HONDA CIVIC R3 IN 2010 JUNIOR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
The latest World Motor Sport Council meeting on October 21 has finally approved a modification to the Junior World Rally Championship sporting regulations, which will consequently allow the Honda Civic R3 to be eligible for the 2010 JWRC.
The Civic R3 has not been eligible so far because of restrictions governing the maximum length of a car (maximum allowed 4150 mm, Civic length 4270 mm). Up to now, only 120mm have denied young drivers the chance to participate in the most prestigious of all the junior championships.
Now, the decision of the WMSC finally gives the Civic R3 the opportunity to fight for the title in a category where it has already proven to be ultra-competitive.
In 2008 Guy Wilks won the two-wheel drive category of Rally Finland, at the wheel of a Civic run by JAS Motorsport. He finished in front of all the Super 1600 cars that were leading the JWRC at the time, demonstrating the Civic's extraordinary performance on one of the toughest and quickest rounds of the championship.
In 2009 Urmo Aava from Estonia looked set to emulate Wilks' achievement in Finland at the wheel of a privately run Civic. He was dominating the two-wheel drive category of the event, setting 18 fastest stage times out of a possible 22. Unfortunately Aava suffered damage from a rock pulled onto the racing line by one of the other competitors late in the rally, which prevented him from winning. Nonetheless, the point had been made.
The challenge of the JWRC is now open to the JAS engineered Civic, which will benefit from further technical developments in 2010, including significant engine upgrades and a semi-automatic gearbox control -- making it a prime contender for the JWRC title.