Kaiser Chief's Ricky Wilson to drive new Civic Type R at Goodwood
Lead singer of the Kaiser Chiefs and judge on BBC1's popular Saturday night talent show The Voice, Ricky Wilson has been announced as Honda's ambassador for the new Civic Type R.
The announcement coincides with the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the motoring event that is widely billed as the British Motor Show. Ricky is set to kick off his role as ambassador by piloting the new Civic Type R up the famous hill climb on Saturday 27 June, the day after Kaiser Chiefs play to 65,000 people in Hyde Park with The Who.
In preparation for his drive at the world's biggest motorsport garden party, Ricky secured his National B racing licence at Knockhill last week, under the guidance of Honda BTCC star driver, Gordon "Flash" Shedden. Honda currently leads the 2015 British Touring Car Championship.
Ricky said: "Learning to drive with Flash at Knockhill was an absolute blast and it was incredible seeing how the car handles when driven at speed and what it can do.
"On a serious note, I have learnt an enormous amount of high-performance driving skills from Flash and am nervously confident I can handle the new Civic Type R around the famous hillclimb at Goodwood."
Kaiser Chief fans will be relieved to hear that Ricky has decided on a slow drive and wave to the crowds rather than go flat out up the hillclimb for a recorded time. He becomes the proud owner, this summer, of a blue Civic Type R, complete with the all-new +R mode, which increases the response of chassis and engine for enhanced driving thrills.
After owning a series of old cars, Ricky said of the Type R: "For the first time, I feel like I can trust something at high speed. For a car that's a small road car, it gives you a taste of the race. For something you can walk in and buy in a dealership, I think it's brilliant."
Gordon Shedden, Honda Yuasa Racing driver, added: "Ricky has a natural talent behind the wheel, and we discovered he drove much better when listening to the Kaiser Chiefs when out on the track. His reactions were quick and smooth and I look forward to hearing about his Goodwood experience and living with the car during his time as ambassador."
Created as a race car for the road, the Civic Type R was officially launched to media at the beginning of June and, on the back of positive reviews, the carmaker is now anticipating a five-month wait for new owners.
Leon Brannan, head of car at Honda UK, said: "We are chuffed to bits that Ricky is our ambassador for Type R. It's a car with great racing pedigree that has a huge fan base on the roads. I'm sure Ricky will thrive on the adrenalin that 306bhp through the front wheels brings. I've promised him it'll provide the same rush as playing Glastonbury."