Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro have released their first quotes after Honda announced they will drive the factory Civic in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
Tarquini has claimed 17 WTCC race victories and was crowned champion in 2009; he rejoins Honda and JAS Motorsport for which he raced from 1997 to 2001 in the British, German and European Touring Car Championships.
“I am very proud that Honda called me back to restart together again. I was theirs and the team’s first choice from the beginning, and we have worked together planning all the steps to set the programme up. Honda is one of the most important brands in automotive industry and in motor sport. They have achieved countless victories in all the categories. The team is very professional and I know all the people very well from my past years with them. There will be no need for adjustment periods. We start working with a lot of optimism and I believe we have all we need to be competitive straight away. I also have a very good felling with Tiago, that goes beyond our racing partnership. We see each other outside the racetracks and this will help us to share all our duties for the sake of the team.”
Also a WTCC race winner with four victories, Monteiro claimed a third place in the 2005 F1 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis.
“I am obviously very excited for this amazing opportunity. These are tough times in motor sport and there are not many car manufacturers ready to launch factory programmes. To be chosen by Honda is a big boost for my ambitions, because I know they are not playing around but will do everything in the proper way. And I’m really happy to team up with Gabriele again. He helped me a lot when I joined SEAT and we get very well together. This will create a friendly atmosphere in the team. And besides this we are both competitive drivers and we will motivate each other. Especially at the beginning he will be more involved in developing the car, because of his vast experience. However, as I am the one who will drive the car in its first races, I will take over before Suzuka and will have a test of my own in Japan.”