Hyundai Motorsport customer results round-up bulletin
- Race 2 victory at Ningbo International Speedpark helped BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse’s Norbert Michelisz into the lead of the FIA WTCR standings
- A near-perfect weekend for i30 N TCR drivers, including 1-2-3 finishes in both races in TCR Germany at Hockenheim gave Hyundai customers the championship lead
- Tom Cave won every stage on his way to a dominant victory in the final round of the British Rally Championship.
Wins around the world have underlined the pace of the Hyundai i30 N TCR. A final race victory in Russia sealed the championship title for one Hyundai customer while other successes in both international and national series have left Hyundai drivers at the top of points’ standings at crucial points in the season. i20 R5 crews, likewise, have used the performance of the car to take important points and podiums in their search for glory.
Sunday success gives Michelisz WTCR points lead
Race 2 victory at Ningbo International Speedpark (September 13-15) helped Nobert Michelisz to the lead of the FIA WTCR championship standings as the series began its Asian leg in China. The Hungarian enjoyed a strong start to the weekend, chasing home the podium places to finish fourth in Race 1 to cut his championship points’ deficit. The following day he erased it altogether with the victory in the first of two encounters on Sunday to move into a 16 point lead at the top of the series. He scored his third win of the season at the head of 1-2 for the BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse team completed by Gabriele Tarquini.
The Italian returned to the podium in third place in Race 3, ahead of BRC Hyundai N Lukoil Racing Team driver Augusto Farfus in fourth place for the team that also scored points with top tens for both Farfus and Nicky Catsburg in Race 1.
Bragin seals Russian title with finale victory
Dmitry Bragin completed a championship winning season in TCR Russia in excellent style, clinching the title with victory in the last race of the season. The finale weekend at Sochi Autodrom (September 6-8) was near perfect for Bragin and his fellow i30 N TCR driver Ivan Lukashevich. Driving for Lukoil Racing Team Lukashevich took pole position and then dominated Race 1 to score a first win at the wheel of a Hyundai after a superb display that also saw him set the fastest lap. Bragin meanwhile finished fifth, extending his championship lead ahead of Race 2.
Starting that contest from the front row Bragin made his way to the lead, and was then able to control the pace at the front to take a third win of the year, and with it the championship crown.
Superb weekend gives i30 N TCR drivers crucial championship advantage
i30 N TCR drivers sit first and second in the TCR Germany standings after a near-perfect showing at Hockenheim (September 13-15). Hyundai customers occupied the front two rows of the grid after qualifying. Hari Proczyk topped the single-lap timesheets to take his third pole position of the season, ahead of Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Driver Andreas Bäckman – joining the series as a guest entrant for the weekend along with sister Jessica – in second ahead of Hyundai Team Engstler teammates Théo Coicaud and Max Hesse. In the race Proczyk escaped into the lead from the start while the Engstler pair battled for the remaining podium spots. It was Hesse who won the battle of the Hyundai Germany supported drivers to take second, but Coicaud who underlined his pace with fastest lap on his way to a first podium of the year.
Victory for Hesse in Race 2 – his third maximum score in four events – moved him into the championship with just one weekend left in the season. Behind Jessica Bäckman, who converted fourth on the grid into an excellent second Proczyk completed the podium in third to seal the second i30 N TCR 1-2-3 of the meeting and keep up his pursuit of Hesse, and the championship title.
Double victory for i30 N TCR on TCR China debut
Luca Engstler’s superb season with the i30 N TCR continued at Ningbo International Speedpark (September 13-15) as he made his debut with the car in TCR China. The Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Driver took pole position and then commandingly led Race 1 from start to finish. In Race 2 he had to come from eighth on the partially reversed grid, but needed only a handful of laps to climb to the lead before pulling away to repeat as victor with a 15 second advantage at the front of the field.
Home victory at Brno continues strong TCR Eastern Europe campaign
Czech driver Dušan Kouřil Jr. continued his strong form at his home round of the TCR Eastern Europe series at the Brno Circuit (September 6-8). After scoring his maiden TCR win at the previous round he returned to the top step of the podium in Race 1 thanks to a lights-to-flag victory after starting from pole position. In Race 2 he was part of a three-way battle for the lead, eventually finishing second, just 1.7 seconds behind the winner. The excellent results now mean he sits third in the points, despite missing the opening weekend of the season.
Podium stretches points lead ahead of IMSA finale
Bryan Herta Autosport pairing Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkins extended their lead at the head of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge championship standings with second place in the TCR class at Laguna Seca (September 12-14). The team’s two Veloster N TCR started from the front row in class – Lewis starting on pole ahead of Mason Filippi in the sister car – and both featured in the lead battle through the race. However, when a minor problem for the entry Filippi shared with Harry Gottsacker knocked them a lap down the way was cleared for their teammates to take advantage on track and in the series’ standings. They did just that, taking a podium spot and extending their lead in the points to 11 ahead of the season finale at Road Atlanta.
