SUCCESSFUL NURBURGRING 24 HOURS FOR TEAM HONDA CHALLENGE
The Nurburgring 24 hours took place last Saturday, June 17-18, attended by 180.000 enthusiastic spectators which enjoyed a sunny and warm weekend, experiencing the unique atmosphere of the main event of the year on the historic Nordschleife race track.
220 race cars, distributed in several classes, participated to one of the toughest (for the cars) and most challenging (for the drivers) circuit races in the world.
One of these was the JAS-made Honda Accord Euro R FIA Super 2000 run by Team Honda Challenge with the technical support of JAS Motorsport, and driven by Oluf Bendixen, Cyril Kalbassi and Kotaro Yamamoto.
The race went smooth and clean for the entire race distance, with minor technical inconveniences which were quickly solved during the pit stop. The final result was a 39th position overall (out of 275 entries) and 4th in the '24 hours specials -- 2 liters, out of 36 participants. It must be emphasized that the Accord is a real FIA Super 2000, therefore it does not exploit in full the technical freedom given by the' 24 hrs specials' regulations.
Team Honda Challenge (THC) is the Company Team of Honda R&D center in Offenbach-Germany (HREG), who has been racing the 24 hours for almost two decades (this was the 19th participation) with a variety of Honda models (Civic VTI, Accord Type R). THC is an 'after working hours team', supported by the company with the intention to have cross divisional communication and to increase associate motivation through working on a Honda race car together. Therefore drivers, race engineers, mechanics and team assistants are all employees and/or managers at HREG.
"After two retirements in a row we are more than happy with the result this year" says Kotaro Yamamoto, driver and Team Honda Challenge Team Manager "It was a very emotional moment for everyone when the car passed the finish line after 24 hours. JAS did an excellent job before and during the race weekend and managed to provide us a very competitive vehicle whiach was not only fast but very safe in its total balance - very important to last for 24 hours for both man and machine - We aer happy and grateful to have this opportunity to work together with JAS and compete with such high performance race car"
"From the pure technical standpoint this is an outstanding result" explains JAS technical Director Stefano Fini "the Accord FIA Super 2000 originally was not conceived for endurance racing, therefore we had to review a number of components to make the car suitable for a 24 hours. However the basic hardware (engine, transmission, suspensions) is identical to our WTCC cars, the engine has been slightly de-powered. Completing the full race distance is a great satisfaction, thanks to the quality of the car and the skills of the drivers who did not make any mistake while keeping a good pace, and also in consideration that THC is made by people with great enthusiasm but very little time to commit to racing. Indeed, they have made a great job"