Hyundai Motorsport has announced it is to field two of its all-new i30 N TCR cars at both the remaining rounds of this year’s TCR International Series. A pair of the new cars are planned to contest the final weekends of the championship’s season, beginning at the Zhejiang Circuit in China (October 7-8). The entries for the events will be run by the BRC Racing team that has worked alongside Hyundai Motorsport’s engineers and mechanics throughout the testing of the car.
The race weekends will be an important opportunity to show the capabilities of the i30 N TCR against its rivals as customers plan their 2018 campaigns. Gabriele Tarquini, who has served as the lead test driver for the project, will continue his work at the wheel of the i30 N TCR as one of the drivers for both of the TCR International Series events. Hyundai is keen to heap praise on themultiple-title winning Italian, stating that ‘throughout the testing phase Tarquini’s expertise has proved invaluable in helping the team develop the i30 N TCR’.
The second i30 N TCR for both International Series events will be driven by Alain Menu. The Swiss made his Touring Car debut in 1992, starting a 20-year career as a works team driver, which included winning the British Touring Car Championship with two different manufacturers. He brings further experience in front-wheel drive racing to the team, adding to considerable expertise of his new teammate. Hyundai states that the additional input from a second experienced driver, will help it continue to improve the set-up of the car through the final part of the year as Hyundai Motorsport’s attention turns to delivering completed chassis to customers, starting in early December.
“As our first car designed specifically for circuit racing the i30 N TCR is a milestone for Hyundai Motorsport,” explained Hyundai Motorsport team principal Michel Nandan. “Despite that challenge the Customer Racing department has produced a strong package for the regulations, which will only improve further with the development work continuing through the races this year. The debut in the TCR International Series is a big moment for the project. Coming in China, alongside the TCR Asia Series, the weekend is the ideal event to show the potential of the i30 N TCR to teams and drivers. The look of the cars ties the i30 N TCR very closely to the N line-up of road models, so a strong performance would promote both the racecar and the standard models.”