Hyundai i30 N TCR customers enjoyed their most successful showing yet last weekend (14-15 July), with the car claiming a total of 10 podiums across three championships.

Double win for i30 N TCR to close FIA WTCR European season
i30 N TCR customers BRC Racing Team lead the FIA World Touring Car Cup points’ standings after the three most recent races at the Slovakia Ring (July 13-15). The outfit’s two drivers - Gabriele Tarquini and Norbert Michelisz - claimed a victory each from the weekend.

Tarquini scored his victory in Race 2, following up his pole position and third place in the opening contest, while Michelisz claimed his first win at the wheel of the i30 N TCR in dominant fashion in Race 3 – completing the Grand Slam of pole position, fastest lap and victory as he led every lap on the Sunday finale.

He was nearly joined on the Race 3 podium by MRacing driver Thed Björk, who fought through the field after a difficult qualifying session to cross the line in fourth place only a fraction of a second away from snatching third.

Not only does the BRC squad now lead the teams’ championship, but, courtesy of his Race 2 success, Tarquini also leads the drivers’ standings from MRacing owner/driver Yvan Muller. Muller himself finished in third place in Race 2 to put two i30 N TCR on the podium, however, he now trails Tarquini by the narrow margin of two points as teams and drivers now prepare for the summer break, and the four fly-away events that complete the inaugural FIA WTCR season.

i30 N TCR claims another 1-2 in the USA
In the TCR class of the Pirelli World Challenge the Hyundai America supported Bryan Herta Autosport team delivered a fifth win from seven attempts in the first race of the annual Rose Cup weekend at Portland International Raceway (13-15 July). After missing out on pole position teammates Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis made the decisive moves while lapping slower cars to make their way into first and second respectively, scoring a fourth 1-2 of the season for the i30 N TCR.

In Race 2 Lewis was able to match the pace of the race leader, but could find no way past leader around the 3,1 kilometre circuit scoring consecutive second positions on the weekend to bring his personal tally of 2018 podiums to seven, after eight races of the season.

Hyundai fight at the front of TCR Italy
The i30 N TCR was also at the front of the pack in TCR Italy at Mugello (13-15 July). For the start of the opening race the front row of the grid was made up of two Hyundai – Pit Lane Competizione’s Nicola Baldan on pole position with Eric Scalvini, representing BRC Racing Team, alongside. After the start both were soon part of the fight for first, with both men taking the lead at different points during the battle.

Baldan’s was the last to mount a challenge for the win, with a final lap move that ended with a drag race to the line, and a winning margin of just 0.04 seconds. While he celebrated from the second step of the podium, Scalvini took the silverware for third. Federico Paolino, aboard the second of the BRC Racing Team entries took points for eighth position.

Baldan completed his result in Race 2, springing from seventh on the reverse grid to finish the opening lap in fourth, from where he was able to mount a challenge for the lead following a Safety Car period after a first lap incident. Scalvini had to take evasive action in the fracas, limiting him to only ninth placed finish while his teammate crossed the line in seventh.

Hyundai customers sweep TCR Europe’s Hungarian weekend
i30 N TCR drivers won both races at the fourth round of the TCR Europe championship at the Hungaroring (7-8 July), beating an incredibly competitive field in the process. In the opening event Target Competition’s Dušan Borković scored a third win of the season. The Serbian driver came out on top of a four-way battle for the lead, making up places after qualifying fourth in a difficult session on a wet track. He now lays only a single point behind the championship leader, with the second half of the season remaining.

In Race 2 at the Hungarian track Francisco Mora powered from Pole Position to take a first win at the wheel of an i30 N TCR. He was joined in his podium celebrations by his M1RA teammate Daniel Nagy, who finished second to complete a 1-2 for the squad at the home event. For Nagy, who also scored two podiums at the circuit as a WTCR Wildcard entry in a Hyundai earlier in the season, the second place completed a hugely successful weekend. He was the only man to stand on the podium at the end of both contests - after finishing third in Race 1 - and together the results cemented his third place in the championship, and mean that he will start the final six races of the season as part of the fight for the title.

