After a dramatic weekend in the season-ending Race of Macau, the i30 N TCR has claimed our maiden titles in the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup.
The battle for title honours went right down to the wire for our customers with Gabriele Tarquini and YMRacing emerging victorious in the drivers’ and teams’ battles.
“Our Customer Racing activities have truly captured the spirit of Hyundai and our N high-performance brand with the performance of the i30 N TCR,” said our Executive Vice President, Head of Product Planning & Strategy Division of Hyundai Motor Group, Mr. Thomas Schemera. “The successes of our customers this year, in particular YMRacing and Gabriele Tarquini, have been fantastic to follow.”
The drivers’ title has particular poignancy for us, as Gabriele was instrumental in leading the testing and development of the i30 N TCR as we made our first move into circuit racing.
Across the ten-event WTCR series, our i30 N TCR established itself as the car to beat, often in spite of the numerous Balance of Performance restrictions imposed on the vehicle. Customer teams amassed 13 victories in total between four drivers, as well as 11 pole positions and 14 fastest laps during the year.
“When we set out on our Customer Racing mission, firstly with an R5-spec rally car and then with the i30 N TCR, we never dreamed that we would be celebrating titles with our customers so soon,” added our Customer Racing Deputy General Manager Andrea Adamo. “What Gabriele has achieved in WTCR this season is phenomenal and his contribution to our circuit-racing program has been truly inspirational.”
From humble beginnings
Our Customer Racing department began as an offshoot from our FIA WRC activities in 2015. Design work for the i30 N TCR began in September 2016, and after a year of testing and development the car claimed a sensational win on its competitive debut in the TCR International Series.
In its debut season customer teams competed with the i30 N TCR all over the world.
“All of our customers have demonstrated the strengths of our i30 N TCR this season,” said Andrea. “These are now firm foundations from which we will continue to grow Hyundai Motorsport’s Customer Racing division.”
The car has played a key role in technology transfer onto high performance N brand vehicles, and has more recently fed into our High Performance Vehicle and Motorsport Division.
Mr. Schemera added, “Motorsport and high performance go hand in hand at Hyundai; we will now focus on transferring that winning feeling onto customers around the world and to enhance their enjoyment of driving Hyundai vehicles.”