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WTCC World Touring Car Championship 2012

Round 10: Japan

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
October 20 2012

Civic WTCC makes it to Q2 to start the race from 11th tomorrow in its debut round in Suzuka

The Japanese round of the WTCC has kicked off today under a clear sky at Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture, Japan, and the Honda Civic WTCC has made a debut in the championship.

Honda Civic WTCCzoom
Honda Civic WTCC
Honda Civic WTCCzoom
Honda Civic WTCC

After successfully completing a test in Japan last week, Honda Racing Team JAS has come to this race at Suzuka Circuit. In the press conference which the team held from 10:30am prior to the qualifying, Hideo Sato, General Manager, Honda Motor Sports Division expressed his delight in participating the championship as well as appreciation to all parties concerned. Driver Tiago Monteiro also expressed his high motivation for the debut race.

Tiago immediately went onto the track as Q1 began at 3:30pm. However, he went off the track in his first attempt. The Civic driver tried again after having replaced his tyres in the pit, and recorded 53.875 –the 14th fastest time.

Although he improved his time to 53.840 in another attempt, he couldn’t move up his position and had only less than 4 minutes left in Q1 when he came back to the pit after this attack. Having his tyres replaced again, he went back onto the track with less than one and a half minutes left in Q1. On the final lap, Tiago recorded 53.443 –0.4 seconds faster than his previous best time, which promoted him to 7th. At that moment, there was a burst of applause in the stands.

In Q2 where top 12 of Q1 advanced to, he could not improve his time as desired, partly because the team had run out of the allocated new tyres after Q1. His best lap time in Q2 was 53.886, which means he is going to start the race tomorrow from 11th.

Race 1 will start at 2:35pm and Race 2 from 3:50pm on Sunday, 21 October.

Tiago Monteirozoom
Tiago Monteiro
Honda Civic WTCCzoom
Honda Civic WTCC
Driver Tiago Monteiro:
“We always knew that it was going to be a very tight and difficult qualifying. We had an objective which was to advance to Q2, and for that, we had to use all three sets of new tyres allocated for the qualifying. As a result, we recorded a good time to win a place in Q2. We compromised the second qualifying because there were no more new tyres to run on. But I think we need to look at it very positively because a few weeks ago, we were not sure if we could be in Q2. I think we achieved our goal for now, so this is a first big step of the level of what we can do. We’ll keep working and improving. We have two long races tomorrow and we’ll do our best.”
Honda Racing Team JAS Team Principal Alessandro Mariani:
“At the end, we were a little disappointed because we wanted to be in top eight. Unfortunately, the qualifying was very tough and Tiago made a small mistake on the first set. That affected the entire session because we had to use all tyres to make it to Q2, so we couldn’t be where we wanted to be. However, in a way, this was as it should be, because this was our first qualifying and yesterday we only had a 30-minute run with a set of new tyres. So, with the little experience we’ve had, this is normal. We still believe that the car is good, so I hope to do well tomorrow.”
Chief Engineer for Civic WTCC Development Daisuke Horiuchi:
“The engine had no problem at all throughout the qualifying. I felt relieved when we made it to Q2 at the last moment of Q1. I was hoping that we could record the similar time in Q2 as in Q1, but we’d used up all new tyres and it was disappointing. After the qualifying, I do feel that it is not easy. I also realise that we need to improve our car more. In the race tomorrow, we will try hard to move up as many places as possible from our position after the qualifying. I would appreciate everyone’s support.”
WTCC World Touring Car Championship 2012
Round 10: Japan Qualifying
Qualifying 1 (Q1)
Rank Driver (Machine)
1 Yvan Muller (Chevrolet Cruze)
2 Alain Menu (Chevrolet Cruze)
3 Robert Huff (Chevrolet Cruze)
4 Alex MacDowall (Chevrolet Cruze)
5 Tom Coronel (BMW 320)
6 Aleksei Dudukalo (SEAT Leon)
7 Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic WTCC)
Qualifying 2 (Q2)
Rank Driver (Machine)
1 Alain Menu (Chevrolet Cruze)
2 Yvan Muller (Chevrolet Cruze)
3 Robert Huff (Chevrolet Cruze)
4 Alex MacDowall (Chevrolet Cruze)
5 Mehdi Bennani (BMW 320)
6 Gabriele Tarquini (SEAT Leon)
11 Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic WTCC)

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