After being one of those to struggle for a clean lap in qualifying Target driver Kris Richard was able to rely on the race pace of his i30 N TCR to score good points, recording a fifth in Race 1 and seventh in Race 2. In the second encounter he crossed the line one place behind his teammate Reece Barr who continues to show great pace in the car, despite his relative lack of experience in TCR machinery.

The seven Hyundai customer drivers at the event were completed by Igor Stefanovski and Cedric Piro, the latter making his debut in the car run by the Autodis by Piro Sport team.

Fresh from its podium finish in the season-opening round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) at Monte-Carlo, Hyundai Motorsport moves to Sweden where it will compete with three New Generation i20 WRC cars for the first time. The New Generation i20 WRC made a successful debut at Rallye Monte-Carlo helping the team to take its first ever Monte stage wins as well as Power Stage points, and a third place finish. Hyundai Motorsport will now seek to put the New Generation i20 WRC through its paces on the snowy stages of Rally Sweden, where the team secured its debut podium of the 2015 season twelve months ago, with a three-car entry.

Monte-Carlo podium men Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul will return to the #3 car driving for the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team and will be joined by Kiwis Hayden Paddon and John Kennard in the #4 car. Dani Sordo and Marc Martí will participate in their first ever Rally Sweden as Hyundai Motorsport drivers this season, and will represent the Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team in a third New Generation i20 WRC.

Rally Sweden is the WRC’s only true winter round, though it was first run in 1950 as a summer event for 15 years. Since the WRC’s inaugural 1973 running, Sweden’s frozen roads lined with deep snow banks have been an iconic staple of the championship, with the conditions making for exhilarating competition.

Drivers expertly lean their cars against the snow banks to guide them around corners in a slingshot effect. In warmer temperatures, however, drivers must be wary as the banks disintegrate under pressure and catch cars, slowing or stopping them. New features for 2016 include the service park being situated at Karlstad Harbour, a more southerly location than its usual Hagfors airport base. Over a quarter of the special stage distance will be new compared to 2015, providing new challenges for the drivers. Service will be available only at the start and finish of each leg, emphasising to drivers the importance of a consistent approach, with Friday’s itinerary taking in a cross-border visit to Norway.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “We visit Sweden in good spirits following our podium in Monte-Carlo but we know this will be another learning experience for our New Generation i20 WRC. We will be running three new cars for the first time in this rally with Thierry and Hayden in the Hyundai Shell WRT, and Dani - in his first Sweden rally with our team - driving for the Hyundai Mobis WRT. We have some experience of the new car in snowy conditions thanks to our Sweden test in mid-December so we will put this to good use as we prepare for this second round of the Championship. We have a lot of nice memories from Sweden with Thierry’s podium last year a real highlight. We have also had good performances on the legendary Colin’s Crest jump, so we’ll see if we can make it three in a row for a Hyundai Motorsport driver this year! Our three driver crews are motivated following some encouraging performances in Monte-Carlo, so we head to Sweden in determined mood and hoping to be on pace with the front-runners from the outset.”

Neuville (#3 New Generation i20 WRC) took three stage wins and momentarily led Rally Sweden last year on his way to taking second overall. (SS18). The Belgian also laid claim to last year’s Colin’s Crest Award, breaking the record for the longest jump in the Vargåsen stage - a staggering 44m. He returns this year having already achieved a podium at the season-opener.

Neuville commented: “I have very good memories of Sweden, especially from last year when we were fighting for the win until the last stage and ultimately finishing on the podium. It was a great result for us so of course I’m really looking forward to this year’s event, especially with the new car. We had a pretty good start to this season with the New Generation i20 WRC, finding improvements from the car day by day. Taking stage wins and a podium in our first event with the new car was a nice feeling and I hope we can take this forward to Sweden. It could be a really strong event for us so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve.”

