JAS Motorsport’s Honda Civic Type R R3 will make its gravel debut on the Wales Rally Great Britain this week, the final round of the 2007 World Rally Championship. Former Junior World Champion Dani Sola will drive the car in Great Britain, having given the Civic Type R R3 its asphalt World Championship debut on the Catalunya Rally in Spain last month. In that event, Sola won the R3 class against well-established opposition.
Although the car has proved its credentials on tarmac – most recently with a remarkable fifth overall on the Rallye du Valais in Switzerland – gravel will be a whole new challenge. The Rally GB, which runs through the forests of south Wales, is one of the most challenging gravel events that drivers face in the WRC. There is also a bigger entry list than has been seen on any other WRC event this year, with 121 cars expected at the start in Cardiff.
The R3 Type R complies with new FIA rally regulations. The class is for two-litre, two-wheel drive cars that have been built to a strict set of cost-effective criteria. The Civic Type R R3 is powered by a new Honda engine developed by JAS Motorsport in collaboration with Mugen.
Dani Sola says: “Great Britain is one of my favourite gravel events because the stages really reward commitment. However, we are not underestimating the challenge ahead of us. As a team, we haven’t competed on gravel since July – and this new R3 car has never competed on gravel at all. Our mission will be to get the car to the finish and try to prove that we can be as competitive on gravel as we are on asphalt.”
Stefano Fini, JAS Motorsport’s chief engineer, added: “Our new R3 car is now on sale for our customers. The car is fully ready for any 2008 season, and we have already had a lot of interest from several different drivers and teams. We are confident that we will provide a competitive package for our customers, who will become valued members of the Honda family.”
The Wales Rally GB runs from November 30 to December 2.