Phoenix, Ariz. – The Honda Civic, 2016 North American Car of the Year, will be making its Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship debut in the first and second rounds at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, Arizona, May 20-22.
Developed from a production-model 2016 Honda Civic Coupe, the Red Bull Civics will make their way around the 12 turn, .929-mile asphalt and dirt circuit, prepared by championship-winning team Olsbergs MSE with technical assistance from Honda Performance Development. Behind the wheel, experienced drivers Joni Wiman and Sebastian Eriksson will give fans and Civic enthusiasts a neoteric look at motorsports.
Honda’s commitment to the Supercar category will showcase the 600 horsepower Civic Coupe’s acceleration from 0-60 mph in less than two seconds, as well as its aggression, airing table-top jumps in excess of 70 feet, all while battling competitors in door-to-door, heat-style racing targeted at young, performance-minded audiences.
Honda’s entry into Red Bull GRC is the latest in a diverse portfolio of North American professional and grassroots auto racing programs supported by Honda that include the Verizon IndyCar Series, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, World Challenge, United States F4 Championship, Formula Lites and multiple Touring car and Rally Car series.
The first and second rounds of the 2016 season kick off on Friday, with practice and qualifications. On Saturday, heat races for the first round will commence at 11:50 a.m. (EST, are we sure of the time?) with the finals taking place at 4:25 p.m. On Sunday, the finals of the second race take place at 3:05 p.m., with live coverage beginning at 2 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network.
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Joni Wiman (No. 31 Honda Red Bull OMSE): “I think Phoenix will be an interesting track, with the joker lap being a longer way around the track. There are some good passing opportunities, as well. Racing in the Civic will be great, too. I know the guys at the shop have been really working hard getting the car dialed in, and it’s been a lot of fun testing this offseason. We’ll be looking for some redemption in 2016.”
Sebastian Eriksson (No. 93 Honda Red Bull OMSE): “There is a lot of momentum for the team and me going into this season. Coming off a consistent season last year, I think I understand how to race in the series now, with the points championship in mind. With this being a doubleheader weekend, it’s going to be crucial to have consistency and pace early on. Debuting a new manufacturer in the series will be awesome, too. I know everyone from Red Bull to the OMSE guys and Honda are stoked to see the Civic on track against competition.”
Marc Sours (chief engineer, Honda Performance Development): “We’re excited to kick off the Global Rallycross season this weekend in Phoenix. The Honda Civic is the perfect platform for this type of racing [nimble, sporty, fun to drive]. We can’t wait to see it perform on the race track.”