FIA WTCR title completes remarkable 2019 for Hyundai TCR customers
– A second WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup title in as many years completed a superb season for Hyundai Motorsport’s TCR customers.
The peak of the global TCR category and international Touring Car competition in general, the 2019 WTCR season included seven different manufacturers, including new names to the category, as well as renewed challenges from more familiar rivals. When Norbert Michelisz clinched the international title he not only succeeded teammate Gabriele Tarquini at the top of the series, but also added an eighth drivers’ crown of the year for those driving the Hyundai i30 N TCR and Veloster N TCR.
The incredible season has also seen Hyundai customers score more than 70 race wins across the world. Those successes have included taking the continental titles of TCR Europe and TCR Asia, thanks to drivers Josh Files and Luca Engstler respectively, and the inaugural TCR Australia championship, which was won in dominant fashion by the HMO Customer Racing team and Will Brown. In TCR Russia, Dmitry Bragin added to his considerable success in the series, taking the title in his first year of racing the i30 N TCR and securing the championship with victory in the final race.
As well as proving the Alzenau-built cars to be among the fastest in the TCR category, the success of the customer teams also promotes Hyundai’s high-performance N range. The links between the road and racing design have always been strong; with development of the TCR machines fed directly back to the engineers refining the production models as a core part of Hyundai Motorsport’s R&D role within the manufacturers’ High Performance Vehicle Division.To capitalize on, and further enhance, this connection several Hyundai subsidiaries have supported Hyundai Motorsport customers in their countries with great success.
In the USA, where the Veloster N TCR made its race debut in January, the Hyundai America backed Bryan Herta Autosport team finished first and second in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge after winning nearly half of the races in the endurance series.
Closer to Hyundai Motorsport’s headquarters, another partnership proved highly successful with Hyundai Germany and Engstler Motorsport combining to take both the drivers’ and teams’ titles from TCR Germany in their first full season working together.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Director Andrea Adamo said: “2019 has been an incredible year for our TCR customers around the world. Norbert Michelisz’s WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup is now the eighth drivers’ title secured by either i30 N TCR or Veloster N TCR customers this season. Together with the continental crowns in TCR Europe and TCR Asia, the title in the first year of TCR Australia and the double of teams’ and drivers’ honours for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge in North America, the success of Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing built-cars has truly spanned the globe this year. This is obviously great for our successful customers, but also for Hyundai as a manufacturer of high performance road-going models which share the same core values as the winning race packages.”
Head of Product Division, Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor Group Mr. Thomas Schemera said: “The WTCR – FIA WorlWorld Touring Car Cup drivers’ title is the perfect way to end a very successful season for Hyundai Motorsport’s TCR customers around the world. The key aim of our TCR projects around the world is to promote the N range and the high-performance capabilities of Hyundai as a manufacturer. This has resoundingly been achieved this season. The Hyundai i30 N TCR and Veloster N TCR built by Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing are proven world-class race cars, and as part of our High-Performance Vehicle business you might be sure that performance is a central part of our current and future road-going N models.”