Honda is increasing its commitment to racing in 2012 by officially sponsoring teams entering the Pirelli World Challenge thanks to growing interest in both the U.S. and Canada.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) provides components and support to teams ranging from amateur to professional levels. In the past the company supported teams in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Challenge Series, but will move into the Sports Car Club of America’s World Challenge and B-Spec categories as well.
“With the development of the 2012 Honda Civic Si for Touring Car racing and the introduction of B-Spec for both professional and club racing, it’s been a very busy off-season for HPD,” said Lee Niffenegger, HPD senior engineer responsible for production-based racing.
“There has been a definite upsurge in interest from both the U.S. and Canada for this year, and we’re looking forward to exciting seasons in Grand-Am, World Challenge and Canadian Touring Cars,” he said.
According to Honda, the Civic Si is the car of choice this year with at least five teams taking part in the 14-race schedule in the World Challenge Touring Car class. Cars that run these races range from being almost factory stock to heavily modified based on the series. World Challenge Touring Car entrants run on the less modified end of that spectrum.
In the B-Spec segment, Honda will race their Fit cars, which represents and inexpensive, entry-level option for racers to get into the sport.
Compass360, a Toronto-based racing team has long used Hondas to compete in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and Gand Am series and claimed first place in the 2010 Canadian Touring Car Championship for Honda.
This year Compass360 will also enter the World Challenge for Honda with a multi-car effort in the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge and Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.