Norbert Michelisz will race a new Honda Civic in this World Touring Car Championship after his Zengo Motorsport team secured support from the Japanese manufacturer.
Honda will be campaigning the car in its first full season next year with a factory team run by JAS Motorsport, with Hungarian squad Zengo running an additional single car for Yokohama Trophy champion Michelisz.
Honda will be the third brand of car that 28-year-old Michelisz has driven in the WTCC, having raced a SEAT in 2010 and a BMW for the past two seasons.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to join a brand with such a history in motorsport like Honda,” he said.
“In terms of driving, switching from RWD to FWD won’t be easy in the beginning, but with the dedication and help from Honda and my team, now I can focus on long term goals: becoming a more complete driver, winning more races and hopefully having the chance to fight for the overall championship in the near future.”
Team boss Zoltan Zengo thanked the Hungarian Honda network for their part in making the deal possible. The team had previously enjoyed support from BMW Hungary.
“After winning the Yokohama Trophy we needed new goals to aim for,” said Zengo. “In Honda we have found the perfect partner to fight for the World Championship. We thank Honda Hungary for their support and feel honoured that in Japan and Italy there’s a top level racing car under construction for us. To fully focus the team’s resources, we decided to enter only one car in the 2013 season.”
Janos Reisz of Honda Hungary commented: “From the start of negotiations between Zengo Motorsport and Honda, we and our dealers have done all in our power to help this partnership become real. All the ingredients are there for a successful campaign and we keep our fingers crossed for Norbert and the team.”
William De Braekeleer, Motorsport Manager at Honda Motor Europe added: “We have always been committed to making the Civic WTCC available to private teams, so we can’t be more delighted with this announcement.
“Zengo Motorsport are a professional outfit and Norbert Michelisz is a talented driver. We are really honoured by their choice and the trust they are putting in our car. We are pleased to be able to count on them to help us in the manufacturer title’s fight and it is our aim to provide them with the best package.”