Hyundai Press Release - Hyundai drivers ready for International TCR Challenge at Sydney Motorsport Park
- Sydney Motorsport Park to host the first of two Australian rounds of the TCR World Tour featuring 10 of the best touring car drivers in the world
- Hyundai drivers Bailey Sweeny and Josh Buchan aiming to cement their lead during the penultimate round of the TCR Australia Championship
- Sydney Motorsport Park provides an action-packed two-day format with racing under lights for the first time
Hyundai drivers Bailey Sweeny and Josh Buchan are looking to match it with the world’s best touring car drivers at Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend in the first of two back-to-back rounds of the TCR World Tour in Australia.
The HMO Customer Racing teammates head into the penultimate round of the TCR Australia Championship at the top of the driver’s standings having dominated the early stages of the season with seven race victories from the previous 12 starts.
However, the team will face a host of additional challenges at Sydney Motorsport Park with 10 international drivers joining the field, including reigning champion Mikel Azcona and current TCR World Tour championship leader, Norbert Michelisz, both driving the latest-generation Hyundai Elantra N TCRs for title-winning squad BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse.
The 25-car field – the largest grid ever for a TCR Australia Championship event – will compete over a condensed two-day program that culminates with two of the three races run under lights.
Sydney Motorsport Park has been a happy hunting ground for HMO Customer Racing, particularly for Buchan who scored his first TCR victory at the 3.93km circuit in 2021 and dominated the most recent round held there last year with pole position and two race wins.
HMO Customer Racing will have two 30-minute practice sessions at Sydney Motorsport Park on Friday afternoon to fine tune the cars ahead of qualifying in the evening and the opening race, which starts at 8:40pm. The team will return on Saturday afternoon for the two remaining 17-lap sprints, with the top-10 finishers from Friday’s race reversed for the second race.
Fans can catch all the action from Sydney Motorsport and the Motorsport Australia Shannons Speed Series live and on-demand via Stan Sport and the Nine Network.
What the drivers said:Car 30: i30 Sedan N TCR - Josh Buchan
“There’s been a lot of excitement building up to the TCR World Tour rounds in Australia, and it’s going to be really interesting to see how competitive we are against the best touring car drivers in the world. But, really, it’s just another race weekend for us with a whole bunch of new drivers that we don’t know their names.
“I just want to put on a good performance for myself, and the guys on the team – they’re the ones I’m racing for – and hopefully jag some great results against the internationals. Sydney Motorsport Park has been a happy hunting ground for me in the past, and I’m confident we’ll be fast again this weekend. But I’m not going to be driving any faster just because they are here, and I’m certainly not going to drive any slower. We’ve got a better idea of the car the more rounds we do, and if it’s fast enough at Sydney then we will be right up there.
“It would be amazing to perform well against those guys: win or lose. The Australian standard is ridiculously high, and I think we can race hard against them.”Car 130: i30 N TCR - Bailey Sweeny
“I’m looking forward to seeing how we compare to the international competition this weekend. I don’t think we’ll have as much advantage at Sydney Motorsport Park as we will the following weekend at Bathurst, as the track is very similar to European circuits in its character. Plus, they’ve got an extra practice session to get up to speed. It will be gloves off that’s for sure.
“Racing under lights will introduce a pretty cool dynamic, and an extra challenge for us all to chase the car to suit the changing conditions. It will be the same for everyone.
“From my perspective, the priority is to protect our lead in the championship heading into the final round at Bathurst where I’m confident we will have a strong result. So, it’s important to have a clean weekend at Sydney and not get tangled up in any incidents and score good points in every race.”
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.