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World Touring Car Cup

2019 preparations begin for WTCR drivers

Three-day test at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal


Three-day test at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal

The four drivers who will race for our customers in the WTCR next season enjoyed a positive three-day test at the Portimão track in Portugal this week.

Newcomers Nicky Catsburg and Augusto Farfus got their first laps in a TCR-specification car as they piloted the i30 N TCR around the Algarve International Circuit.

Both drivers completed their planned schedules behind the wheel of the car as they prepare for their WTCR debuts in 2019.

“The handling characteristics were very familiar from the front-wheel-drive cars I have competed in before,” said Nicky. “I’m looking forward to learning more about the car in testing over the winter.”

Augusto was quickly at ease. “From my first laps, I felt comfortable, and able to push the car,” he said. “I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly I was able to get up to speed.”

Driving home for Christmas

Track time was shared with 2018 WTCR winner Gabriele Tarquini and his 2018 BRC Racing Team colleague Norbert Michelisz. With the pair’s experience of the i30 N TCR, they were able to work through a number of checks, analysing different combinations of damper and spring settings.

“It was good to be back in the i30 N TCR on a circuit,” said Gabriele, who has enjoyed a break since securing the title in Macau. “We were able to work through some important checks to back up the R&D work that has been done by the engineers. It was also a nice opportunity to work with Nicky and Augusto.”

Norbert added: “With a large number of elevation changes, Portimão is a track where you work the suspension more than many circuits. We now have the knowledge from the test to add to what we learned last season, so we can continue to improve the performance of the car.”

Summarising the three days in Portugal, our Customer Racing Deputy General Manager Andrea said: “Our customers enjoyed a superb first year with the i30 N TCR but we need to work harder now to make sure they remain at the top of the category. This test helped the four drivers who will compete in WTCR in 2019, but gave us more information that we can pass onto our customers for next season.”

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