Hyundai cars take class win and podium from Nürburgring 24 hours.
The team’s two Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing-built TCR cars started first and second in the class, and led through the early exchanges on Saturday afternoon. However, minor technical problems dropped both the Veloster N TCR and i30 N TCR behind, starting a chase that would last the entire race.
On one occasion in the darkness of Saturday night Lauck in the Veloster N TCR was able to retake the lead – only for a recurrence of the earlier problem to push him back into the role of chaser.
The task was complicated further when a combination of heavy rain and fog forced organisers to put out the red flag shortly after the end of the seventh hour. Not only did this give the drivers less time to make up the deficit, but it also put an entire lap between the Veloster N TCR crew, and their target at the head of the class.
When racing resumed at 08:00 on Saturday morning Peter Terting in the #831 quickly put the Veloster back on the same lap as the leader, and began to eat into the advantage. Between the pace of the drivers and efficient work by the team the gap was brought down to under four minutes as the conditions improved - Oestreich taking advantage of his stint at the crucial time to set the fastest lap for the class. However, the team were unable to make up the final minutes once wet weather returned, instead finishing second in class.
The i30 N TCR’s challenge for class honours ended with a black flag for exceeding noise limits on Saturday evening. The team remedied the problem during the interruption to allow the car to return to the race for the restart, with the four drivers – Lauck joined by Antti Buri, Luca Engstler and Hari Proczyk – showing good pace throughout the remaining hours – to finish fourth in the TCR class.
The third Hyundai crew on the grid were able to celebrate a dominant class win. Drivers Marc Ehret, Kai Jordan and Markus Lungstrass led the SP3T class throughout in the Hyundai Team Engstler i30 Fastback N, despite having to compete against far more powerful machinery in the category. By the chequered flag they had built up a four lap advantage, and rightfully finished the race centre-stage, flanked by the two TCR Hyundai.