Hyundai Motorsport customer results round-up bulletin

  • Norbert Michelisz claims three podiums from the back-to-back FIA WTCR weekends
  • Bryan Herta Autosport score a first win with the Hyundai Veloster N TCR in the two-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Mid-Ohio
  • A first victory of the Spanish tarmac season at the Rally Villa de Adeje lifts Hyundai i20 R5 driver Iván Ares into the lead of the championship standings.

- Hyundai Motorsport’s TCR customers continue to compete all over the world, with teams from Australia the latest to make their debuts with the i30 N TCR.

American customers Bryan Herta Autosport added further to the success of the cars, as they scored the first endurance race victory for the Veloster N TCR. Our i20 R5 customers maintain their chase for stage wins, as well as overall glory, with several crews involved in close results at the very front of events.

Consistent weekends yield points for FIA WTCR customers

i30 N TCR teams enjoyed a consistent showing at the back-to-back FIA WTCR weekends in Slovakia (May 10-12) and Netherlands (May 17-19). BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse driver Norbert Michelisz was the main beneficiary from the two events, collecting three podiums – a second and third at the SlovakiaRing, and a third place finish in Race 3 a week later at Zandvoort.
 
Moreover, each Hyundai driver showed the performance of the car during the events. BRC Hyundai N Lukoil Racing Team’s Nicky Catsburg took both pole positions on offer at the earlier weekend. His teammate Augusto Farfus turned in a season high fourth in qualifying for Race 3 in Holland, holding the place through the race to score his best result so far. In Slovakia the Brazilian proved able to climb the order in Race 1 in Slovakia moving from 19th to fifth, while Gabriele Tarquini went from 18th to sixth. All five i30 N TCR at the Race of Slovakia weekend finished the first race in top ten, the result completed by Luca Engstler – taking advantage of a wildcard entry. Despite the additional weight given to the one-off entrants, he was able to gain four places to finish 10th on his WTCR debut.

Veloster N TCR gives Hyundai historic IMSA victory

Bryan Herta Autosport scored a first win with the Veloster N TCR in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition in the two-hour race at Mid-Ohio (May 3-4). The team’s experienced driving duo of Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis made the most of changing conditions to move up from their sixth placed start to challenge for the lead in the opening stint.
 
Having braved the worst of the rain on slick tyres, waiting for a drier track, the closing stages of the contest saw the Hyundai America backed team not only fighting for the lead of the TCR class, but also through the faster GT4 field. Incredibly the pair finished fifth overall to secure the historic victory for the team. The result moved the duo up to second in the points’ standings. Their teammates Harry Gottsacker and Mason Filippi, who previously held that spot, were also part of the lead battle. However, they lost out in the final sprint to the finish, coming home seventh in class.

Double victory on dominant weekend for i30 N TCR in China

Luca Engstler leads the TCR Asia series’ standings after the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Young Driver took both victories on offer from the championship’s meeting at the Zhuhai International Circuit in China (May 4-6). The weekend proved to be enormously successful for the i30 N TCR customers at the track. Liqui Moly Team Engstler teammates Engstler and Diego Moran locked out the front row in qualifying for Race 1, and the former launched into a lead he was to hold throughout the race. Meanwhile, Solite Indigo Racing driver Pepe Oriola drove up from sixth on the grid to complete an i30 N TCR 1-2. More was to come in Race 2. Rain that arrived mid-race caught on some on track. However, the Hyundai trio of Engstler, Moran and Eurasia Motorsport’s Daniel Miranda made the best of the tricky conditions to provide an all i30 N TCR podium to complete the event.

Podiums for Russian squads from round 2 of national series

The two i30 N TCR customers competing in TCR Russia took a second place apiece from the series’ races at the NRing in Nizhny Novgorod (May 18-19). Lukoil Racing Team driver Ivan Lukashevich qualified second quickest, only being robbed of pole position by a final flying lap in the session. He backed up the single lap pace with a first podium in an i30 N TCR in Race 1. In the reverse grid Race 2 Dmitry Bragin started from fifth. However, the defending series champion moved through the order to second before two interventions by the safety car following incidents thwarted any intentions he had on challenging for a second win of the year.

Double i30 N TCR victory on historic TCR weekend in Australia

Some of the latest i30 N TCR customers starred in the first ever races of TCR Australia at Sydney Motorsports Park (May 17-19). Three cars were entered for the weekend – Will Brown and Nathan Morcom representing HMO Customer Racing, and Michael Almond running for Garth Walden Racing. Almond topped both Friday sessions. However it was Brown who took on the role of the best of the Hyundai drivers in qualifying to set the fourth best lap. He maintained his pace in Race 1, pressuring the polesitter for second to start the championship with a third place finish.
 
Brown lined up third for Race 2. In the early laps he moved up to second and then took the lead following a brief safety car period. The finale followed a similar pattern – Brown making his way through the podium places to challenge for, and eventually take, first position to complete a fantastic double. The opening weekend finished on a high for Hyundai customers. Not only did Brown’s second win leave him top of the championship standings, but Race 3 finished with a second i30 N TCR on the podium, in the form of Almond picking up third place.

Maiden win for Target Competition Hyundai at Misano

Marco Pellegrini took a dramatic victory in Race 1 of the TCR Victory at the Misano World Circuit (May 18-19). Having moved over to drive the Hyundai for the full season this year he was able to slice through the order in the second half of the race as competitors increasingly struggled with their own cars. After moving from fourth to first over the space of four laps, he led the final three laps and withstood pressure from those behind to take his first victory in the series.

