Honda Racing team Sweden and Rickard Rydell all set for WTCC opener

May 21, 2015

Honda Racing team Sweden and Rickard Rydell all set for WTCC opener

After a winter filled with anticipation, this weekend finally sees the 2015 FIA World Touring Car Championship get underway in Argentina. Joining the grid for the first time will be Honda Racing team Sweden – the only outfit from the Scandinavian country to feature in an official world championship motor racing series – spearheaded by star driver Rickard Rydell. Following almost two years of hard work behind the scenes, this is the moment it all boils down to; facing the opposition out on track.

47-year-old Rydell is one of Sweden’s most experienced and successful racing drivers of the modern era, having clinched titles in both the British (1998) and Scandinavian (2011) Touring Car Championships and raced full-time in the WTCC between 2005 and 2009. 2015 marks Rydell’s return to the international touring car stage, as he embarks on an all-Swedish assault on the world championship.

Hosting the first round of the season is the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo, a 4.805 km circuit that first appeared on the WTCC calendar in 2013. Two races will be contested over the weekend; both of them taking place on Sunday evening CET.

FAST FACTS – ROUND 1
WTCC Race of Argentina Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo

· While this weekend marks Rydell’s first official appearance as a Honda driver, it will not be his maiden outing in a Honda car. In the fall of 2004, Rydell participated in a local touring car race in, fittingly, the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, although he was forced to retire when running second with just four laps to go.

· The Honda Racing team Sweden project has been conceived thanks to a tie-up between Honda Sweden and Swedish specialist motorsport outfit NIKA Racing, which competed in the WTCC back in 2013. Back then, the team managed to claim an impressive three overall race wins despite holding privateer status, but a radical rules overhaul ahead of 2014 saw the arrival of the new TC1 era – which heralds a set of entirely new challenges for the Honda Racing team Sweden venture.

Background (2 av 2)

· Argentina is the home country of reigning WTCC champion José María López (Citroën), who has also won three out of the four races staged so far at the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo. Frenchman Yvan Muller (Citroën) is the only other driver to have claimed WTCC victory at the venue.

Circuit Data
Lap length: 4.805 km
Race distance: 2 ×13 laps

Lap Records
Race: José María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC), 1m45.926s (163.337 kph), 03/08/2014
Qualifying: José María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC), 1m43.766s (166.73 kph), 02/08/2014

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