Hyundai aiming to ride the storm at Sandown Raceway

05 September, 2023

  • Hyundai drivers Josh Buchan and Bailey swapped positions at the top of the championship after the previous round at Queensland Raceway.
  • Predicted wet weather at Sandown could help negate success ballast penalties.
  • Final round before facing international competition at TCR World Tour events in Sydney and Bathurst.

Hyundai drivers Josh Buchan and Bailey Sweeny are doing a rain dance to help extend their title lead ahead of this weekend’s fifth round of the 2023 TCR Australia Championship at Melbourne’s Sandown Raceway.

Buchan overtook Sweeny at the top of the championship ladder in the previous round at Queensland Raceway, and heads into a potentially soggy Sandown showdown just one point clear of his teammate.

Both drivers are hoping the predicted cold and wet weather is accurate as it will potentially negate the success ballast penalties, they carry from dominating the opening part of the championship, in which HMO Customer Racing has won five of the 12 races run so far this season.

Success at the historic 3.1km Sandown Raceway is determined by its two long straights, which rewards a car with excellent traction out of slow corners and good straight-line speed. Both these attributes are compromised in dry conditions when carrying additional weight.

So, Buchan and Sweeny are hoping to use their wet weather driving talent at Sandown to storm to the front in their respective i30 Sedan N TCR and i30 N TCR machinery

Sandown will host the last event of the Shannons Speed Series before the teams face an armada of international competitors in the Australian leg of the TCR World Tour with the final two rounds at Sydney Motorsport Park and Mount Panorama.

HMO Customer Racing will have two 30-minute practice sessions at Sandown on Friday to fine tune the cars ahead of qualifying on Saturday before three races over the remainder of the weekend.

Fans can catch all the action from Sandown Raceway and the Motorsport Australia Shannons Speed Series live and on-demand via Stan Sport.

Car 30: i30 Sedan N TCR - Josh Buchan

“I’m hoping for a repeat of last year, with lots of rain and lots of chaos. It’s what we want, as – like Queensland Raceway – it’s not the kind of track that will play to our strengths in normal conditions. Having said that, the two sections of corners in between the drag strips are some of my favourite stretches of bitumen in Australia.

“I don’t know how realistic it will be to hold on to the championship lead – even after qualifying – this weekend, but I’ll do my best. There are still two big events to come after this with the TCR World Tour at Sydney Motorsport Park and the Bathurst International, and while it’s nice to lead it doesn’t mean much at this point. I’ve got my eyes forward on the rest of the year and making sure I’m there at the end, and not just right now.”

Car 130: i30 N TCR - Bailey Sweeny

“It looks like we’re in for another potential wet weekend at Sandown. We had some pretty horrendous weather there last year, so I’m not scared about that as we had good pace in both the wet and dry conditions.

“It would actually be good for us if it is raining as it will help lessen the impact we have carrying the maximum success penalty from qualifying at Queensland Raceway, even though we had a shocker of a weekend after that.

“My focus is regaining the championship lead again after holding it for the entire year, except for one race, and set us up with good momentum heading into the two TCR World Tour rounds to finish the year.”

Driver Information

  Josh Buchan     Bailey Sweeny  
Born   22/01/1995 (28)     07/02/2003 (20)  
Car   Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR    Hyundai i30 N TCR  
Number   30     130  
TCR seasons competed   2021, 2022, 2023     2022, 2023  
TCR Poles   2     0  
TCR Podiums   13     9  
TCR Wins   5     5  
TCR World Ranking   65     45  

2023 TCR Australia Championship Standings(after round 4)

Position   Name     Car     Points  
1   Josh Buchan     Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR     457  
2   Bailey Sweeny     Hyundai i30 N TCR     456  
3   Aaron Cameron     Peugeot 308 TCR     425  
4   Jordan Cox     Peugeot 308 TCR     400  
5   Tony D’Alberto     Honda Civic Type R     387  
6   Lachlan Minneef     Audi RS3 LMS     384  
7   Ben Bargwanna     Peugeot 308 R     382  
8   Michael Clemente     Cupra Leon TCR     372  
9   Kody Garland     Peugeot 308 TCR     313  
10   Brad Harris     Honda Civic Type R     273  

Round 5: Sandown Raceway

  Track Facts  
  Location     Melbourne, Victoria  
  Length     3.104 km  
  TCR Pole Record     1:12.2299 sec, Jay Hanson (Audi RS3 LMS) - 2022  
  TCR Lap Record     1:14.6863 sec, Will Brown (Hyundai i30 TCR) - 2019  

TCR Schedule - Round 5: Queensland Raceway

Friday September 8   Saturday September 9     Sunday September 10  
Practice 1: 11:35am   Qualifying: 11:40am     Race 2: 12:40pm  
Practice 2: 2:45pm   Race 1: 3:35pm     Race 3: 4:15pm  

Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR

The Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR (known as the Elantra N TCR in Europe and North America) is the latest generation touring car developed by Hyundai Motorsport’s Customer Racing division.

