- Honda Civic Type R TCR makes Michelin Pilot Challenge debut at Roar Before The 24
- Three-day test run in preparation for Daytona season-opening race
- Three teams run four Hondas at test, additional entries expected soon
Three teams brought a total of four Honda Civic Type R TCR entries this weekend to the “Roar Before the 24”, a three-day test open to all IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series entrants in preparation for the start of the 2019 race season.
Atlanta Speedwerks led the way for Honda after five on-track practice sessions, with driver Brian Henderson posting the fourth-fastest time on Sunday in the Civic Type R TCR that he shared with co-driver Todd Lamb.
The Honda of America Racing Team (HART) duo of Chad Gilsinger and Ryan Eversely finished the day sixth with Gilsinger at the wheel. The third Honda team in attendance, a two-car effort from LA Honda World, was excluded from the event on Saturday due to a minimum weight violation. According to a bulletin from IMSA, a technical inspection revealed both cars were below the published minimum weight, and had not been properly ballasted to meet series weight requirements.
The Honda Civic Type R TCR made its North American racing debut in 2018, with Eversley claiming the Pirelli World Challenge TCR Drivers’ Championship with RealTime Racing. Developed by Honda partner JAS Motorsport in Italy, and the Civic Type R TCR is offered in race-ready condition through Honda Performance Development.
This week’s test at Daytona International Speedway completes official preparations for the 2019 Michelin Pilot Challenge season. The 10-race championship opens January 26 at Daytona International Speedway.
John Whiteman (Manager, Commercial Motorsports Honda Performance Development): “Fundamentally, everyone ran as expected. Although it has a lot of sophistication, with a lot of things you can adjust to optimize performance, the Honda Civic Type R TCR is intended to be a ‘turn-key’ car that is easy to run and set up. I think we saw that this weekend, with the cars competitive straight out of the box. I think we’ll have more here for the race as well.”
Ryan Eversley (driver, #89 Honda of America Racing Team Honda Civic Type R) sixth in TCR: “It’s great to be back in a race car again here at Daytona! The HART crew didn’t have much time with our new race car, ‘Scarlet’, before the test, so we had our share of new-car gremlins to work through. Our Type-R Civic is virtually identical to the RealTime Civic I won the PWC championship with last year, so I felt right at home. I can’t wait to come back for the race and start the season!”
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Roar Before the 24 Open Test
Circuit: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL
Weather: Mostly sunny, mild, 63 degrees F
Michelin Pilot Challenge Touring Car Sunday Practice Results:
Ps. Drivers Team Chassis Time / Notes
1. Gavin Emstone / Jon Morley Roadshagger Racing Audi RS3 LMS 1:59.900
2. Lee Carpentier / Kieron O’Rouke eEuroparts ROWE Racing Audi RS3 LMS 2:00.253
3. Michael Johnson / Stephen Simpson JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi RS3 LMS 2:00.265
4. Todd Lamb / Brian Henderson Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R 2:00.708
5. Russ McDonough / Ryan Nash eEuroparts ROWE Racing Audi RS3 LMS 2:00.729
6. Chad Gilsinger / Ryan Eversley Honda of America Racing Honda Civic Type R 2:01.171
7. Roy Black / Tim Lewis Jr. KMW motorsports with TMR Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2:01.253
8. Shelby Blackstock / Colin Mullan LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Type R no time
9. Tom O’Gorman / Mike LaMarra LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Type R no time