Building on a successful partnership with Honda Performance Development (HPD) in 2016, Pirelli World Challenge TCB Champion Tom O’Gorman will step up to pilot the brand new 2017 Honda Civic Si in the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car A category. O’Gorman will join long-time Honda and Pirelli World Challenge race team Shea Racing for the effort. This all-new Civic, featuring exclusive racing parts developed by HPD and its partners, will be available to HPD Racing Line customers who wish to build and race their own 2017 Civic Si race machines.
Partnering with HPD in 2016 to campaign a 2015 Honda Fit in Pirelli World Challenge TCB, O’Gorman claimed the Driver’s Championship with a commanding season-long run, claiming four back-to-back wins and finishing no lower than 2nd in each race. “It’s been an honor working with HPD in Pirelli World Challenge and as a development driver at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, and I’m thrilled and humbled at the opportunity to continue working with them in 2017,” says O’Gorman. “I’m also looking forward to joining Shea Racing – I was able to shadow the team before my first World Challenge race in 2015, and have developed a great relationship with Shea working as coaches on SCCA’s Track Night In America program. Their presence in the Touring Car paddock is unrivaled.”
Shea Racing, operated by Team Owner and Driver, Shea Holbrook, has been a long-time Honda racing team, successfully running two Accords in the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge, and looks forward to adding the 2017 Civic Si and Tom O’Gorman to the Shea Racing stable. “Shea Racing is excited about the addition of Tom O’Gorman to our team – his on-track performance and off-track presence make him a great fit for us,” tells Holbrook. “Honda’s passion, reliability, support and proven trackside performances have been the key factors as to why Shea Racing has built a business as a Honda team for seven consecutive years. We are thrilled about the opportunity to continue our relationship with Honda Racing/HPD through our Accord program and the addition of TOMO and the 2017 Civic Si come next season. We are honored to be the home for drivers looking to power their dreams in professional motorsports with the Honda brand.”
The 2017 Civic development vehicle, which can be seen at HPD’s booth at the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis this week, came straight from its debut event, the 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race, where it completed the event, despite incidental contact with another vehicle during the night. Development drivers Tom O’Gorman and Shea Holbrook, along with HPD associates, drove the car during the race, and were excited about the car’s performance, with Tom O’Gorman stating: “The car was amazing throughout the 25 Hours race—we were able to make great strides in the car’s development, getting us faster and faster laps throughout the race, and finish the race without a single mechanical issue. It was a fantastic learning opportunity and impressive debut, I can’t wait to get behind the wheel for the upcoming 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season!”
Following the SEMA debut of the 2017 Civic Body-In-White, a bare-bones Civic that removes the costly and time-consuming process of converting a production vehicle to a race-ready car, HPD is eager to show the completed product, a race vehicle in competition. “We can’t wait to see the 2017 Civic on track,” says Jeff Barrow, Manager of HPD’s Commercial Motorsports group. “Pairing with Shea Racing and driver Tom O’Gorman, will give us an excellent chance to win races and get great feedback as we continue to develop Civic racing parts for our customers.”
Tom O’Gorman, Shea Holbrook, and the Civic race development car will all be at HPD Booth during the PRI show, with specific appearances by Holbrook and O’Gorman on Friday, Dec. 9 at 1:00 PM. The Pirelli World Challenge season kicks off April 28th, 2017 at Virginia International Raceway. Follow Tom O’Gorman online at www.TOMORacing.com, on Facebook (TOMO Racing), and Instagram/Twitter (@tomoracing).