Paddon (#4 New Generation i20 WRC) will make his debut with the new car next weekend after a rally of learning in the 2015 specification i20 WRC in Monte-Carlo. The Kiwi had a strong run to fifth in Sweden last year and will be aiming to excel on familiar terrain.

Paddon commented: “Monte-Carlo was full of difficult days, exactly as I expected it to be, but it was a good learning experience. We can look back on a very productive weekend but now I’m looking forward to my first taste of the New Generation i20 WRC. The team made great progress with the new car in Monte-Carlo and it was a real boost for everyone to get a podium. Sweden is a rally I really enjoyed last year and I particularly like rallying on snow. We want to put up a good performance for the team and for ourselves, to try to push towards the top-five for a good result, maybe even on the podium. We had a good run last year and I hope we can have another strong result with the New Generation i20 WRC.”

Sordo (#20 New Generation i20 WRC) attends Rally Sweden for the first time as a Hyundai Motorsport driver, having missed 2015’s event through injury. The Spaniard is keen to improve on his Monte-Carlo result, where he finished sixth and took the team’s first Power Stage points of 2016.

Sordo said: “Sweden is a really nice event and it is really good fun. I like to drive in the snow flat-out, which is a really special sensation. I enjoy this event a lot and can’t wait for my first participation as a Hyundai Motorsport driver. The conditions can be a little bit complicated when there is not really a full covering of ice; when the snow is soft, there is not very much grip. When it is icy and really good conditions, you can push hard because it grips just as well as gravel. I am looking forward to Sweden and building on my experience in the New Generation i20 WRC after making sure I had a safe and reliable start to this season.”

This year’s Rally Sweden will cover 331.21km over 21 stages, starting with the traditional Super Special at the Karlstad trotting track on Thursday night where huge crowds will gather. Drivers will rally across two countries on Friday with a total of eight stages straddling Sweden and Norway.

Saturday will then feature drivers taking on the snowy forests of the renowned Hagfors region with two runs of the classic Rämmen (22.76km) and Vargåsen (24.70km) stages, the latter featuring the Colin’s Crest jump. The exhilarating Hagfors Sprint (1.87km) breaks up the day before it finishes with a repeat of the Karlstad Super Special. Sunday offers two passes of the Lesjöfors (15.00km) and Värmullsåsen (15.87km) stages, the latter run once as the rally’s Power Stage.

Hyundai Motorsport Crews' Info

New Generation i20 WRC #3 
Chassis number: 002
   
 

Thierry Neuville

Nicolas Gilsoul

DOB

16 June 1988

5 February 1982

First WRC event

2009, Rally Catalunya

2007, Rallye Monte-Carlo

WRC starts

60

55

WRC podiums

13

13

WRC wins

1

1

Rally Sweden starts

4

5

Rally Sweden previous results

2012: 12th, 2013: 5th, 2014: 28th, 2015: 2nd

2008: 30th (16th N4 class), 2012: 12th, 2013: 5th, 2014: 28th, 2015: 2nd

New Generation i20 WRC #4 
Chassis number: 001
   
 

Hayden Paddon

John Kennard

DOB

20 April 1987

11 February 1959

First WRC event

2007, Rally New Zealand

1985, Rally Finland

WRC starts

48

56

WRC podiums

1

2

WRC wins

-

-

Rally Sweden starts

2

2

Rally Sweden previous results

2012: 23rd (4th SWRC), 2015: 5th

2012: 23rd (4th SWRC), 2015: 5th

New Generation i20 WRC #20 
Chassis number: 003

   
 

Dani Sordo

Marc Martí

DOB

2 May 1983

1 October 1966

First WRC event

2003, Rally Catalunya

1992, Rally Catalunya

WRC starts

129

164

WRC podiums

38

44

WRC wins

1

3

Rally Sweden starts

6

7

Rally Sweden previous results

2006: 16th. 2007: 12th, 2008: 6th, 2010: 4th, 2012: Ret., 2013: Ret.

1998: 36th (6th A7 class), 2003: 9th, 2004: 5th, 2006: 16th, 2007: 12th, 2008: 6th, 2010: 4th