Touring Car Racing World Tour

Preview Kumho FIA TCR WT Vallelunga

The 2024 Kumho FIA TCR World Tour kicks off at Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi from April 19-21

The 2024 Kumho FIA TCR World Tour kicks off at Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi from April 19-21

BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse’s bid for a hat-trick of drivers’ titles in the top-level TCR category begins in Italy this weekend when the 2024 Kumho FIA TCR World Tour gets under way.

And with Néstor Girolami joining 2023 TCR World Tour winner Norbert Michelisz and Mikel Azcona, who claimed title honours the previous season, Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing can count on a stellar trio to pilot the new-look Elantra N TCR.

The Elantra N TCR’s 2024 appearance reflects the latest facelift applied to the road-going Elantra N, which was launched in September 2023, offering the benefits of improved front aerodynamics. BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse also adopts the N Motorsport colours worn by the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid, a winner in this year’s FIA World Rally Championship.

Opening-round venue Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi launches a season of global touring car action with the Kumho FIA TCR World Tour also stopping off in Morocco, USA, Brazil, Uruguay, China and Macau.

Located close to Rome, Vallelunga is a happy hunting ground for Hyundai Motorsport’s customers after Michelisz led home Azcona in a one-two finish when the TCR World Tour visited Italy last June.

As well as tweaking the vastly successful Elantra N TCR, Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing has enhanced its driver line-up further with the addition of Argentine Girolami.

Hyundai Motorsport Circuit Racing Project Manager Julien Moncet said: “The Vallelunga weekend is the start of a very big season for Hyundai Motorsport in the Kumho FIA TCR World Tour. We have a new look for the Elantra N TCR as we bring the latest facelift to reflect the latest changes to the road car to the track, which also brings some improvements to the aerodynamics. We also have a new driver with Néstor Girolami, bringing the number of Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing drivers in the series to three and boosting our chances of winning the titles at the end of the year. BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Norbert Michelisz and Mikel Azcona have proven many times they are a very strong team with titles in 2022 and 2023. We know that this season will be very competitive like always but we know we have the team to be at the front of the grid this year as well.”

Driver Notes: #196 Mikel Azcona (ESP), Hyundai Elantra N TCR

  • Spaniard finished fifth in the 2023 TCR World Tour driver standings with one win at La Pedrera
  • Helped BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse to a dominant one-two result in Race 1 at Vallelunga in 2023

Azcona said: “Vallelunga is great place for us to start the Kumho FIA TCR World Tour season so I’m looking forward to the weekend. As a team, we come to the track with some good information from our testing last month. I’ve finished on the podium the last two times we raced there and last year me and Norbi had a 1-2 finish. It’s one of my favourite tracks on the calendar. It’s very challenging because it’s a combination of high and low speed and medium corners, so you have everything. There are some very hard braking zones as well where you need to be precise on braking points, but you can do some overtakes there. There’s always high tyre degradation, especially with the front-left, which is very hard to keep alive for the whole race.”

Driver Notes: #105 Norbert Michelisz (HUN), Hyundai Elantra N TCR

  • Michelisz took the 2023 TCR World Tour crown, his second top-level TCR title, with four victories
  • As well as winning at Vallelunga, the Hungarian triumphed at Portimão, Bathurst and Macau

Michelisz said: “I’m really looking forward to starting the Kumho FIA TCR World Tour season at Vallelunga. Last year, I really enjoyed the weekend there. I qualified on pole position and won the first race in a 1-2 for BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse. We have had some days of testing at the track to prepare ourselves, so we can start with some more strong results. However, the first race of the season always comes with some big questions that we cannot answer until after the first practice session, or even qualifying. We know that the other teams will have been working and testing themselves, but with the new-look car and three Elantra N TCR drivers on track we can have another good weekend to start the year.”

Driver Notes: #129 Néstor Girolami (ARG), Hyundai Elantra N TCR

  • Girolami set to make his competitive debut in Hyundai Motorsport-built machinery at Vallelunga
  • Argentinian has been a fixture at the top level of international TCR competition since 2019

Girolami said: “The start of each new season is always exciting – to start racing again after the winter but beginning the 2024 Kumho FIA TCR World Tour in the Elantra N TCR and BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse makes this weekend in Vallelunga even more exciting. The team have been really welcoming and we’ve worked hard through pre-season testing. I’ve have a good feeling for the car already – how to drive it to get the best performance, so I can be at the front from the first sessions. There are only seven race weekends this year, so every race is going to be very important to get the most out of for the standings. From the very start of the season we’ll have to work well as a team on and off-track because we know our rivals will be very strong.”

Weekend at a Glance

  • Testing for Round 1 of the Kumho FIA TCR World Tour at Vallelunga takes place from 09:00-12h00 and 15:10-18:10 on Thursday April 18, followed by Free Practice from 11:40-12:10 and 14:55-15:25 on Friday April 19.
  • Qualifying is on Saturday April 20 between 11:20-11:55, followed by Race 1 from 17:15-17:50.
  • Race 2 takes place on Sunday April 21 from 14:25-15:00, with both races and Qualifying broadcast live.
  • The Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing drivers are among 20 in action at Vallelunga.

You might also be interested in

Become a Pro

Inside WRC

The FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) is the undisputed pinnacle of the sport, where the world’s best drivers and their co-drivers vie for glory.


Behind the scenes

Inside the factory

Welcome to a behind-the-scenes tour of Hyundai Motorsport GmbH. Here you will find a short overview of our main departments.

Have a look

Our History

What we do

Established on 19 December 2012, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH (HMSG) is responsible for Hyundai’s global motorsport activities.

Discover now