WTCC series boss Francois Ribeiro has lauded Honda's decision to expand to three cars for the 2016 season, calling it ”excellent news” for the championship.
The Japanese manufacturer confirmed Rob Huff, Tiago Monteiro and Norbert Michelisz, who takes the step up from the privateer Zengo Motorsport operation, as its three factory drivers for the year earlier this week.
“Honda’s announcement is excellent news for the WTCC and demonstrates their confidence in the championship by entering a third factory car for the first time,” said Ribeiro.
“Honda is giving the WTCC’s top privateer, Norbert Michelisz, the opportunity to join a factory team and showcase his obvious ability.
"There are a number of very talented privateers in the WTCC and it is good the best of them are getting this opportunity to become professional drivers.
"I’m very grateful to Zengo Motorsport and [sponsor] MOL Group, who supported Norbert up to the level for Honda to fulfil their dreams."
Zengo searches for new Hungarian star
With Michelisz moving to the works Honda team for 2016, Zengo Motorsport says it hopes to develop another Hungarian star this year.
“We would like to continue and we will do our best to again have another young, talented Hungarian driver to replace [Michelisz],” said team boss Zoltan Zengo on Hungarian television.
“We will go back to the beginning and start to build up the project again. Norbi [Michelisz] has said that he’ll help us when he has time to do so, so we can develop our supported driver, which I think will be really good for us.
"We would like to reach the same level of success as we reached with Norbi.”