Honda Art Car Jean Graton to make race debut at Zandvoort

Race debut follows the success at Goodwood Festival of Speed, winning most popular design Tiago Monteiro, Honda World Touring Car Championship driver, to race Honda Art Car Jean Graton in latest round of TCR Benelux at Zandvoort

Fresh from a significant victory at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Honda Art Car Jean Graton will make its race debut at Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands this weekend (July 15-17).

A TCR version of the Civic Type R has been entered by the Jean Graton Foundation into the latest round of TCR Benelux at the historic Dutch circuit and will be run by Boutsen Ginion Racing.

Jean-Louis Dauger, Director of Development at the Jean Graton Foundation, will share the Civic TCR with factory Honda World Touring Car Championship driver Tiago Monteiro, who won twice at the series' opening round at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

In deference to Jean Graton's most famous creation, motor racing graphic comic book hero Michel Vaillant, the car will carry the number 13 synonymous with the fictional racer during the past five decades.

The inspiration for the Honda Art Car Jean Graton was the Michel Vaillant Art Stip, 'A Fond!', which depicts him at the wheel of his Formula 1 car in pursuit of a Ferrari through Monaco's tunnel.

The car - in World Touring Car specification - appeared at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as part of the WTCC's Art Car Contest last month. The spectacular design proved incredibly popular with fans, who voted it as their favourite design of the contest.

The Zandvoort event will be fans' first opportunity to see the design dynamically with three races held over two days and the opening-race grid decided by a fan vote.

Jean-Louis Dauger, Director of Development - Jean Graton Foundation, said: "We are very pleased to be giving the Honda Art Car Jean Graton its racing debut at Zandvoort. 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."

Tiago Monteiro, driver, said: "It's really cool to be asked to drive the Honda Art Car Jean Graton at Zandvoort. 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."