Tomita is Honda’s hero in Romania
"The fact that I’m local has its advantages"
Sibiu-based driver Serban Tomita was the hero for Honda when the Intercontinental Rally Challenge visited the historic city, a former European Capital of Culture, for the first time last week.
Tomita claimed ninth in the hugely competitive IRC 2WD Cup to secure 15 points for Honda in the two-wheel-drive manufacturers’ standings. The Japanese firm won the IRC 2WD Cup makes’ title for the first time in 2011.
A regular in the Romanian championship for a number of seasons, Tomita switched to his brother’s Honda Civic Type R especially for the gravel event and promptly scored two IRC points.
"We bought a six-speed gearbox and were pleasantly surprised that we ended so high,” said Tomita. “Of course, the fact that I’m local has its advantages. Perhaps we could have finished in a higher position. But in the end I was too slow and lost two places. During the two last stages, before the superspecial, I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks. I just wanted to reach the finish."
Tomita’s fellow Honda drivers weren’t quite so fortunate. Martin Kangur retired his Catwees Honda Racing entry with a broken fuel tank – caused by an errant rock – having suffered significant delay through a spate of punctures. Romanian driver Grigore Adrian also failed to make it through day one.