HONDA CIVIC TYPE R R3 IMPRESSES ON GRAVEL DEBUT The JAS Motorsport Honda Civic Type R R3 has emerged triumphant from its very first event on gravel, despite an off for Dani Sola on the first day and a puncture on the second day. The all-new...
HONDA CIVIC TYPE R R3 IMPRESSES ON GRAVEL DEBUT
The JAS Motorsport Honda Civic Type R R3 has emerged triumphant from its very first event on gravel, despite an off for Dani Sola on the first day and a puncture on the second day. The all-new Honda is the first Group A two-wheel drive car home, winning class A7.
In actual fact, it has been built to the latest 'R' regulations that will come into force next year as a template for the future of world rallying. Britain is one of the toughest gravel rounds of the entire World Championship, characterised by bad weather and changeable levels of grip.
Throughout the event, the Civic Type R R3 demonstrated perfect mechanical reliability and a prodigious pace, within two seconds per kilometre of the four-wheel drive Super 2000 cars. On stage 16, Sola even set an excellent 25th quickest time overall, just behind the top runners in the Production Car World Championship.
The new Honda Civic Type R R3 will be eligible to enter the Junior Championship next year as well as the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and a variety of other national and international championships.
Car n.71 Dani Sola (E) - Oscar Sanchez (E)
Dani, a former Junior World Rally Champion, had not competed in Britain since 2003 but he enjoyed reacquainting himself with the fast and flowing stages. The Spaniard set off at a good pace but was caught out on a fast left-hand corner of SS3, when he got out of shape and slid down a bank.
Although the Civic was undamaged, there were not enough spectators around to lift it out. He re-started under the super rally system on Saturday with a 20-minute penalty but then dropped another two minutes with a puncture on SS10. For the rest of the rally, Sola had a fast and trouble-free run to the finish despite horrendous conditions that included rain, mist and fog.
Dani Sola: I've been very impressed with the car throughout the rally, which has given us no mechanical problems whatsoever despite some very tough conditions. On Friday we were just a little too fast into the corner, so the car jumped out of the ruts left by the World Rally Cars and we went off, luckily with no damage. Over the rest of the rally we were able to push quite hard and I'm very pleased with our times. I've also been very proud to contribute to the development of this great car with JAS Motorsport over the course of the year: now we have a really competitive package."
Alessandro Mariani, team principal: "This has been a fantastic debut for our Civic Type R R3 on gravel, which confirms the pace we have shown over the rest of the year. Despite losing a lot of time with the off and the puncture we still win class A7, and our stage times have been less than two seconds a kilometre off the Super 2000 cars that benefit from four-wheel drive. Conditions could not have been much worse on this rally, underlining the reliability of our Civic even under these extreme circumstances. After a very strong performance on the asphalt of Catalunya, we have now proved that the Civic is an equally competitive prospect for our customers on gravel. It's been a very positive way to end the year."