Hesse heads Hyundai drivers as TCR Germany visits the Czech Republic

Hyundai Team Engstler driver Max Hesse maintained his strong start to the TCR Germany season, holding second position in the championship at Autodrom Most (May 17-19). Hesse and HP Racing International’s Hari Proczyk made it an i30 N TCR double podium in Race 1 at the Czech circuit, finishing second and third respectively. Hesse was the best of the Hyundai contingent again in Race 2. He climbed the order in the reverse grid race to finish fifth, one spot ahead of Lukas Niedertscheider. Théo Coicaud, in the second Hyundai Germany supported car from Team Engstler, and Proczyk finished seventh and eighth.

Second place on debut for new Czech customer team

Dusan Kouril Jr. began his TCR Eastern Europe season at the Red Bull Ring (May 17-19). The Czech driver – still getting to grips with his new i30 N TCR finished Race 2 in second place, showing that more is to come from him during the first season of the new series.

Double podium propels Ares to Spanish championship lead

The Spanish tarmac championship provided podium results for Hyundai i20 R5 customers on back-to-back weekends on the Canary Islands. First, on the Rally Islas Canarias (May 2-4), where the national championship combined with the European Rally Championship, Iván Ares finished sixth overall – more importantly second of those entered for the Spanish series – ahead of fellow Hyundai España backed i20 R5 driver Surhayen Pernía, joining him on the podium to claim the points for third.
 
A week later at the Rally Villa de Adeje (May 9-11) i20 R5 customers dominated. Hyundai crews won the R5 class on every single stage, Ares alone accounting for nine as part of a tight battle for victory. His rival José Antonio Suárez collected five top times of his own – including the event’s Power Stage. At the finish the pair were split by just 6.8 seconds. Ares collected his first win of the season, the points moving him into the championship lead, and Suárez his first podium finish of the year.

Araújo takes first podium in Portuguese title defense

Defending champion Armindo Araújo claimed second place at the Rali de Mortágua (May 3-4) in Portugal. The Hyundai Team Portugal driver came close to taking the victory when the fastest time on the penultimate stage left him less than nine seconds off the leader. However, he remained second to secure his first podium of the season. He was joined in the top five by Paulo Meireles. His fifth place on the gravel stages was his best result to date in the Racing 4 You prepared i20 R5.

Second overall win for Hyundai Slovenia crew

Only a week after winning his first event in a Hyundai Rok Turk added a second success in the car to his CV at Rally Opatija (May 3-5). The Hyundai Slovenia backed driver dominated. He set the best time on five occasions, and only lost the overall lead for a single stage, on the way to victory by more than 90 seconds. The event, also welcomed Hungarian crew Lovász Pál and his LPWM Sport entry. After starting the weekend with the fourth best time they were a fixture in the top five overall, eventually finishing fifth.

Fourth place on i20 R5 debut for Umberto Scandola

Umberto Scandola made his first competitive start at the wheel of an i20 R5 at Rally Adriatico, the opening round of the Italian gravel championship. Still learning to get the best from his new S.A. Motorsport run charge finished fourth overall. In a strong event for the Hyundai customer crews their teammate Luca Hoelbling– also making his i20 R5 debut - finished seventh overall.

Podium keeps Hyundai Paraguay team atop national series

Hyundai Paraguay backed driver Diego Dominguez protected his lead in the national championship standings by finishing second overall at the Rally de Guairá (May 11-12). Dominguez was part of a close battle for the lead throughout the two-day event. After winning one stage of the four on the opening day they met the overnight halt less than 6 seconds in arrears to the leader. The duo then won three consecutive stages to close the event, but could only chase the leader to the end of the rally, just three seconds behind at the end of the weekend.

Third consecutive podium in Madeira series

Miguel Nunes continued his strong start to the Madeira rally championship season by taking a third consecutive podium of the year at the Rali da Calheta (May 10-11). In another close battle for the lead Nunes finished just 10 seconds off the lead. After moving up to second following the two stages that started the rally in darkness Nunes was a constant in the lead group, maintaining the pressure on the overall leader. His rally finished with the best times on the final two stages to cut the gap further as he continues to show the performance of the car on the roads of the Portuguese island.

Germany crew takes class podium on French gravel

Sarrazin Motorsport driver Dominik Dinkel completed the R5 class podium at the Rallye Castine - Terre d'Occitanie (May 4-5). The German, co-driven by compatriot Christina Fürst, moved up the order from the start of the rally. A pair of top-three times in the R5 class to start the second day of running allowed them to reach the top five overall. They held the position through to the end, finishing the event with a second fastest time in class to complete their best weekend in the i20 R5 to date.

Customer’s career best result on French tarmac

Raphaël Astier scored a first career podium in the French tarmac championship at the Rallye d’Antibes – Côte d’Azur (May 18-19). In the CPI Racing owned i20 R5 he ran a consistent rally. He finished the opening stage tenth fastest and only moved forward to complete the opening day in fourth place overall. He gained the final spot necessary to stand on the podium on the final stage, also taking second position in the Amateur R5 Trophy category that runs within the national championship.

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing is now a global presence in motorsport. The beginning of the new TCR Australia series, with three cars in competition takes the department into another fresh market and championship. They have immediately enjoyed success to match our other i30 N TCR, and now Veloster N TCR customers worldwide. Those same results are shown by our growing number of i20 R5 customers, who have the capability of challenging for victory on every event they enter, thanks to the performance and reliability of the car. It is very rewarding to see them take such strong results in such a great number of championships.

Andrea AdamoHyundai Motorsport Team Director