|i30 N TCR drivers reveal race numbers for 2020 WTCR campaign
- The four drivers who will compete for Hyundai Motorsport customer teams in this year’s WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup have revealed their race numbers for the season
- Norbert Michelisz will swap his normal #5 for the #1 as the 2019 winner, while teammate Gabriele Tarquini returns to using the #30 on his i30 N TCR
- Running with a new team for 2020 Nicky Catsburg keeps his #88, while WTCR newcomer Luca Engstler will carry the #8 he has previously sported in national and regional TCR series.
The four drivers who will take the i30 N TCR onto the grid for this season’s WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup have revealed the race numbers and specially designed logos they will use for the year ahead.
The quartet is led by 2019 series winner Norbert Michelisz. Remaining with Hyundai Motorsport customers BRC Racing Team as part of the BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse the Hungarian will shed his normal #5 after winning the title in a thrilling finale at December’s WTCR Race of Malaysia. Instead he will take up the mantle of the #1, inheriting the number – as he did the crown – from teammate Gabriele Tarquini.
Conversely, having had to give up the #1 he carried last year as the series’ inaugural winner Tarquini returns to a race number he has already tasted plenty of success with at the wheel of the i30 N TCR - #30. It was the number he used in 2018 as he won the WTCR title, but was also on the car he drove to victory at the Chinese round of the 2017 TCR International Series in the very first race for the then brand new car.
Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team may be new to WTCR as the second i30 N TCR customer team on the grid, but both their drivers and their race numbers will be familiar.
Despite moving to the new team Nicky Catsburg retains the same #88 that he had on his car for his debut WTCR season last year. His new teammate Luca Engstler, meanwhile, will use his traditional #8 for his first full season of racing in the series. As a wildcard, and then in a one-off appearance with BRC Racing Team in Macau, Engstler used the #6, but will now return to the #8 he has previously raced with on his i30 N TCR in TCR series around the world on his journey up the category to the WTCR grid.
Norbert Michelisz said: “I am very happy to be the defending WTCR winner in 2020, so I am very proud to have the #1 on my car for this season. I really had to think about which number I wanted to use this year. I’ve had the #5 almost my whole career in WTCC, and then since I joined BRC Racing Team so it was tough to change. But I still wanted to have the new number as part of my logo, so the #1 is part of the M of my initials and has the red, white and green of the Hungarian flag for my home country.”
Gabriele Tarquini said: “I have the same wild pig design as last year for my nickname in Italian ‘cinghio’ but with a different number. Obviously I will miss having the #1 on my car for WTCR this year, and I want to have it back so I have chosen the same number I had when I won in 2018! But for me the #30 is very special. I’ve had a lot of success with the Hyundai i30 N TCR and the #30, both in WTCR and also when I first started racing the car, so it brings back some very happy memories and hopefully we can have some more results to celebrate this year.”
Nicky Catsburg said: “Even though I am with a new team for this year I have the same number and logo as I had for my debut season in WTCR. I choose the #88 because it is a nice reminder of home when I am away at the race track. I got married on the eighth of August and have the #88 with me gives me a nice connection back to my family while I am competing. Of course, having that number earns me some extra credit from my wife, and it means I’m not likely to forget my wedding anniversary because I’m racing!”
Luca Engstler said: “Since I started to do any sport my number has always been #8. It began when I was playing football, and then when I moved into motorsport, racing in karting, Formula 4 and finally TCR series around the world. I originally chose it because my birthday is March 8, but I never changed it, except for the times where I am the champion! Apart from then I would like to keep the #8 for the rest of my racing career, so it’s quite good that the number – on its side – represents infinity.”