Revealed for the first time at the Beijing Motor Show in 2020 as a replacement for the successful i30 N TCR and Veloster N TCR models, it quickly established itself as a championship winner when Sebastien Loeb Racing won the 2021 TCR Europe title with Spanish driver Mikel Azcona.

Last year, Hyundai Motorsport clinched its third drivers’ title and second teams’ championship in the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) with Azcona and BRC Hyundai Squadra Corsa, as well as a clean sweep of the TCR category in the North American IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with Bryan Herta Autosport claiming the drivers’, teams’ and manufacturers’ titles and a double title victory for Niels Langeveld and Target Competition in the ultra-competitive TCR Italy regional championship.

Based on the road-going i30 Sedan N, the TCR variant maintains strong links between the Hyundai Motorsport vehicles that racing fans see on track and the standard production cars they drive and in showrooms.

In line with TCR regulations, the i30 Sedan N TCR is front-wheel drive and powered by a 2.0-litre turbo charged four-cylinder engine built specifically by Hyundai Motorsport and directly related to the motor in the road-going i30 Sedan N.

The Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR currently sits first and fourth in the 2023 TCR World Tour with former champions Norbert Michelisz and Mikel Azcona respectively while BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse is second on the teams’ championship.

  Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR Specifications  
Length 4,710 mm
Width 1,950 mm
Wheelbase 2,750 mm
Weight 1,265 kg(including driver)
Engine 1,998 cc turbocharged four-cylinder, DOHC, 16 valves
Power 257 kW at 7,000 rpm
Torque 450 Nm at 3,500 rpm
Transmission Six-speed sequential with paddle shift, front-wheel drive
Suspension (Front) Fully adjustable MacPherson strut with coil springs & anti-roll bar
Suspension (Rear) Fully adjustable four-arm multi-link with coil springs & anti-roll bar
Steering Electrically assisted rack and pinion
Brakes (Front) Six-piston callipers and 380 mm ventilated disc
Brakes (Rear) Two-piston callipers with 278 mm disc
Wheels 18” x 10” Braid alloys specifically designed for Hyundai Motorsport
Tyres Kumho TCR slicks
Fuel Tank 100 litres with dry-brake system

About the 2023 TCR Australia Championship

The 2023 TCR Australia Championship consists of seven rounds.

Two practice sessions are held before the opening qualifying session with the top 10 fastest drivers progressing to a 15-minute shootout that determines the final starting positions for the opening race.

In the second race, the drivers that finish race one in the top 10 positions are reversed. And, in the final race the starting positions are determined by the driver’s aggregated point score.

As for the points scoring system, the fastest five drivers in qualifying score bonus points, and, in the three races, the first and third races are worth equal points while the reverse Top 10 second race is worth 80 per cent (see table below). The driver with the fastest lap in each of the three races also picks-up an extra point.

Points Scoring System

      1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10  
  Qualifying     10     7     5     3     2                      
  Race 1 & 3     50     46     42     38     36     31     29     27     25     23  
  Race 2     40     36     32     28     26     24     22     20     18     16  

Uniquely, the 2023 TCR Australia Championship will include two rounds of the new TCR World Tour in Australia, including the penultimate round at Sydney Motorsport Park and the Bathurst International finale at Mount Panorama on back-to-back weekends in November.

The TCR World Tour, which replaces the previous WTCR World Touring Car Cup, will be contested over nine rounds from the 200 TCR-sanctioned events to be held across the globe in 2023 with 16 of the world’s best touring car drivers racing against the local competitors.

Every driver in all TCR sanctioned championships will score points on the TCR World Rankings with the top 30 then invited to compete in the TCR World Final at the end of the season.

The 2023 TCR Australia Championship will be broadcast live on Stan Sport in Australia.

  2023 TCR Australia Championship Schedule  
Round 1 February 24-26, Symmons Plains, Tasmania
Round 2 May 12-14, Phillip Island, Victoria
Round 3 June 9-11, Winton Raceway, Victoria
Round 4 August 11-13, Queensland Raceway, Queensland
Round 5 September 8-10, Sandown Raceway, Victoria
Round 6 November 3-5, Sydney Motorsport Park, New South Wales
Round 7 November 10-12, Mount Panorama, New South Wales