1-2 finish secured on The Green Hell
For the second consecutive season we claimed both victory and second place in the TCR class at a typically dramatic Nürburgring 24 Hours.
“It is one of the toughest racing events in the world and scoring a single 1-2 finish in the TCR class is something any team and manufacturer can feel rightly proud about,” said Till, our Vice President and Head of N Brand Management and Motorsport Sub-Division. “For our TCR cars to achieve the result in two successive years is a remarkable achievement.”
Class of the field
As was the case in 2021, it was our Elantra N TCR team that scored the class win. The driver line-up of Mikel, Marc and Manuel completed 145 laps to finish four laps clear of their teammates in the i30 N TCR. The trios spectacular performance also secured 18th position overall, making them one of the best-placed entries outside of the premier GT3 class that contests the overall victory.
While the end result was fantastic, it did not come easy. After incurring a penalty in qualifying, our Elantra N TCR team was forced to start from last in the class. However, from the drop of the green flag Marc began to climb through the field, making up more than ten places overall in the opening 25km lap alone. By the time the race hit quarter distance, Manuel had put the car into the class lead, despite having to take an extra pitstop following a tyre delamination.
The lead then changed back and forth between themselves and their compatriots in our i30 N TCR for several hours, but in the end it was the Elantra N TCR that took the chequered flag first to successfully defend its title.
Never give up
The challenge of our i30 N TCR team – Antti, Moritz and Jean-Karl – was severely dented shortly before the half way mark, when Antti stopped on track with a mechanical issue. Fortunately our team were able to fix the problem, returning the Finn to the action, but the delay dropped the car from the lead battle to fourth in class.
From there all three drivers put in faultless performances to regain the lost positions, though the margin to our Elantra N TCR crew proved too much to make up. The superb pace and determination showed by the team was enough to get them across the line in second position and complete our incredible 1-2 finish.
“This was a true team effort at every moment,” said our Deputy Team Principal Julien. “At no point was the victory, or even the podium, given up as lost by the drivers, mechanics or engineers. The Nürburgring 24 Hours is a uniquely challenging event, but today proves it rewards the best combinations of team, cars and drivers.”
Strong pace, poor luck
In the VT2 Front class, the Hyundai Driving Experience-run i30 Fastback N proved to be the fastest in the highly competitive class, claiming both pole position and the fastest lap in the race. Sadly, a number of minor problems stopped the team from taking the result their performance and spirit deserved.