Zengo to debut second WTCC car in Portugal
The Zengo Motorsport WTCC team will finally expand to two cars from Saturday’s practice sessions at Vila Real, having competed with just one so far this season.
The #99 Honda Civic WTCC was assembled in the pit lane overnight with a new 2015 specification engine from Mugen, and with replacement suspension components from JAS.
The car will be driven by Daniel Nagy, who will make his WTCC debut at the age of 18, after racing in one round of the TCR International Series last year.
“It’s a good combination of Eurosport, JAS Motorsport and Mugen that have helped with the running of the second car, and it’s important for my push of young drivers,” said team principal Zoltan Zengo.
“I told [series director Francois] Ribeiro my plan was to run two cars in the championship, and I needed help as we couldn’t run the 2016 spec engine, so we’ve been allowed to run the last year’s spec.
"The delivery time [for this engine] from Mugen was longer. The first date they gave us was before the Nurburgring, but the parts hadn’t arrived in Mugen in Europe, and they’ve only just arrived in the last week. They’ve put them in the engine, I paid the money and now the engine is here.”
The car is the 2015 new-build Civic which was made for Rickard Rydell and Nika Racing last year, which only competed at five events - the last of which was at Vila Real in July last year, when Nestor Girolami damaged the car with a heavy crash in qualifying.
“The Nika car isn’t in very good condition,” said Zengo. “The suspension and dampers are destroyed, the gearbox is damaged, they told me it was perfect to go to the track but it’s not true.
"So we’re having to change the dampers, the gearbox and the driveshaft. So it’s not just the engine [we're changing] but the new parts which have just arrived this morning, with the engine arriving last night so tomorrow morning we maybe able to go on the track.”
With no testing and the car being prepped to run for the first time just as the European leg of the season draws to a close, Zengo confirmed the plan is little more than a live test this weekend.
“This race for Dani is only a test to learn the car, it’s a shakedown as this track is very dangerous. Dani is very fast and has a very soft driving style just like Ficza, so I think the combination of the two is very good.”
The cars will then be freighted to Argentina for the next round of the championship in August, with the cars set to compete in all the remaining rounds of the 2016 WTCC.
Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes
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