Former Super GT Champion Ryō Michigami will join the works Honda World Touring Car Team for the 2017 season, replacing Rob Huff.
Huff, the 2012 WTCC champion, announced his departure last week, as he will return to the privateer Münnich Motorsport team to drive an ex-factory Citroën for the first time in his career.
Despite the fact many long-time WTCC drivers are yet to confirm their return, Honda decided to give their seat to Michigami, whose TC1 experience is limited to the one-off appearance at last year’s Race of Japan. It will be 43-year old’s first full-time ride since 2014.
Michigami will race in the #34 Honda Civic alongside Tiago Monteiro and Norbert Michelisz in cars #18 and #5. All three drivers will conduct a series of testing ahead of the first round in Marrakesh at the beginning of April.
Ryo Michigami: “As a Japanese driver, I’m extremely proud to be given the opportunity to represent a Japanese manufacturer in a world championship.
I’m aware that this season will be a huge challenge for me, but I will use all the experience I have gained during my career in Japan and I am incredibly motivated to perform strongly across the season. I want to make this the pinnacle of my life in motorsport and together with Honda, JAS Motorsport, Tiago and Norbi, I will make the maximum effort possible to achieve this. I would also like to thank everybody in advance for their help and support in 2017.”