Honda extends its WTCC commitment to 2017
|By Jack Cozens||Saturday, September 24th 2016, 08:50 GMT|
Honda has announced it will continue to compete in the World Touring Car Championship next season.
The Japanese manufacturer's current agreement to race in the series runs out at the end of this year, but has committed to competing in the 2017 campaign.
Honda has been Citroen's closest challenger in the manufacturers' standings throughout the 2016 season, and went toe-to-toe with the reigning champion team in the first part of the campaign.
But the JAS Motorsport-run team's momentum stalled when it was caught up in a debate over its flat floor, with the marque (and customer Zengo Motorsport) excluded from the Hungarian and Moroccan rounds of the season.
It won back its results in Hungary through an appeal, but its exclusion from the races on the streets of Marrakech was upheld.
Citroen provisionally clinched a third manufacturers' crown in a row in Shanghai on Saturday, pending the cancellation of the penultimate event on the 2016 schedule in Thailand.
Honda is now 206 points behind Citroen in the manufacturers' championship with 191 on offer.
But while Citroen will end its manufacturer presence in the championship next year, Honda announced on Saturday it would continue in the championship for at least another year - it's fifth in succession in the WTCC.
"The WTCC has been a fantastic platform for Honda to promote its products and values," said William de Braekeleer, Honda Europe's motorsport manager.
"We are delighted to be announcing our commitment to the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship while we are still more than two months away from the end of the current season.
"Support received for participation throughout the Honda organisation, both globally and on a national level, has also been fantastic.
"Furthermore, the enthusiasm of our customers and fans had been really exceptional this year and we would like to dedicate the continuation of our participation to them."