Gabriele Tarquini: Honda won't shine in 2012 World Touring Car outings

Gabriele Tarquini has warned not to expect immediate results from Honda's new World Touring Car Civic despite a successful first "real" test in Slovakia earlier this week

Gabriele Tarquini: Honda won't shine in 2012 World Touring Car outings

The JAS-prepared car will make its debut at October's Suzuka WTCC round.

2009 world champion Tarquini was satisfied with progress at the Slovakia-Ring test but emphasised that the Honda is still in an early development phase, having only run for the first time in an extended shakedown at Vallelunga in Italy earlier this month.

Tarquini completed over 600km of testing in Slovakia on Monday and Tuesday before handing over to 2013 team-mate Tiago Monteiro.

"Now the engine works well," Tarquini told AUTOSPORT. "At Vallelunga there were some small problems with oil and water circulation, but in a really short time Honda have solved all of the problems. The car is also very sensitive to modifications.

"Everybody was happy with the performance of the car, but we are only in the beginning of the [test programme]. I think we have only discovered 25 per cent of the potential of the chassis."

Monteiro is set to race the Civic in the last three races of 2012, with Tarquini not joining the team until next year due to his Lukoil SEAT contract.

Despite the good omens from testing, and team boss Alessando Mariani's hope of winning the 2013 opener, Tarquini is keen to dampen expectations ahead of the car's maiden race.

"I will be very surprised if the car is competitive in Suzuka, but I hope so," cautioned Tarquni.

"These three races are really part of the development programme that JAS suggested to Honda, and I think it is very clever.

"It is stupid to run completely alone and develop the car.

"The best way to develop is to run with the other competitors, at the same track, at the same moment. Then you will know immediately how far back you are and in which areas you must improve.

"I think it will be a very useful [exercise] for everyone to learn in these three races this season."

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Series WTCC
Author Peter Mills
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