Hyundai extends TCR Australia Championship lead with four podium finishes at Winton Raceway.

16 June, 2023

  • Hyundai driver Bailey Sweeny extended his lead in the TCR Australia Driver’s Championship with his second overall round victory of the season
  • Josh Buchan climbed to second on the championship ladder with two podium finishes, driving the new generation i30 Sedan N TCR
  • Hyundai has won five of the nine TCR Australia races held so far this season

Hyundai cemented its position as title contenders for the 2023 TCR Championship with a 1-2 finish in the third round of the series at Winton Motor Raceway.

Bailey Sweeny extended his championship lead with two podiums from three races, including a lights-to-flag victory in the final sprint, while teammate Josh Buchan climbed to second position in the drivers’ standings with third and second-place finishes.

HMO Customer Racing has now won five of the nine races held so far in the 2023 TCR Australia Championship.

Both HMO Customer Racing drivers hit the track with immediate pace, as Buchan and Sweeny finished second and third in the opening practice session. Sweeny again set the third-fastest time in the second practice session while Buchan spent the majority of the session in the garage fine-tuning his i30 Sedan N TCR, finishing in 10th position.

In qualifying, Sweeny was on course for a last-lap dash, that would have landed him on pole position, only to be baulked by a slower rival in the tightest section of the circuit forcing him to settle for a front-row start - with Buchan just behind in third place.

Buchan made a fast start to the opening 18-lap race, blasting into second position as the field stormed towards the first corner and then maintained position for the first two laps. However, he was caught out by slippery conditions while exiting a corner and veered off the circuit, losing two places to teammate Sweeny and Zac Soutar to come home fourth.

Sweeny, having never officially raced at Winton before, was consistently the fastest driver on track as he chased down race leader Michael Clemente, closing to within 1.2 seconds when the chequered flag dropped.

With the top-10 positions reversed for the second race, Buchan and Sweeny charged through the field to make-up positions, with Buchan taking third and Sweeny improving from ninth to fifth.

This ensured that both HMO Customer Racing cars occupied the front row of the grid for the final race. When the lights went out, Sweeny bolted away from the start and was never challenged, eventually crossing the finish line 20 seconds clear of teammate Buchan, who had to fend off numerous attacks during the race.

The fourth round of the 2023 TCR Australia Championship will be held at Queensland Raceway on August 11-13.

Car 30: i30 Sedan N TCR - Josh Buchan

“Wow, we’ve certainly exceeded our expectations this weekend with two surprising - and fantastic - podiums and a great haul of points that has put us right up there in the championship standings. We were carrying the maximum weight penalty for our success at Phillip Island, and we really thought it would have a massive impact on our performance with the tight layout of Winton.

“It’s a credit to the team to get both cars up the front, and a tremendous result for Bailey. To be next to him on the podium was a great feeling.”

Car 130: i30 N TCR - Bailey Sweeny

“We had mega potential right from the outset, which we didn’t really get to show until the final race. That was my biggest win - by 20 seconds - which I rapt about, and adding to the race win tally.

“It’s been a solid weekend for us in terms of the championship too, and the gap just seems to be getting bigger and bigger, which is something I like to see.”

Race Results: Round 3 - Winton Raceway, Victoria

  Josh Buchan     Bailey Sweeny  
  Practice 1     P2 (1:26.8358 sec)     P3 (1:26.8582 sec)  
  Practice 2     P10 (1:26.9175 sec)     P3 (1:26.3940 sec)  
  Qualifying     P3 (1:15.1432 sec)     P2 (1:24.8654 sec)  
  Race 1     P4 (1:26.8633 sec)     P2 (1:25.6899 sec - FL)  
  Race 2     P3 (1:26.9451 sec)     P5 (1:26.9182 sec)  
  Race 3     P2 (1:26.8029 sec)     P1 (1:25.6187 sec - FL)  

2023 TCR Australia Championship Standings

  Position     Name     Car     Points  
  1     Bailey Sweeny     Hyundai i30 N TCR     387  
  2     Josh Buchan     Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR     351  
  3     Jordan Cox     Peugeot 308 TCR     326  
  4     Aaron Cameron     Peugeot 308 TCR     307  
  5     Lachlan Minneef     Audi RS3 LMS     302  
  6     Ben Bargwanna     Peugeot 308 R     288  
  7     Tony D’Alberto     Honda Civic Type R     280  
  8     Michael Clemente     Cupra Leon TCR     274  
  9     Tom Oliphant     Alfa Romeo Giulietta     268  
  10     Kody Garland     Peugeot 308 TCR     264  

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.

The Hyundai Elantra N currently leads the 2023 TCR World Tour with former champions Norbert MIchelisz and Michel Azcona first and second in the drivers’ championship standings and BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse on top of the team’s rankings.

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.

      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)   &nbspFully 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, each with three races.

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 - which pays double points - 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, this season will include two rounds of the new TCR World Tour in Australia, including Sydney Motorsport Park and the season finale Bathurst International at Mount Panorama 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