Posted : 06/12/2011
Honda's had a mixed time in the Australian Rally Championship over the past two seasons. With its JAS-built Civic Type R driven by Eli Evans and Glen Weston, the car has shown fantastic pace, but has been hampered at times by luck, weather, misfortune and the constant threat of its all-wheel drive competition.
But with the ARC announcing sweeping new changes for 2012, the formula is now two-wheel drive, putting Honda in the sights of success, and it has responded with a pair of JAS Jazzs (Jazzes?) bound for Australia, powered by Mugen, and driven by Evans/Weston and another yet-to-be-named crew.
Round one of the 2012 championship is set for Rally Calder, which will see the Jazzes (we're already suffering the plural headaches) hit the tarmac running on March 1-4.
See the official Honda press release below.
The Fastest Jazz In The World?
In an exciting new development, Honda Australia will race two Honda Jazz in the 2012 Bosch Australian Rally Championship.
Designed to G2 specifications, the new Jazz combine the very best in Australian and European engineering, with specifications found in many World Rally Championship cars.
The Mugen-tuned two-litre engine delivers 183 kilowatts at 9000 RPM and 193 Newton metres of torque.
Honda will be entering a second driver combination alongside Eli Evans and Glen Weston, to be announced early next year.
Honda Australia spokesperson, Lindsay Smalley said the new cars could take Honda from challengers to champions. “We are excited about the next year of rallying. Racing is in Honda’s DNA. These rally cars are modified with the best engineering from Australia and Europe. Fitted with Mugen engines, these may well be the fastest Jazz in the world!
“Honda is proud to continue its support of Australian rallying and we hope next season will be even better than the last. As our founder Mr. Honda said, if Honda does not race, there is no Honda,” Mr. Smalley said.
Scott Pedder, CEO of the Bosch ARC welcomed Honda’s expanded commitment to the Championship and congratulated the company on its initiative. “Honda has to be commended for leading the way and being the first to commit to the new formula.
“The Honda Civic Type R that Eli Evans and Glen Weston campaigned over the past two years has become a crowd favourite at rallies around the country, because of how exciting it looks on the stages and the great sound it makes. These new cars are going to look even better.
“The renderings of the new Honda Jazz G2 are very exciting and give a strong indication of how the new generation of two-wheel drive rally cars will look. I am sure they will fire the imagination of rally enthusiasts,” Pedder said.
Six rounds will comprise the 2012 season, with a ‘Rally Showcase’ at Calder Park in Victoria to mark the start of the season in March.