Honda may have already shown design sketches for its next-generation Civic NGTC touring car, but now we have photos of the actual thing undergoing testing prior to its debut in this year’s British Touring Car Championship. Good news: it looks as good in reality as the design renderings suggested.
Matt Neal, who has three BTCC championships under his belt, spent Friday with the Honda Racing team familiarizing themselves with the new car and making sure it’s ready for track testing. Neal will be joined by Gordon Shedden at Brands Hatch to give the NGTC some shakedown laps on the track before its race debute.
“This is the first opportunity we have had to get behind the wheel to really see what the car has got,” Neal said in a press release. “The Honda Racing team is really pleased with the results from the test at MIRA last week and I can’t wait to finally start putting the car through its paces.
“It will be interesting to see how the car performs, but I’m optimistic that we’ll walk away from today confident we have a championship winning car.”
“The feedback on the new Civic NGTC car so far is incredibly promising and I’ve been itching to get into the car since the end of the 2011 season,” said Shedden. “Like Matt mentioned, this is the first time we have had to really push the car and I’m looking forward to putting it into action.”
“The team have all been working incredibly hard since the start of the NGTC program back in August, so everybody’s very excited to see the new car on track for the first time,” said team manager Peter Crolla, team manager. “It’ll be interesting from the point of view of both drivers and engineers to see how the car behaves on a track where we were very competitive with the S2000 Civic and we can really start to understand and develop the new car.”
Crolla indicated that Tuesday’s testing is “to establish a baseline” for the car’s set-up. The Civic than can be tuned for the different race circuits. “Initial feedback from the MIRA shakedown was positive so we’re hoping to continue that today and cover some valuable mileage with both Matt and Gordon behind the wheel”.
The Honda Racing team will next test the Civic NGTC at Donington Park on Thursday. The season opens April 1, 2012.
Source: Honda UK