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Quinta, 29 Novembro 2018 10:31 | Actualizado em Sábado, 08 Agosto 2020 12:18

Hyundai Motorsport customer results round-up bulletin
  • Portuguese i20 R5 crew Armindo Araújo and Luis Ramalho clinched the national rally championship title with a fourth win of the season at the final round of the year
  • Iván Ares secured second in the Spanish tarmac championship, as i20 R5 crews took a 1-2 finish on the season finale
  • i30 N TCR customers Indigo Racing won the teams’ title in TCR Korea, with driver Byung-Hui Kang crowned champion.
 As the season draws to a close for Hyundai Motorsport’s customers both on the rally stages and in the TCR championships around the world they have been collecting silverware, both in the final rounds of the respective series, and in the overall standings.
Araújo lifts Portuguese title with fourth win of 2018
i20 R5 crew Armindo Araújo and Luis Ramalho lifted the Portuguese Rally Championship crown, clinching the title in some style at the final round of the season. The Team Hyundai Portugal squad scored their fourth win of the year at the Rallye Casinos do Algarve (November 16-17), taking the overall victory by 12.8 seconds after assuming the lead with four stages remaining.
More importantly for the duo, part of the two-car Hyundai effort this year in the national championship supported by Hyundai Portugal, the victory allowed them to extend their advantage at the top of the overall standings to complete a fine season – former WRC driver Araújo’s return to full time rallying following several seasons out of regular action.
Armindo Araujo - i20 R5 - Rallye Casinos do Algarve
Armindo Araujo . i20 R5 - Rallye Casinos do Algarve
i20 R5 1-2 finish complete Spanish tarmac season
The Spanish Tarmac Rally Championship came to a climax with two events in the space of a few weeks, with penultimate event, Rally de La Nucía-Mediterráneo (November 9-10) the prelude to the finale at the Rally Comunidad de Madrid RACE (November 23-24).
At the end of a very strong season, where he and co-driver José Pintor have finished every round of the championship driver Iván Ares finished second in the final standings. The duo ended the season with back-to-back second places, including as part of a 1-2 finish at the season finale to bring their podium tally for the season up to 10. However, with the series’ regulations allowing crews to drop three scores from the 11-round season they were unable to overhaul their title rivals, despite their two DNFs.
The final round of the season was won in dominant fashion by José Antonio Suárez and Candido Carrera in their i20 R5 for their fourth win of the campaign. The pair won all four stages on the opening day to place themselves in the lead, and then held the spot through Saturday’s running as Hyundai drivers set the top times on every one of the tests to finish the campaign.
The result also confirmed Hyundai as manufacturers’ champions in the series for 2018.
Ivan Ares - i20 R5
Ivan Ares - i20 R5
Pace and podium to close the season in France
A total of six i20 R5 customers started the Rallye du Var (November 23-25), the final round of the French tarmac rally championship. Of the group it was Stéphane Sarrazin and Bryan Bouffier who put themselves in the fight for the major positions, ending the middle day of competition in second and third respectively.
That same pace remained with them on the final day, with both men making up time on the overall leader through the closing runs, Sarrazin – in a car prepared by his own team – taking victory on the penultimate stage. However, on the final stage, the longest of the rally at 32km, Sarrazin and co-driver Jacques-Julien Renucci suffered a puncture which dropped them down to sixth overall.
Their misfortune promoted CPI Enjolras crew Bouffier and Cathy Derousseaux up to second overall, with Bouffier ending the season second in the championship, despite having missed a round earlier in the season.
Bryan Bouffier - i20 R5 - Rallye du Var
Stephane Sarrazin - i20 R5 - Rallye du Var
Dominguez takes second in Paraguayan championship
Diego Dominguez completed the rally season in Paraguay second in the standings following the final round the championship at the Rally de Carapegua (November 3-4). Entering the final round within reach of the national crown Dominguez and co-driver Edgardo Galindo made the perfect start to the weekend, with the fastest time in shakedown in the Hyundai Paraguay supported i20 R5.
However, their 2018 season, which includes four national victories – among them the grueling Transchaco Rally – came to a disappointing end before the opening stage. A minor technical problem could not be fixed ahead of the rally, forcing the duo to forfeit their challenge on the event, leaving them helpless on the sidelines for the remainder of the weekend.
Diego Dominguez - i20 R5
Diego Dominguez - i20 R5
Hyundai customers sweep inaugural TCR Korea titles
As well as the double title victory for i30 N TCR customers in the FIA World Touring Car Cup*, there was also a championship win on the circuits in Korea for Indigo Racing and driver Byung-Hui Kang in the new TCR Korea series.
The final round of the series was extremely successful for Hyundai customers, with a total of five i30 N TCR on the grid at the Korea International Circuit (November 3-4). This count included in German Peter Terting, who scored pole position for both races in his debut in the championship. However, it was his fellow Hyundai drivers Dong Gi Noh and Jinsoo Kim who shared the race wins at the circuit.
Noh, in his E-Rain Racing run entry, took a narrow victory in the first race, with Terting completing the podium in third. In the later race Kim took a dominant win, leading home by nearly thirty seconds in his Indigo Racing charge. The celebrations were doubled with Kang coming home third – having already taken two wins in the season – to make sure of both the drivers’ championship and the teams’ crown for the Indigo squad. The result completed an enviable sweep for the i30 N TCR in the country, as Hyundai had previously sealed the series’ manufacturers’ title.
The TCR Korea championship will return with an extended calendar for 2019, taking in six weekends.
Byung-Hui Kang - i30 N TCR - Korea International Circuit
Peter Terting - i30 N TCR - Korea International Circuit
US Customers confirm 2019 plans, Veloster N TCR campaign
American team Bryan Herta Autosport became the first of the Hyundai TCR customers to publically confirm their 2019 plans, taking on a greater role in North America for 2019. As well, as becoming sales and support agents for Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing in the country they will switch championships. For 2019 their primary will be on the IMSA-organised MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series. The team will also become the first to race the Veloster N TCR, tying in more closely to the range of Hyundai road cars available in the US.
However, they will support any customers in the i30 N TCR, racing in the TC America series, where Hyundai won the manufacturers’ title and Bryan Herta Autosport the teams’ championship this year.
Their competitive 2019 season begins at Daytona International Speedway in January.
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Deputy General Manager Andrea Adamo said: “2018 has been a successful season for our customers, both in the Hyundai i20 R5 in rallying and the i30 N TCR on the circuits around the world. In Portugal and Spain we have seen all year both pace and reliability of the i20 R5 in the hands of a number of crews, and that performance has brought just reward in securing the drivers’ title in Portugal and the manufacturers’ championship in Spain. Likewise, in TCR Korea our customers have shown off the capabilities of the i30 N TCR, winning all three titles to add to the considerable success for the car its first competitive season.”
*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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