Honda Racing’s WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup drivers head to new territory this weekend as they prepare for the series’ inaugural visit to the Vallelunga circuit in Italy.
Located north of Rome, Vallelunga is a classic venue and the same 3.222-kilometre Historic International layout that will be used by the WTCR has hosted some iconic moments in touring car racing history.
More recently, the circuit hosted the inaugural FIA Motorsport Games in 2019, which included the Touring Car Cup for TCR cars - in which a Honda Civic Type R TCR claimed third place in the second race.
Both Honda customer teams head to Italy with momentum to build on following podiums earlier in July in Vila Real.
Nestor Girolami claimed his third top-three finish of the season with a hard-fought third place in Portugal, and enters the Vallelunga weekend the highest-placed of the Honda Racing drivers in fifth.
‘Bebu’, like the rest of the Honda contingent, carries some confidence into the weekend knowing the Civic Type R TCR will drop compensation weight for the first time in 2022 since it was applied for the second round of the season.
His ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team-mate Esteban Guerrieri is looking to bounce back from a difficult Vila Real round that was compromised by issues in qualifying.
Argentinian Esteban has previous experience at Vallelunga, winning twice on his visit to the track in 2003 during his junior single-seater career.
The weekend will be the first in Tiago Monteiro’s illustrious career in which he has competed at the circuit, although he was present during the FIA World Touring Car Championship’s pre-season test at Vallelunga in 2016 and has also tested a Formula 1 car at the track.
Tiago’s start to the campaign has been far from straightforward but the Portuguese remains resolute as he and LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler attempt to keep improving.
Team-mate Attila Tassi will also be making his first appearance at Vallelunga, doing so following his best result of the season to date last time out.
The Hungarian took a second place in Race Two in Vila Real - the 100th race for the WTCR - giving LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler its first podium as a Honda WTCR customer.
An hour-long testing session will be held on Friday afternoon, with the rest of the Vallelunga weekend commencing as normal with FP1 at 9am local time on Saturday morning.
The visit also marks the home race of JAS Motorsport, Honda’s long-standing motorsport partner and builder of the Civic Type R TCR.