Hyundai Portugal supported driver closes in on championship lead
Second place on the Rali Terras d'Aboboreira (September 6-7) allowed Bruno Magalhães to close on the leader of the Portuguese rally championship, with just two rounds of the championship remaining. The Team Hyundai Portugal driver was the early leader after topping two of the first three stages. His pace remained strong throughout the rally – never outside the top four times – as he went to finish second. Teammate Armindo Araújo was also a stage winner and was on course for the overall podium before a minor mistake forced him to retire from the event.
However, the rally still finished with three i20 R5 in the top ten overall, thanks to Racing 4 You teammates Paulo Meireles – who completed the top five – and Manuel Castro, who finished eighth.
Pernía joins championship challengers after consistent run to second place
Second place overall on the Rally Princesa de Asturias - Ciudad de Oviedo (September 13-14) boosted Surhayen Pernía’s chances of a first Spanish tarmac championship crown. With co-driver Alba Sánchez González he remained consistent as many of his nearest rivals for the national title suffered problems in the first event following the mid-season break in the 11-round campaign. Among those he made up ground on was his fellow i20 R5 driver Iván Ares, who twice topped the stage times on the opening day to sit second at the overnight halt. However, he would fall out of the rally after damaging the car on the second day on competition.
Dominant victory completes strong British championship campaign
Tom Cave dominated the final round of the British Rally Championship – the Galloway Hills Rally (September 14). Driving his PCRS run i20 R5 Cave won all eight stages of the gravel roads to win overall by nearly a minute. The result, his third victory of the championship’s season, completed a strong year for the Welshman that ended with him second in the series’ points. The Scottish event was a strong one for Hyundai customers as drivers Alan Carmichael and Enda McCormack both joined Cave in the top ten overall, in seventh and tenth respectively.
Hyundai customers enjoy strong showing on Polish stages
Four i20 R5 crews finished in the top ten positions of the Rajd Śląska (September 5-7), the latest round of the Polish national championship. The group was led in the final standings by Kowax Racing driver Kacper Wróblewski, who finished fourth overall. Three more Hyundai customers followed in sixth – Maciej Lubiak, who also claimed a stage win on SS3 to start the second day’s competition – seventh and eighth – Rally Technology teammates Zbigniew Gabryś and Daniel Chwist. The i20 R5 was thus the most popular car among the top finishers, with a fifth example – driven by Zbigniew Cieślar – ending the event in 13th overall.
i20 R5 runners take top tens on French tarmac championship’s return
Quentin Giordano and Jordan Berfa both took their i20 R5 to top ten finishes as the French tarmac rally championship resumed after its summer break at the Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine (September 6-7). Giordano started the event strongly, with the second best times on both of the first two stages and, despite having to replace a punctured tyre on the final test, completed the top five in his Sarrazin Motorsport prepared entry. Meanwhile, in a car run by Turbo ABP Competition, Berfa finished in seventh place.
i20 R5 1-2 on Welsh closed roads event
Osian Pryce marked his debut in an i20 R5 with overall victory on the Rali Bae Ceredigion (September 8) at the head of a Hyundai 1-2 at the top of the closed roads rally. Pryce and second placed finished Tom Cave combined to win seven of the itinerary’s eight stages as they dominated the event. Their pace kept them closely matched throughout the weekend, eventually finishing less than eight seconds apart.
Maiden podium for Chilean championship i20 R5 runners
Point Cola Racing driver Martin Scuncio finished third on the Gran Premio de Curicó (September 6-8) in Chile. The result gave the Argentinian, taking on the event with Chilean co-driver Javiera Roman, as part of his Chilean national series campaign his first overall podium at the wheel of his i20 R5. The finish was also his best career finish in the national championship as he continues to gain mileage in his first season rally a four-wheel-drive car.
Hyundai Motorsport Senior Sales Associate Andrew Johns said: “In the last few weeks our customers have been incredibly successful. We have been able to celebrate a Hyundai i30 N TCR driver winning the title in Russia, crucial race victories in FIA WTCR and TCR China as well as a superb weekend closer to home in TCR Germany. This really shows how strong the i30 N TCR – and the Hyundai Veloster N TCR as seen at Laguna Seca – is within the TCR class at this crucial point in the season. Similarly our Hyundai i20 R5 many of our i20 R5 customers are very well positioned in their points’ standings, with Tom Cave already having claimed a third win of the season to clinch second in the UK championship.”