The Honda Civic Type R has finished first and third in the two-wheel drive class of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge on the Belgium Ypres Rally, round five of the series.

Dutchman Marcel Piepers finished 17th overall (of 72 starters) in his Honda Civic Type R R3, which was built and developed by JAS Motorsport. He was also first in the IRC 2WD Cup category, where Honda challenged for the drivers' title right up to the final round of the series last year.

Third place in class for Dutchman Martijn Braat, in a Group N Honda Civic, and fourth place for the similar car of Belgian driver Patrick Vandeputte, meant that Honda claimed more points than any other manufacturer in the IRC 2WD Cup.

Piepers' Civic Type R R3 encountered no mechanical problems whatsoever throughout the two days of the Belgium Ypres Rally, which is renowned as one of the toughest and most specialised asphalt rallies in Europe. With the Belgian stages characterised by several straights leading into tight and gravelly corners, good levels of traction and grip are essential in order to succeed.

"It was an excellent rally for us and our Honda performed perfectly throughout all 16 stages: all we did was put in fuel and change tyres," said Piepers, who also competes on the Dutch rally championship. "This great result means that we are now joint second in the IRC 2WD Cup drivers' rankings, and we have also boosted Honda's score in the IRC manufacturer standings. What a fantastic weekend!"

Alessandro Mariani, team principal at JAS Motorsport concluded: "We're delighted to have had such a successful result on the first appearance of the Civic Type R in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge this season. To achieve this on the Belgium Ypres Rally, one of the toughest events on the championship, only increases our satisfaction. Despite the scale of the challenge our cars have enjoyed perfect reliability, enabling Honda customers to showcase their talents at the forefront of their classes."

The next round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge is the Rally Russia in Vyborg from July 9-11 Ė where the Honda Civic Type R R3 led its class last year in the hands of British driver Guy Wilks.

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