Hyundai Motorsport customer results round-up bulletin
- Norbert Michelisz took his first WTCR win of 2019 as both Hyundai i30 N TCR teams in the series moved up the order after a consistent weekend at the Nürburgring
- Bryan Herta Autosport drivers Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis lead the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge standings after finishing second at Watkins Glen in their Hyundai Veloster N TCR
- Hyundai i20 R5 customers claimed overall wins in Spain, Portugal and Slovenia, as well as a WRC2 podium on the gravel stages of Rally Italia Sardegna.
Hyundai Motorsport customers remain among the teams to beat in series around the world, covering track and stage. Drivers and crews lead their respective championships in – among others – the USA, Russia and the UK while others are taking strong results to lift them into the battle for silverware at the end of the year.
Hyundai customers move up WTCR order after Nordschleife weekend
Norbert Michelisz’s first win of the 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup season provided the highlight of a strong showing for the Hyundai Motorsport customer teams in the WTCR Race of Germany (June 20-22) at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Despite the i30 N TCR being saddled with the maximum 60kg Compensation Weight the BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse driver took a commanding win in Race 1 at the famously challenging track. Another top ten in Race 2, together with a fifth place finish for teammate Gabriele Tarquini to finish the weekend helped move the team up to second in the team’s standings. Michelisz himself rose to second in the drivers’ points.
Augusto Farfus celebrated his first WTCR podium in Race 2. A consistent showing for he and Nicky Catsburg – gaining four top tens between them – meant the BRC Hyundai N Lukoil Racing Team ended the meeting up to fourth in the championship.
Podium finish propels Veloster N TCR crew into championship lead
Bryan Herta Autosport drivers Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis lead the TCR standings of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge after finishing second at Watkins Glen (June 28-29). The team’s pair of Hyundai Veloster N TCR were at the front of the field for much of the weekend. The entry shared by Wilkins and Lewis started the four hour contest from pole position in the class and through the middle part of the race the two cars ran first and second as Harry Gottsacker completed a run from the rear of the grid to first in the Herta team’s second machine.
In the second half of the event Mark Wilkins made it clear that the Veloster N TCR was the one to beat. At one point he had built a gap of over 30 seconds over his nearest rival, before a full course yellow undid his hard work. Only another safety car period and a mistaken strategy call during a brief, heavy rain shower allowed the second placed driver to even catch him, let alone move past in the closing laps. However, the second place was enough for Wilkins and Lewis to take the lead of the TCR class points in the Veloster N TCR’s first racing season.
i30 N TCR driver heads TCR Russia standings
Second place in Race 2 of the TCR Russia weekend put TAIF Motorsport man Dmitry Bragin back to the top of the TCR Russia series after the races at the Smolensk Ring (June 22-23). Despite missing out on a spot in the second part of qualifying he was able to move his i30 N TCR up to finish seventh in Race 1, a position that was turned into pole position for Race 2 by the championship’s reverse grid rules. He used that advantage well, finishing on the podium to retake the points lead. In his Lukoil Racing Team entry Ivan Lukashevich also scored a pair of top ten finishes from the weekend, including driving from eighth to fourth in Race 2. He currently sits sixth in the championship.
First TCR UK victory for Lewis Kent
British driver Lewis Kent scored a first TCR UK win in his Essex & Kent Motorsport run i30 N TCR at Donington Park (June 22-23). The youngster scored maximum points in the championship from the opening race at the Midlands track. He was on course to repeat the result in Race 2 until a mistake under pressure through the track’s high-speed chicane forced him out of contention.
Double podium for new team on Baltic Touring Car Championship debut
On his debut in an i30 N TCR DHL Racing driver Ramūnas Čapkauskas scored a pair of podiums from the Baltic Touring Car Championship weekend at Parnu (June 29-30). The driver, who has opted to switch cars mid-season, finished the opening encounter in third place before improving to second in Race 2 and sits second in the drivers’ standings of the series.
Pellegrini adds Imola podium to TCR Italy season
Target Competition driver Marco Pellegrini finished third in Race 1 of the TCR Italy meeting at Imola (June 21-23). After finishing fifth in Race 2 he now sits in third in the championship. The weekend also saw the i30 N TCR debut of Damiano Reduzzi in a car entered by the Trico WRT squad. An eighth place in Race 1 was his best result on track, as he adapted to extremely competitive nature of TCR racing.
