ETCC: JAS Motorsport returns in Honda Accord

JAS Motorsport will take part in the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) with the new Honda Accord 2.0i. The Italian team is facing a direct commitment in competition after two years; JAS Motorsport's last campaign...

JAS Motorsport will take part in the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) with the new Honda Accord 2.0i.

The Italian team is facing a direct commitment in competition after two years; JAS Motorsport's last campaign dates back to 2001, whent they took part with two Honda Accord cars driven by Gabriele Tarquini and Fabrice Walfisch, in the FIA European Super Touring Championship. It was a great season, in which the team's drivers claimed ten race wins and six pole positions.

Since then, on behalf of Honda Motor Europe, JAS Motorsport focused on the preparation of the Civic cars to be used by the sporting customers in racing and rally.

Now JAS Motorsport is back, directly involved in an independent program, conceived to compete at high level. The team hired the 23-year-old driver Alessandro Balzan, who is enough experienced in the ETCC; the youngster from Rovigo debuted last year in the continental series, coming to the fore at the wheel of an independent Alfa Romeo 156, in which he obtained an outstanding third position overall in Pergusa. Negotiations with other drivers are on progress to complete the team with a second car.

The new Honda Accord 2.0i car's debut - totally developed by JAS Motorsport - is due to happen in the ETCC third meeting, on May 1st in Magny-Cours; however JAS will participate also in the championship's first two rounds, entrusting Balzan with a new Civic Type-R, evolution of the cars which took part in the previous ETCC seasons.

"This is a challenging program and we are back with high expectations", said the project manager, Stefano Fini. "The Accord has a great potential. The engine and the XTRAC sequential gearbox are the evolutions of those which proved to be effective on the Civic; however, compared to the Civic, the new car has a lot of advantages: longer wheelbase, wider tracks, better aerodynamics, and a more effective suspension system. The double wishbone scheme at the front and the five-arm multilink at the rear, make the Accord one of the most advanced 2-litre saloon cars".

Balzan commented: "I'm so excited for this opportunity. For a young driver, who just Motorsport for developing a new car is a unique opportunity. The programme is based on a great deal of testing, and this will give me the chance to grow up as a driver, something that I haven't had since I stopped karting".

-jas-

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Series General
Drivers Alessandro Balzan