Hyundai Motorsport scores incredible TCR 1-2 in 50th Nürburgring 24 Hours.
- Hyundai Motorsport’s pair of TCR entries finished 1-2 in class for the second successive year at the 50th edition of the Nürburgring 24 Hours
- At the end of a fraught, dramatic race for both cars the i30 Sedan N TCR team scored the class win, and secured a remarkable 18th position overall
- The Hyundai Driving Experience-run i30 Fastback N proved to be the fastest car in the highly competitive VT2 Front category after winning pole position and setting the fastest lap in classr
Hyundai Motorsport’s pair of TCR cars scored an incredible 1-2 finish in class from a typically fraught and dramatic Nürburgring 24 Hours.
Crossing the line in formation the class winning i30 Sedan N TCR and i30 N TCR met the chequered flag of the 50th edition of the race together to secure a 1-2 in the category for the second successive season, and successfully defend the title they won in the red flag-shortened 2021 edition.
Like last year the i30 Sedan N TCR team scored the class win. The driver line-up of Mikel Azcona, Marc Basseng and Manuel Lauck completed 145 laps, to finish four laps clear of the teammates. Their performance secured – provisionally – 18th position overall, putting the Hyundai Motorsport built car as one of the best-placed entries outside of the premier GT3 class that contests the overall victory. It also confirmed Basseng and Lauck as two-time winners with Hyundai Motorsport, having also helped the team to victory in 2021.
The result did not come easy, as both cars had to overcome setbacks during, and even before, the start of the race at 16:00 on Saturday afternoon.
After incurring a penalty in qualifying the i30 Sedan N TCR was forced to start from last in the class, and in the rear-most rows of the second of the three starting groups for the race. Immediately at the drop of the green flag starting driver Basseng became to eat into the deficit - making up more than ten places overall, and three in class in the opening 25km lap alone. The climb was complete after a little more than one quarter of the race when Lauck put the car into the class lead for the first time.
He did so despite having had his first stint earlier in the race interrupted by a tyre delamination that necessitated an extra pitstop, costing them further time in the opening portion of the race.
For several hours into early Sunday morning two Hyundai cars swapped the lead of the TCR class after the i30 N TCR had led most of the first eight hours of competition.
The challenge of the i30 N TCR team - Antti Buri, Moritz Oestreich and Jean-Karl Vernay - was severely dented shortly before half way when Buri stopped on track with a mechanical problem. Fortunately, the team were able to fix the problem, returning the Finn to the action, but the delay dropped the car from the lead battle to fourth in class.
From there the trio put in a faultless performance to regain their lost positions, though the margin to the i30 Sedan N TCR proved too much to make up.
As the two TCR cars maintained their superb pace, they also avoided the type of serious accident and incident that took many teams out of competition. Accordingly, Hyundai Motorsport’s entries were able to move up the overall order to score a truly incredible result.
In the VT2 Front class the Hyundai Driving Experience-run i30 Fastback N proved to be the fastest in the highly competitive class. After taking pole position in the first 24 hour race for the car they led the early running in class, and set the fastest lap in the category - 9:50.695 - underlining racetrack capability of the N brand on one of the toughest circuits in the world.
Sadly, a number of minor problems stopped the team from taking the result their performance and spirit deserved, having retaken the lead on multiple occasions during the 24 hours after being delayed in the garage.
Hyundai Motor Company Vice President and Head of N Brand Management and Motorsport Sub-Division Till Wartenberg said: “The Nürburgring 24 Hours is one of the toughest racing events in the world and scoring a single 1-2 finish in the TCR class is something any team and manufacturer can feel rightly proud about. For Hyundai Motorsport’s TCR cars to achieve the result in two successive years is a remarkable achievement, and a clear sign of both the performance and reliability of the Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR and Hyundai i30 N TCR produced in Alzenau. This year, the 50th edition of the race was very important for Hyundai, with focus on our Driving Experience and N brand program. Our team showed they had the pace to win the very competitive VT2 class. Their performance with the Hyundai i30 Fastback N is the perfect first lesson to prospective racing drivers who will progress through the Hyundai Driving Experience to race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.”
Hyundai Motorsport Deputy Team Principal Julien Moncet said: “Through the 50th edition of the Nürburgring 24 Hours the Hyundai Motorsport teams faced a number of challenges, and overcame each one to finish with a superb 1-2 finish in the TCR class. After achieving the same result last year, to repeat in a full 24-hour race proves that the performance of the TCR cars built by the Customer Racing department is no fluke, but a true reflection of the strengths of the Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR and Hyundai i30 N TCR even under some of the toughest conditions imaginable. This was a true team effort at every moment. At no point was the victory, or even the podium, given up as lost by the drivers, mechanics or engineers. The Nürburgring 24 Hours is a uniquely challenging event, but today proves it rewards the best combinations of team, cars and drivers.”
2022 Nürburgring 24 Hours - Provisional Results