- i20 R5 crews finished 1-2-3-4 on the Rally di Alba, with Craig Breen leading the best ever result for Hyundai Motorsport’s rallying customers on a single event
- Hyundai America supported Veloster N TCR teams from Bryan Herta Autosport claimed all three podium places in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge round at Road America
- Nicolas Gruber leads the TCR Germany points’ standings after he won the opening race of the season on his debut, both in the series and with the i30 N TCR.
Customers with both the i30 N TCR and Veloster N TCR continue to lead the way in their chosen series with a number of wins and podiums in races around the world showing the pace of the packages produced in Alzenau.
Stellar i20 R5 entry dominates Rally di Alba
16 i20 R5 crews lined-up for the Rally di Alba (August 1-2), including some of the leading customers from both Italy and across Europe. With such talent in the cars the rally was a very competitive event between Hyundai teams.
Running with BRC Racing Team Craig Breen led throughout, winning five of the nine stages. He was joined on the podium by Finn Jari Huttunen and his fellow WRC driver Dani Sordo, in the second of the cars fielded by the BRC squad for the weekend. The top four was completed by another i20 R5 crew, sealing the best ever rallying result for Hyundai customers, as Luca Rossetti brought his Friulmotor-run entry home narrowly missing the podium. The position also gave him the best finish of those set to compete in the full Italian WRC series that started with the event.
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Drivers Ole-Christian Veiby and Grégoire Munster finished eighth and ninth – putting a total of six i20 R5 in the top ten to end a weekend which saw the largest Hyundai entry ever for a rally.
i20 R5 crews show good pace on return to international rallying
Craig Breen started his FIA European Rally Championship campaign with a fourth place finish at Rally di Roma Capitale (July 24-26). On his first start as part of Team MRF Tyres, and his debut at the event, the Irishman was a consistent presence in the leading group throughout the stages, never falling out of the top-six.
He was one of five i20 R5 customers taking part in the weekend – which marked the restart of the international rallying season. Customer Racing Junior Driver Grégoire Munster finished an impressive seventh overall, and fourth within the ERC1 Junior class in his second start with the i20 R5. Munster, who is also supported by Hyundai Belgium underlined his pace – and that of his BMA-run car – by setting the best time within the Junior category on the final stages.
The rally also hosted the opening round of the Italian national championship, with Hyundai Rally Team Italia driver Umberto Scandola among those competing for domestic honours. Unfortunately, two minor problems on the opening day put him out of contention for the leading places. However, he showed superb pace on the second day of running. On five of the nine stages he set times good enough for the top-five overall as he aimed to recover some of the lost time.
WRC 2 driver takes dominant win on competitive return
Hyundai Motorsport WRC 2 driver Nikolay Gryazin took a dominant victory at the Rally Rokiškis (July 31-August 1) in Lithuania. In his first competitive start since Rally Mexico the Russian won the opening three stages to establish himself in the lead, taking a 10-second buffer into the overnight halt.
He showed similar pace on the start of the second day of the event. By winning five of the first six stages he more than tripled his lead, and was able to hold that advantage through the final loop to win overall in his i20 R5.
Podium finish starts Spanish tarmac rally season
The Rallye de Ourense (July 24-25) began the season for Iván Ares and the other competitors in the Spanish tarmac rally championship. In an i20 R5 entered under the Hyundai España banner Ares was consistently among the front runners as he took up third position. His consistency was rewarded on the final stage, when he was able to take advantage of a problem for another of the top crews, and moved up to second.
Czech crew take overall podium from Rallysprint weekend
Kowax 2B Rally Team driver Martin Vlček finished second overall on Rally Příbram (July 24-25) to start the Czech Rallysprint season. He showed consistent pace throughout to hold a position on the podium, and only missed out on victory by less than two seconds. Ondřej Bisaha took fourth position in a second i20 R5 on the event.
Podium result the reward in regional Polish event
Polish i20 R5 crews from the Kumiega Racing team finished third and fourth on Rajd Ziemi Głubczyckiej (July 24-25). The two were topped by Łukasz Byśkiniewicz with Marcin Słobodzian close behind in fourth, despite the latter collecting 30-seconds of penalties.
Hyundai America supported team sweeps Road America podium
Three cars from the Hyundai America supported Bryan Herta Autosport swept the podium places in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge round at Road America (July 31-August 1). Starting the team’s #33 entry Ryan Norman quickly made his way to the front of the order, with Spencer Brockman following him into second in the #29 Veloster N TCR. Despite the two-hour race being run at relentless pace – only going under caution in its final moments – the pair were able to break away into comfortable lead over those behind.
