aerodynamic elements including an extended front and rear skirt that combine to help create a best-in-class coefficient of drag. The Civic WTCC is powered by a completely bespoke 1.6-liter 4-cylinder direct injection turbocharged gasoline engine.