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Hyundai Motorsport names first Customer Racing Junior Drivers

2019.04.26 00:00:00 No. 16233

• Hyundai Motorsport has named the five drivers selected for the first year of the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior driver initiative
• The drivers chosen will race the Hyundai i30 N TCR at an international level in the TCR Europe and TCR Asia Series this season
• The drivers will be able to draw on the mentoring of Hyundai customer’s FIA WTCR pilots, as well as opportunities for additional training and media coaching to further their racing careers.


Alzenau, Germany, April 25, 2019 – Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing has named the first drivers to join the newly launched Customer Racing Junior Driver program.
 
 The five in the initial group will all race the Hyundai i30 N TCR at an international level this season, and each has already proven their skills in the category in order to attract the attention of the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing department. Junior Drivers Andreas and Jessica Bäckman will compete in TCR Europe with the Target Competition team, racing against M1RA teammates Dániel Nagy and Luca Engstler, who have both also been awarded places in the initiative after strong 2018 seasons driving the i30 N TCR.
 
 Engstler will also carry the Junior Driver logo in his TCR Asia campaign this year, which he started with a win at Sepang earlier this month. Daniel Miranda, a relatively new convert TCR racing completes the Junior Driver line-up as part of the Eurasia Motorsport team in the TCR Asia Series.
 
 Though only moving into the championship for this year Philippine driver Miranda immediately showed his potential in the series when he took second place in only his second race in an i30 N TCR. Engstler, meanwhile, won the opening contest of the new season to continue a startling run that has seen him win five of the six events in TCR Malaysia and score three wins in TCR Germany, including the only perfect weekend – pole position, two wins and two fastest laps – of the championship’s 2018 season.
 
 In TCR Asia he will race with the Liqui Moly Team Engstler team, but in TCR Europe he will be part of the M1RA line-up alongside former WTCC driver Dániel Nagy. 2019 will be the Hungarian’s second season in TCR Europe after a strong debut year in 2018 with the i30 N TCR. He ended the 2018 season fifth in the points, but he banked the most podium finishes of anyone in the season, including his first international victory at Assen in Holland.
 
 Swedish siblings Andreas and Jessica Bäckman are new faces to Hyundai customer teams, and to a full season in TCR Europe. However, the 2019 season will continue their rapid climb up the racing ladder. After success in karting and rallycross they raced in both the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship and TCR UK in 2018. Andreas scored a first TCR win the UK to finish the championship third, one place ahead of his sister. Both ended the season with a one-off entry in TCR Europe in Barcelona.
 
 As Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Drivers they and their teams will benefit from the support of the department at, and away from, the track through engineering support. They will also be able to draw on the expertise of the drivers racing with Hyundai customers in FIA WTCR – which will also race at the Hungaroring this weekend – and take advantage of extra training and media coaching to help them further their racing career.
 
 The Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Driver program is open to those under the age of 24, racing with a Hyundai customer team. The scheme is aimed to help talented young racers progress their career towards a spot in FIA WTCR with Hyundai teams.
 
 Hyundai Motorsport Team Director Andrea Adamo said: “For the first season of the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Driver initiative we have selected an extremely talented group and I am excited to help support them. Each of them has the potential to be a race winner in the Hyundai i30 N TCR. We have already seen that performance in TCR Asia and this weekend in TCR Europe should be incredibly competitive for the drivers there. With the support we can offer them I am sure they can have an excellent 2019, and continue their excellent progress in their racing careers until we see them winning with Hyundai in FIA WTCR.”
 
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Driver Mini-Profiles
 
Andreas Bäckman
Age: 23
Nationality: Swedish
2019 in i30 N TCR: TCR Europe with Target Competition
Previous TCR experience:
2018: TCR UK, STCC, TCR Europe
               
Jessica Bäckman
Age: 21
Nationality: Swedish
2019 in i30 N TCR: TCR Europe with Target Competition
Previous TCR experience:
2018: TCR UK, STCC, TCR Europe
               
Luca Engstler
Age: 19
Nationality: German
2019 in i30 N TCR: TCR Europe with M1RA, TCR Asia with Liqui Moly Team Engstler. Won TCR Malaysia with Liqui Moly Team Engstler.
Previous TCR experience:
2018: TCR Germany, TCR Asia, TCR Middle East
2017:     TCR Germany, TCR Middle East, TCR International Series, TCR Europe Trophy
 
Daniel Miranda
Age: 22
Nationality: Filipino
2019 in i30 N TCR: TCR Asia with Eurasia Motorsport
Previous TCR Experience: None
 
Daniel Nagy
Age: 21
Nationality: Hungarian
2019 in i30 N TCR: TCR Europe with M1RA
Previous TCR Experience:
2018: TCR Europe: FIA WTCR (wildcard)
2017: TCR International Series
2015: TCR International Series


                                                                                                                                                                       -Ends-


About Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
Established on 19 December 2012, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH is responsible for Hyundai’s global motorsport activities, including the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and Customer Racing projects. In WRC, Hyundai Motorsport quickly established a strong reputation taking victory in its debut season in 2014. The team amassed ten wins up to the end of the 2018 season and finished as runners-up in the manufacturers’ championship on three consecutive occasions. Since the establishment of its Customer Racing activities in September 2015, Hyundai Motorsport has become a trusted partner for teams and drivers looking for success on the rally stages or on racetracks around the world. From its competitive i20 R5 rally car to the competitive i30 N TCR, Hyundai Motorsport-built cars have claimed victory in several championships, including national rally series in France and Spain, as well as the teams’ and drivers’ titles in the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) season. Unified under Hyundai Motorsport, WRC and Customer Racing are together playing instrumental roles in driving Hyundai’s global high-performance N brand, and are supporting an important perception shift for the Hyundai brand around the world.
 
Further information about Hyundai Motorsport is available at: http://motorsport.hyundai.com
 
About Hyundai Motor
Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is committed to becoming a lifetime partner in automobiles and beyond with its range of world-class vehicles and mobility services offered available in more than 200 countries. Employing more than 110,000 employees worldwide, Hyundai sold more than 4.5 million vehicles globally. Hyundai Motor continues to enhance its product line-up with vehicles that are helping to build solutions for a more sustainable future, such as NEXO – the world’s first dedicated hydrogen-powered SUV.
 
More information about Hyundai Motor and its products can be found at:
http://worldwide.hyundai.com or http://globalpr.hyundai.com/

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