Following the pitstops around the half way point of the race to change drivers it was Gabby Chaves and Parker Chase first and second, but now with Mark Wilkins taking the #21 Veloster N TCR started by Harry Gottsacker into third place. Their finish completed another excellent day for the Hyundai teams in the series and extended their advantage in to the points’ standings.
Double victory in dominant start to Eastern Europe campaign
Dušan Borkovič dominated the first weekend of the TCR Eastern Europe season at Grobnik in Croatia (July 25-26). Running with the M1RA team he took pole position for both races, led every lap of both encounters to take both wins and set fastest lap on both occasions. It was a strong start to the season for Hyundai customers with five i30 N TCR in the field.
Maťo Konopka made his first start with the i30 N TCR for the ARC Bratislava team. Despite minimal testing with the car he went second fastest in qualifying and completed the weekend with a pair of third places. Returning to the wheel of his Hyundai Igor Stefanovski started his season by finishing sixth in both races, while young Dušan Kouřil Jr. started his year with new i30 N TCR customers Janik Motorsport as part of the ACCR Czech Talent Team with a pair of top tens.
The same weekend also saw another new Hyundai customer – BM Racing Team – dominate the TCR class in the one-hour ESET Endurance race. Drivers Bartek Mirecki and Szymon Jablonski combined to finish fifth overall in the multi-class contest, as well as setting the best lap of the TCR teams.
Hyundai Team Engstler driver leads TCR Germany after debut weekend
Nicolas Gruber leads the TCR Germany championship after his maiden weekend in the series and with the i30 N TCR, at the Lausitzring (July 31-August 2). The young Austrian – racing with Hyundai Team Engstler – announced his arrival in fine fashion as he jumped from the second row into first at the start of Race 1, and was never headed as he led a 1-3 for the Hyundai Germany backed team with fellow new recruit Antti Buri in third.
Buri, who qualified fastest, repeated his third place result in the reverse grid Race 2 following home Hari Proczyk in his HP Racing International i30 N TCR. Gruber came through the pack to finish fourth to take the early championship lead over teammate Buri and Proczyk to for a Hyundai 1-2-3 in the standings.
i30 N TCR driver holds TCR Italy lead after Misano races
Target Competition driver Marco Pellegrini continues to lead the TCR Italy standings after the series’ two races at the Misano World Circuit (July 31-August 2). He finished third in Race 1, before improving to second the following day in his i30 N TCR to defend the advantage he held after the opening weekend.
He came close to putting an exclamation point on the weekend in Race 2 having led for almost the entire way after quickly making up ground from sixth at the start. However, he was forced wide coming into the final lap, and was unable to retake his position. He was joined on the Race 2 podium by PMA Motorsport’s Felice Jelmini. He had been the fastest in qualifying, but started from eighth on the partially reversed grid – from where he climbed to third.
Ettore Carminati enjoyed another consistent weekend in his i30 N TCR, taking fourth in Race 1 and fifth in Sunday’s Race 2.
Hyundai customers take first win of TCR Russia season
i30 N TCR drivers enjoyed a successful weekend in TCR Russia at the new Igora Drive circuit (July 24-26). Defending champion Dmitry Bragin qualified on the front row of the grid, and easily converted that into a first podium of the season in second place. He was followed onto the podium in Race 2 by Lukoil Racing Team man Ivan Lukashevich and Klim Gavrilov.
Lukashevich took victory after moving up through order from his spot on the partially reversed grid – moving him up to third in the series’ points – with Gavrilov in third. Bragin suffered a puncture after contact early as he, too, tried to make his way up the order. He returned to the track after repairs and was able to climb back into the top ten. However, a penalty after the race dropped him back down the order.
Hyundai Canada Racing driver takes double podium on Veloster N TCR debut
A newly expanded Hyundai Canada Racing team made its debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (July 25-26) with team lead Bob Attrell making his debut with the Veloster N TCR alongside Connor Attrell – taking over duties in the i30 N TCR Bob drove in 2019.
Both parts of the father and son line-up enjoyed strong results in the first of the weekend’s races – Bob taking second place after a three-way battle for the lead for much of 40-minute competition, and Connor finishing fourth. Bob returned to the podium in Race 2 – finishing third despite having to start last following a problem with the series’ timing equipment in qualifying that meant his best lap – fast enough for pole position – was deemed unofficial.
The Rally di Alba was a fantastic weekend for our i20 R5 customers. To have so many at the event, and after a difficult few months for everyone, really shows the caliber of the teams, and the quality of the support we have been able to offer throughout the lockdown period. Of course, the pace of our TCR customers is also great to see now that racing seasons are starting to get back on track. To have drivers running at the front of so many competitive series is great for the Customer Racing department, and without doubt proves the performance of the cars.