Old against young, experienced against newcomers, girls against boys – this third season of the Honda Civic Cup promises to provide a maximum of excitement again. The driver’s title was won by only 0.01 points last year – the luck was finally on the side of the team Nett/ Schütz whilst Venn/ Hoppe/ Thönnes gained the team title with Fleper Motorsport – and anything can happen again in the 2009 season.
The experienced driver Jürgen Nett together with Chrstioph Dupré will form a team which will occasionally be supported by father Claus Dupré. This victorious team of the 24 Hour Race is of course considered to set the standard for all the others. The Honda VLN Junior Team will this year also enter a quick driver trio: Kristian and Dennis Nägele have attracted a lot of attention last year already when they won the final Cup round. Due to excellent results, Tim Scheerbarth, too, has earned his upgrade into the team of the University of Applied Sciences of Cologne. Not to forget Urs Bressan and Stephan Wölfick (2009 in a team with Guido Bühler) who must also be included in the top favourite group as last year already they had once almost been on top of the podium and they were always found in the leading group.
Frank Totz and Peter Kreuer did not have a very good year in 2008 although they had always been very quick and they are confident to possibly repeat their successful older times this year (Frank Totz amongst others was DTT Champion, Peter Kreuer was the winner of the first Honda Accord Challenge in 2001).
Woman editor Anja Wassertheurer of the German automobile magazine sport-auto and newcomer lady driver Daniela Schmid were able to improve their performances in the TRW Civic entered by Honda Racing continuously. The team will be completed by former Junior Team lady driver Nicole Müllenmeister and they hope to finish on the podium in 2009 at some Championship races.
The winning team of the first year in the Civic Cup, the Mathol Team, is still in negotiations with some drivers. So far confirmed are Sebastian Schäfer, Rüdiger Schicht, Michael Imholz, Christian Eichner and Dirk Cohauß. Team Director Matthias Holle can enter up to four race cars at each event. Frank Kuhlmann is planning several participations and is still looking for team mates, same as Michael Ecker with the Civic Cup Champion team of 2006.
A total prize money of almost € 70.000 will be awarded. Following the request submitted by the majority of the teams, only the results of the 10 rounds of the BFGoodrich Langstreckenmeisterschaft will be eligible for the Cup as the 24 Hour Race would have strained the budgets too much.
The technical partners and sponsors of the Honda Civic Cup will be unchanged: Keihin standard control units with optimized software from Hondata shall provide equal technical conditions and a lower fuel consumption despite an improvement in performance. The reliable H&R suspensions, the powerful sounding Bastuck exhaust system with the HJS catalytic converter and the robust ATS rims are as well part of the Cup vehicles’ equipment as the TRW brakes, the Cardiff safety cell, the Drexler lock and of course the BFGoodrich racing tyres. The extinguishing system and the safety belts are supplied by Sandtler and Fabisch Motorsport.
The data acquisition systems of Me-Mo-Tec permit exact controls and the regular random checks carried out by the scrutineers Paul Altevers and Stefan Schlesack shall prevent to come up with unwanted ‘creative self-made solutions’ – to say prohibited modifications carried out by the participants on their race cars.
The Honda Sports Cup will also be organised in 2009 again. Two years ago, this Cup replaced the Honda S2000 Cup when some participants were looking for a field of activity for their older Civic Type-R. However the name of this popular Cup had been since 2005, the winner had always been Andreas Mäder who passed away last year much too early and who was elected posthumously “Driver of the Year 2008” by the fans.
The team made up of the drivers Fugel/ Kirsch are considered to have the greatest chances to win, but the drivers of Mathol-Racing (Bermes/Weber), Race&Event (Koslowski/ Geulen/ Stursberg/ Schmersal), Cardiff (Hörter/ Schmitz/ Platz, as well as Pflanz/ Kauffman) and Laser Express (Nawotka/ Grundmann) will certainly take up the challenge. Venn/ Hoppe, too, assume that they have good chances after their change to the Honda Accord. The former JAS race car entered by Fleper Motorsport must be included in the candidates for class victories, just as the Honda S2000.