|Hyundai Motorsport confirms entries for Nürburgring 24 Hours events
- Hyundai Motorsport will run a two-car entry for both the six-hour Nürburgring 24 Hours Qualifying Race and June’s Nürburgring 24 Hours
- The Hyundai Motorsport N team will challenge for victory in the competitive TCR class with one Hyundai i30 N TCR and one Hyundai Veloster N TCR
- Three drivers will share each of the cars for the Qualifying Race weekend, with both crews to increase to quartets for the 24 Hours weekend.
Hyundai Motorsport will continue the 2019 campaign on the Nürburgring Nordschleife with a two-car entry in the Nürburgring 24 Hours Qualifying Race (May 18-19). The six-hour event will form the final chapter in preparations for June’s Nürburgring 24 Hours.
For the Qualifying Race weekend the Hyundai Motorsport N team will enter the two TCR-specification packages – the Hyundai i30 N TCR and Veloster N TCR – built by the company’s Customer Racing department in Alzenau, Germany. Both cars have already had success on the Nordschleife this year in VLN competition, finishing second and third respectively in class at the season opening race. Last year, also, Hyundai left the Nürburgring with a good result, with i30 N TCR taking top three results on three occasions during 2018 – including a double podium in the Qualifying Race.
The cars have enjoyed further success away from the Nürburgring. During its first full year of competition the i30 N TCR scored more than 30 wins, and helped customers collect championships in Asia and the USA, as well as the double of teams’ and drivers’ titles in the inaugural FIA WTCR season. This hugely impressive record has continued into 2019. To date i30 N TCR customers have won twelve races and racked up nearly 30 podiums. The Veloster N TCR was given its competitive debut by Bryan Herta Autosport in January at Daytona International Speedway and scored its first endurance victory with the Hyundai America supported Bryan Herta Autosport team at the two-hour race at Mid-Ohio, Round 3 of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Both chassis will carry the standard endurance pack that is available to customers. The proven two-litre turbocharged engine and six-speed sequential gearbox remain, but an ABS system is fitted, and the cars equipped with a fast refueling kit to enable mechanics to fill the tank in the pitlane. In the 24 Hour race additional lights will be fitted for the night running.
For the six-hour event – the longest Hyundai Motorsport has attended this season – a very strong line-up has been assembled, with each car to be shared by three drivers. In the i30 N TCR Nürburgring specialist Andreas Gülden will rejoin the team, having been part of the line-up that finished second a year ago. He will join two other members of that squad – Manuel Lauck and Peter Terting – in the search for class victory on the famous track.
Terting is now a familiar face in Hyundai TCR machinery. Not only was the German part of the Hyundai team for the Nürburgring events last year when he set the TCR lap record for the event in qualifying, but he has also driven the i30 N TCR in sprint competition in both TCR Europe and TCR Korea. Lauck, a multiple Nürburgring 24 Hours class winner, began his 2019 season at the track as part of the squad to give the Veloster N TCR its European debut in VLN1, but will return to the more familiar surrounds of the i30 N TCR for the longer race.
Marc Basseng, Lauck’s co-driver in the Veloster for VLN1, and a previous overall winner of the 24 Hours, heads the trio in the car for the Qualifying Race weekend. He will be joined by Nico Verdonck – another member of the Hyundai team to boast class wins at the Nürburgring, his coming in 2017 and 2018 - and Moritz Oestreich, the pair hoping for more track time after their planned race debut in the car at VLN2 was cancelled due to heavy snow at the track.
For the Nürburgring 24 Hours both crews will grow to four drivers, with the additional assignments to be announced ahead of that event.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Director Andrea Adamo said: “We have already had good results at the Nürburgring Nordschleife last year and also so far this season. The drivers that will race both the Hyundai i30 N TCR and Veloster N TCR present a very strong line-up for the Hyundai Motorsport N team, and so have a great chance at adding to our short, but successful, history of competing on the circuit. However, we know that endurance racing, especially on the Nordschleife, is a tough task. We take nothing for granted. This is why we have prepared fully for these events by competing in the VLN series and working hard away from the track to make sure the cars are well suited to the challenges ahead.”