Honda confirms BTCC pull-out

Honda has pulled the plug on its six-year works BTCC programme. The widely-expected move comes because: "With the imminent changes in technical regulations, we think the time is right to take a break," according to Honda Motor Europe's motorsport manager William de Braekeleer

Honda confirms BTCC pull-out

With its Accords, Honda became the nearly-men of the championship - winning 21 races and twice finishing second in the manufacturers' championship, but never completely fulfilling the potential of the Accord, which many insiders believed to be the base-car best-suited to the out-going Super Touring regulations. With engines that almost always out-performed rival units and wishbone suspension all-round, the Hondas were regularly the pundits' pre-season favourites, but never at the top of the points standings when it counted.

HME is expected to continue to field its Accords in the European Super Touring Cup, and former BTCC champion Gabriele Tarquini remains under contract. Its other contracted drivers in 2000, James Thompson and Tom Kristensen, are thought to be pursuing opportunities in the DTM and sportscar racing respectively.

Honda may retain some links with the BTCC if details of the series' Super Production Class B meet its expectations. The Accord driven in the class by James Kaye this year was a frontrunner, and Honda envisages putting together some form of support package for competitors fielding Super Production Accords in the 2001 and subsequent BTCCs.

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