L.A. Honda World Announces Driver Line Up for IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge
The professional racing team is set to debut the new Honda Civic FL5 Type R
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Southern California-based L.A. Honda World Racing has announced its full season 2023 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge campaign. The professional racing team will feature two Honda Civic Type R TCRs and unveil the brand-new Honda Civic FL5 Type R upon delivery.
The team’s season will begin January 20, 2023 at the Roar Before the 24 which will also mark L.A. Honda World Racing’s five-year anniversary and the debut of its official driver pairings that signal the strongest line-up ever for the team. The team has committed to a full season after getting confirmation from JAS Motorsport and Honda Performance Development (HPD) that they would be one of the first to take delivery of the all-new Honda Civic FL5 Type Rs which were introduced globally on December 12.
Returning 2013 IMSA Champion Mike LaMarra will pair with IMSA veteran and last year’s Daytona winner, Will Tally, in the #73 Honda Civic Type R TCR. Highly regarded Touring Car Racing pro Mat Pombo, along with Honda factory driver and champion Ryan Eversley, will pair up in the #37.
Last year’s tactical four race campaign proved to be a very fruitful practice run for the team as they achieved two pole positions and a TCR track record at Road Atlanta. Wins for the team were in their drivers’ hands if not for race contact and a starting infraction which closed chances for podium opportunities.
“We have always been deeply rooted and committed to Honda and HPD’s Honda Civic Race car program,” said L.A. Honda World’s President and Race Team Principal Mario Biundo. “Our team is celebrating its five-year anniversary racing in TCR and when I take into consideration where we are in timing for a new car, our veteran team and the highly experienced drivers we could put behind the wheel, I had to move forward with committing to a full year championship run. These four drivers have it and we trust the JAS Motorsport and HPD package will be the one to get us our first championship at the end of the year.”
The team’s strength and pairings promise to showcase one of the most aggressive driver lineups the TCR series has seen in a Honda in some time.
"Getting back to full time TCR competition with Honda and a teammate like Mat Pombo is a fantastic opportunity and I couldn’t be more grateful to HPD and L.A. Honda World for making this possible,” said Ryan Eversley. “Not only do we have a great team, but we’ll be moving from the current Civic to the new JAS built race car and that’s very exciting as well. Mario has built a fantastic program and HPD has grown its TCR support program behind the scenes as well, so I think we’re in a great position to fight for a championship this year. Mat and I had a very strong debut as teammates at Road Atlanta and I think we’re only going to get better as we grow as co-drivers.”
With a rich racing background and family legacy of championships, Pombo is looking for his first-ever championship in IMSA and this year looks promising with Eversley as a co-driver.
“Mario and the team at L.A. Honda World Racing have really put an effort in to getting our lineup set and a championship run put together early this offseason,” said Mat Pombo. “The way they push the industry standard in all aspects of touring car racing continually amazes me. To have the opportunity to pair up with my buddy Ryan Eversley puts an extra special stamp going into this season. With the new Honda Civic R FL5 TCR car coming to the states to be developed and released this season for global introduction makes it an extra special and exciting year for us as a team as well. I want to thank JAS, HPD, L.A. Honda World, my teammates and everyone who has put this together. I can’t wait to get to Daytona in January.”
LaMarra, who’s been involved with L.A. Honda World since 2019, is slated to partner with Tally in the campaign.
"I am very excited to be back with L.A. Honda World for a full year IMSA MPC campaign in 2023,” said Mike LaMarra. “I am thrilled to be on a new adventure with co-driver Will Tally while continuing to run under the L.A. Honda World banner with my great friends Mat and Ryan. We will all be working very hard to put these Hondas at the front of this very competitive class. It is a privilege to work alongside so many great people at L.A. Honda World and I am grateful for the opportunity. The new FL5 Civic Type R TCR looks amazing, and it appears that JAS and HPD have designed an awesome new car. I am looking forward to co-driving with Will and working with the entire L.A. Honda World team pushing for great results in 2023."
Tally is no stranger to IMSA and believes his debut in a Honda with three veteran drivers, including Honda’s factory pro, will propel his career to new heights.
“I am excited to be part of this very experienced L.A. Honda World Racing campaign and the evolution of the new Honda TCR platform,” said Will Tally. “Racing in IMSA has been a childhood dream for me. Now, being selected to compete with this powerhouse team and co-drivers makes all the work and training worth it.”
The Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR series is always loaded with talented drivers, highly skilled veteran teams and capable manufacturer-built race cars. The new Honda Civic Type R FL5 can get this team what they are after.
Part of the Honda Performance Development program, L.A. Honda World Racing is the official race team of L.A. Honda World, a factory-authorized Honda dealership in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey, CA.
About L.A. Honda World Racing
L.A. Honda World Racing is an in-house professional racing team based in Southern California and participates in the SRO / TC America and IMSA racing series exclusively racing touring cars built by Honda Performance Development. They are also a factory authorized Honda dealer for American Honda Motor Co. www.lahondaworldracing.com
About Honda Performance Development
Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), has a rich heritage creating, manufacturing, and supporting Honda Racing and Acura Motorsports customers since 1993. From pinnacle racing in INDYCAR and IMSA Sports Cars to commercial racing programs, HPD powers the dreams of professional and amateur racers from age 4 to 40+. HPD is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and leads all of Honda and Acura's high-performance racing programs in North America. HPD specializes in the design and development of powertrain, chassis, electronics, and performance parts, as well as technical and race support. HPD offers parts and race support to Honda and Acura amateur and professional motorsports racers and is continually expanding its palette of racing programs that make Honda racing products available to all racing styles, from karting and Quarter Midgets to the highest levels of pro racing. For more information, visit www.hpd.honda.com