1-2 highlights i20 R5 place on Spanish tarmac
Iván Ares took a dominant overall victory at the Rali do Cocido (June 21-22). The pace of he and co-driver David Vásquez was underlined by ten stage wins over the two day event to secure his second success of the season. He ended the rally with more than a minute in hand over fellow Hyundai driver Surhayen Pernía. Pernía started with two stage topping runs of his own and finished second to complete a 1-2 for Hyundai España backed crews with over 30 seconds in hand for his second consecutive second position in the championship.
Second consecutive Portuguese win for Armindo Araújo
Armindo Araújo led three i20 R5 in the top ten overall at the Rali de Castelo Branco (June 22-23) in Portugal. The defending national champion claimed his second win a row in the series, setting the pace on more than half of the weekend’s stages in the process. With Luís Ramalho alongside he led from beginning to end, taking victory by 12 seconds. His Team Hyundai Portugal Bruno Magalhães finished fifth overall, ahead of Racing 4 You driver Manuel Castro; seventh for his best result of the season so far.
Third Slovenian championship win for Rok Turk
Hyundai Slovenia supported driver Rok Turk scored his third victory of the season in the Slovenian national championship. With co-driver Blanka Kacin he won overall at Rally Železniki (June 28-29), which also counted towards the Croatian and FIA CEZ series. Running in a car prepared by the Italian Friulmotor team they missed out on the top time on only two stages – on one occasion to a spin that cost nearly twenty seconds. Happily, though, they had already used their pace to build a margin, so were able to maintain the lead throughout and manage their pace through the final stages to win by nine seconds.
Tom Cave preserves British championship lead with second on Ypres Rally
Following a two month break Tom Cave returned to British Rally Championship action at the Ypres Rally (June 28-29). In the very strong international field attracted for the renowned tarmac event Cave and co-driver Dale Bowen finished a strong seventh overall. More importantly for his campaign in the British Rally Championship he finished second among the national championship runners to keep a hold on the points’ lead with just two rounds of the season remaining.
Jari Huttunen takes second from ERC outing in Poland
Jari Huttunen took his Hyundai Motorsport N entered i20 R5 to second overall at the European Rally Championship round at Rally Poland (June 27-30). Working with co-driver Mikko Lukka for the first time Huttunen was immediately up to speed on the fast gravel stages of the former WRC event. The duo took three stage wins, with top times on the rally opening Super Special and the first two runs of Sunday’s schedule. A strong weekend for i20 R5 customer team Kowax Racing – who also supported Huttunen’s entry – was completed by Kacper Wróblewski who finished in tenth overall, an impressive fifth among the competitors for the Polish championship.
Sébastien Loeb dominates stage times on i20 R5 debut
Making his first competitive start at the wheel on an i20 R5 Sébastien Loeb dominated the stage times at the Rallye Terre du Haut-Var (June 29-30). He won eight of the gravel event’s ten tests in a car entered under the name of his eponymous team. A minor mechanical problem, and more than two minutes of penalties, though limited him to fifth position overall, and third among the crews competing in R5 machinery.
Double podium celebration in Sardinia
i20 R5 customers climbed the podium in both national and international categories at Rally Italia Sardegna (June 13-16). In WRC2 Simone Tempestini scored his first podium with the Hyundai, finishing an impressive 13th overall on the rough gravel stages to give him third place among those competing in the class. Tempestini and co-driver Sergiu Itu were on form throughout the rally. The started with the second best time among all the R5 crews on the opening Super Special, and never dropped out of the WRC2 top five on their way to the rostrum.
In the Italian gravel championship, which shared the opening day’s stages with the international event, Umberto Scandola marked the beginning of a partnership between his S.A. Motorsport team and Hyundai Italy in fine style. With co-driver Guido D’Amore he finished second of the crews entered for the domestic championship.
Hermann Gassner Jr. continues successful German season
Hermann Gassner Jr. eclipsed his previous career best with the i20 R5 in the German national championship, by finishing second in his Gassner Motorsport-run entry at Rallye Stemweder Berg (June 14-15). The result followed a third place at the first round of the season to continue a strong start to the season, which has put him in second in the championship standings. The younger of the two rallying Gassner in the family team he continues to adapt to the R5 machinery having only previously made a handful of starts in the category.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Andrea Adamo said: “Our customers continue to show the performance and reliability of the i30 N TCR and i20 R5, with race wins and podiums across the world. In WTCR, despite being at a disadvantage due to the series’ Balance of Performance and Compensation Weight, the i30 N TCR remains one of the cars to beat, and in the USA the Veloster N TCR now leads the main series for the TCR category in the country. In rallying i20 R5 crews are well positioned going into the second half of their national seasons after strong results in their most recent events, while the second place in Poland and podium in WRC2 in Sardinia shows the pace of the car in the most competitive environments for the category.”