Michel Vaillant-Inspired Honda Art Car to Make Race Debut at Zandvoort
After proving victorious at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Michel Vaillant-inspired Honda Art Car Jean Graton will be making its race debut this weekend in the Netherlands at Circuit Park Zandvoort.
The Jean Graton Foundation has entered a TCR version of the Civic Type R into the latest round of TCR Benelux, which will be run by Boutsen Ginion Racing at the historic Dutch circuit.
The Jean Graton Foundation’s Director of Development, Jean-Louis Dauger, will share the Civic TCR with factory Honda World Touring Car Championship driver Tiago Monteiro.
“We are very pleased to be giving the Honda Art Car Jean Graton its racing debut at Zandvoort,” said Dauger. “The response to the car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was incredible and we’d like to thank everybody who voted for it to win the WTCC Art Car Contest by showing it off in a dynamic way in TCR Benelux. Michel Vaillant has had many incredible successes throughout his racing career and we’re aiming to add to that list this weekend. I will have an exceptional co-driver in Tiago Monteiro—one of the best drivers in touring car racing—and a great team in Boutsen-Ginion Racing preparing the car, so we are aiming high.”
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The Honda Art Car Jean Graton was specifically inspired by the Michel Vaillant strip “A Fond!,” which shows the comic book character driving his Formula 1 car through Monaco’s tunnel as he attempts to overtake a Ferrari. The Art Car will carry the number 13, another reference to comic book character Michel Vaillant.
The look proved popular at Goodwood, where fans voted it as their favorite design of the contest. Driver Tiago Monteiro is also a fan of the car’s styling.
“It’s really cool to be asked to drive the Honda Art Car Jean Graton at Zandvoort,” Monteiro said. “The car looks absolutely stunning and I’m sure we can have a strong result too. I already have experience of TCR Benelux after racing—and winning—at Spa-Francorchamps in May and I’m looking forward to having another go.
“The cars are fun to drive and I really like some of the elements of the weekend such as the fan vote for pole position—so don’t forget to vote for us! Zandvoort is a fantastic circuit with so much motorsport history—and it’s where I made my World Touring Car debut in 2007 too, so I have good memories of the place.”
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