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TCR customer round-up 5

Elantra N TCR drivers Alex Ley and Junui Park both scored their first-ever TCR Italy victories


Elantra N TCR drivers Alex Ley and Junui Park both scored their first-ever TCR Italy victories

Hyundai Motorsport customers made winning starts to their seasons in multiple championships in recent weeks. Elantra N TCR drivers swept the TCR Italy weekend at Misano – Alex Ley and Junui Park each taking their debut wins in the series, while Maťo Homola and Atilla Bucsi completed a similar double in the first races of the new TCR Eastern Europe season.

Elantra N TCR drivers score first TCR Italy wins to start season
Hyundai Motorsport customers made superb starts to the TCR Italy season at Misano (May 3-5), where two Elantra N TCR drivers scored their first victories in the championship. Having made the leap from TCR UK onto the continent and from the i30 N TCR to the Elantra N TCR over the off-season, British driver Alex Ley stunned the pack by taking pole position for Target Competition. Ley converted the advantage into the early race lead and responded perfectly to being passed mid-race to retake the lead and go on to a superb victory.

Junui Park completed the Race 1 podium in his Solite Indigo Racing-entered Elantra N TCR and made an excellent start to Race 2, moving from the outside of the front row to the lead on the opening lap. The South Korean driver held the position throughout the race to take a first win at the start of his second season of TCR competition. Michele Imberti – another driver in his first race weekend with the Elantra N TCR – completed the podium, one place ahead of Ley.

The two race winners lead the championship points after the opening weekend, Ley three points ahead of Park.

Hyundai drivers take both victories in opening weekend of TCR Eastern Europe season
The brand-new Balaton Park circuit in Hungary hosted the opening round of the TCR Eastern Europe season (April 26-28) with home hero Attila Bucsi starring in both races. The M1RA Motorsport i30 N TCR driver qualified on the front row behind the Janík Motorsport Elantra N TCR of Adam Kout but beat Kout off the line to take the lead. Bucsi appeared to have claimed a stunning victory, only to be penalized after the race for a jump start, dropping him to seventh and presenting Maťo Homola with victory to start his title defence at the head of a Janík Motorsport one-two with Kout second.

Bucsi redeemed himself in Race 2 by taking a superb victory, while Homola finished third to make sure he led the championship following the opening weekend with Bucsi and Kout close behind after a superb start to year for Hyundai Motorsport customers.

Fast start in wet conditions for TCR China champion

The new TCR China season got underway with the opening round at Zhuzhou (May 10-11) with three Elantra N TCR from the Hyundai N team on the grid in the hands of champion Martin Cao, Andy Yan and Rainey He. Cao made an excellent start to his title defence in wet conditions in Race 1, making the best getaway to take the lead from second on the grid. He held the top spot throughout the contest, which was halted by a red flag on lap 12.

Cao would again lead his team-mates in the finishing order of Race 2. He came home fifth, with Yan sixth and He ninth. Their results combined to place both Hyundai N Team and the Elantra N TCR second in the teams and car model championships. Cao also sits second in the individual standings.

Elantra N TCR drivers dominate TCR Asia weekend
The Z.Speed team dominated the TCR Asia sprint race weekend at Sepang (May 1-5). Running under the Hyundai N by Z.Speed banner, Elantra N TCR drivers Zhendong Zhang, Max Hart and Doyon Hwang swept the podium places in Race 1. Victory in the Cup class also went to a Hyundai Motorsport customer – Indonesian Dypo Fitramadhan finishing fifth overall for Delta Garage Racing Team.

Hart, who completed last year’s TCR China season with a superb win in Macau, took his first victory of 2024 in Race 2. The Irishman led home a one-two finish completed by Chinese driver Zhang. Hwang – the lone driver in the field from South Korea – finished fourth. Cup class victory went to another driver from the Z.Speed stable – Indonesian Benny Santoso.

Hyundai Motor America-backed team score double podium in California
Bryan Herta Autosport scored a double podium at Hyundai Motor Americas home round of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at Laguna Seca (May 10-12). Mason Filippi and Mark Wilkins finished second, ahead of defending series champions Harry Gottsacker and Robert Wickens. The two Elantra N TCR teams ran first and second following the mid-race pitstops. Filippi – taking the #98 car started by Wilkins to the end – led a total of 23 laps before Wickens, in the #33 entry, and he were overtaken in the final dozen laps.

Second consecutive endurance victory for Mexican team
Orea Ross Racing drivers Andrés Orea and Jerónimo Guzmán scored a second consecutive win with their Elantra N TCR in the Endurance Challenge championship in Mexico City (May 2-4). The pair completed 209 laps of the shorter national circuit at Mexico’s Grand Prix venue to claim victory. Though dominant in the final standings the team did briefly lose the lead during the second hour of the race – only to take back the top spot with a superb combination of strong pace, faultless reliability and excellent fuel strategy and hold onto the lead for the rest of the race.

Hyundai customer team in Denmark make debut as two-car squad
Newly expanded to a pair of i30 N TCR for the 2024 season, Insight Racing began the TCR Denmark campaign at Padborg Park (April 27-28). Starting his second season with car and the team, Silas Rytter scored the team’s best finish for the weekend – fourth in the opening contest after moving up from sixth in qualifying. On a tight track that leaves overtaking chances limited, he was unable to make ground from seventh on the reverse grid for Race 2 and completed the weekend with a fifth place in the finale.

Jacob Mathiassen made his debut with the i30 N TCR as Rytter’s new team-mate after a season away from the series. He recorded a consistent start to the year, taking a pair of sixth place finishes from the weekend.

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Manager Benoit Nogier said: “We are now in a very busy part of the season, with all our customers’ campaigns well underway in circuit racing and rallying and it has been hugely enjoyable to be able to celebrate to many important results in recent weeks. Elantra N TCR drivers in Italy made a perfect start to the year in TCR Italy, as did Maťo Homola and Atilla Bucsi in TCR Eastern Europe.”

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