Elantra N TCR confirmed for WTCR debut
Our Elantra N TCR will make its FIA World Touring Car Cup debut this season in a campaign led by two experienced teams, each fielding a pair of our Customer Racing drivers.
The switch to the new car comes after three successful seasons in the series with our i30 N TCR. Over that time, our customers have collected back-to-back drivers’ crowns, as well as the inaugural teams’ title in 2018. In total, i30 N TCR drivers have won 21 races, and stood on the podium in exactly half of the series’ races.
“The success of our customers in previous seasons has played a pivotal role in cementing the reputation of the Hyundai N name within the motorsport and high-performance automotive community,” said Till Wartenberg, Vice President and Head of N Brand Management and Motorsport Sub-Division. “The introduction of the Elantra N TCR to the grid offers the chance to further promote the growing N brand, and hopefully add to the long list of victories for Hyundai Motorsport customers.”
A formidable quartet
The line-up of teams and drivers is hugely experienced and successful in WTCR and the TCR category. Gabriele Tarquini and Norbert Michelisz continue with BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse, with whom they took their titles in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
“Last season I had the #1 on my car, and my first aim is simply to get it back again,” said Norbert. “Having tested the Elantra N TCR, I am confident that we can continue the success we had with the i30 N TCR.”
After stepping up to WTCR last year, Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team again joins the grid, but with a new driver line-up for 2021. Alongside Luca Engstler will be multiple WTCR race winner Jean-Karl Vernay.
“For me it is obviously a new team to work with, and a new car for everyone,” said Jean-Karl. “Being so involved in the development process has been incredibly helpful in getting some additional understanding of the Elantra N TCR before the first races.”
New car, same aim
Despite the excellent past records of both teams, the change in car for 2021 will present a new challenge. However, all involved will arrive very well-prepared for the opening weekend at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with the aim of firmly rebounding from a disappointing season in the curtailed 2020 campaign.
“All through testing the Elantra N TCR has been getting better every time we are on-track and we still have some more testing planned before the first race,” said Luca. “I think that all four Customer Racing drivers will be on the pace at the Nürburgring.”
Following the first round in Germany, which again shares the weekend with the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the series is set to travel to seven further circuits. This will include home races for Norbert and Gabriele at the Hungaroring and Adria Raceway, and for Hyundai at Inje Speedium in South Korea, before the season comes to a close on the famous Macau street circuit.