Firman signs for Aguri Suzuki's Team Honda Racing Super GT squad
A1 Team Ireland driver aims to capture Japanese GT title
Monterrey, Mexico, 25th February 2006: A1 Team Ireland principal driver Ralph Firman has re-signed for Team Honda Racing and will compete in the 2006 Japanese Super GT series driving a Honda NSX run by the sports car team owned by new Formula One entrant Aguri Suzuki.
Firman, 30, attended Honda's 2006 Motorsport launch in Tokyo last Monday where he was announced as the only European driver in the two-car Team Honda Racing line-up. He will drive alongside co-driver Daisuke Ito in the Honda NSX-GT developed for Honda by Dome Co., Ltd and M-TEC Co., Ltd. The pair finished 2nd in the 2005 Japanese SuperGT series, taking a dominant victory in Round 7 in Autopolis.
"I am delighted to have signed to drive for Team Honda Racing and I am confident we will be highly competitive again this year," said Firman. "Last year was the first running of the new Super GT series and we developed the Honda NSX-GT very well during the season. We were unfortunate not to win the championship in my opinion, so this year our sights are firmly set on both the Team and Driver titles."
"It's a very competitive series and the battle between the manufacturers is hard fought. I'd like to thank both Honda and Aguri Suzuki for giving me the opportunity to continue as part of their programme. Monday's event in Tokyo was very impressive as it reminded me of Honda's enormous commitment to motorsports world-wide, so it's an honour to drive for them. I will certainly be very busy in the coming weeks combining the remaining A1GP events with the start of the new Super GT season."
The 2006 Autobacs Super GT series comprises 9 rounds and will commence at Suzuka on March 19th, one week after Firman competes in the United States round of the A1GP series at Laguna Seca. Firman raced in Japan for six years before progressed to Formula One with Jordan Grand Prix in 2003, including winning the 2002 Japanese Formula Nippon Championship with Nakajima Racing. He has been a consistent points-scorer and highly competitive for A1 Team Ireland in the inaugural A1GP series, highlights including a podium finish in Portugal and fastest laps in both Dubai and Indonesia.