The second season of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) will feature four of our i30 N TCR cars with a quartet of drivers confirmed for 2019.
2018 champion* Gabriele Tarquini and Norbert Michelisz will both hold Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing driver status after helping BRC Racing to second in the team’s standings with six wins between them.
“I am very happy to be returning to the series to defend my title with a Hyundai in 2019,” said Gabriele. “Next year I expect the racing to be even closer with more manufacturers and more drivers.”
Norbert added: “Everybody saw in 2018 how strong the i30 N TCR is in the FIA WTCR. Together we had a very strong season. In 2019, we should be able to race at the front again, especially with added support as Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing drivers.”
Joining Gabriele and Norbert will be Nicky Catsburg and Augusto Farfus, who will get their first taste of WTCR next season. Neither driver is a stranger to top-flight touring car competition, despite being new to Hyundai and to TCR-specification machinery.
Augusto is a familiar name in endurance racing circles, as well as in the German DTM series. He twice finished third in the WTCC, with a total of 15 victories.
“After seeing the level of competition in WTCR, I am very excited to be joining the grid for 2019. It will be a new challenge, as I have not driven a TCR car before – in fact the last time I raced in front-wheel drive was back in 2006.”
Dutchman Nicky has a pair of victories to his name in the WTCC, along with a successful career in GT racing, including podiums in 24-hour races at the Nürburgring, Daytona and Spa-Francorchamps.
“I am really happy to return to touring car racing by entering the WTCR,” he said. “I have worked with Gabriele and Augusto before, and Norbi I know well from my WTCC times. I honestly can’t wait to work together with them next year.”
Building on success
The inaugural WTCR season proved incredibly successful for our i30 N TCR with drivers amassing 13 wins and 30 podiums. Our customer teams finished first and second in the teams’ standings with their drivers filling three of the top-four spots.
All four of our drivers for 2019 will get their preparations underway in January with a three-day test at the Portimao circuit in Portugal. The exact driver line-up for the season, as well as the names of the teams for which they will drive will be announced at a later date.
Our Customer Racing Deputy General Manager Andrea said: “The 2018 FIA World Touring Car Cup was obviously very successful for our i30 N TCR customers. However, 2019 looks as though it will be even more competitive. We will have four fantastic drivers racing with our customers, each of whom is capable of lifting the title. We can now focus on working with them and the teams over the winter to make sure they are in the best possible position at the start of the new season.”
*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA