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Motorsport Martin Cao clinches TCR China at season finale on the Macau street circuit

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Motorsport Martin Cao clinches TCR China at season finale on the Macau street circuit

MK 5_TCR China Season
MK 5_TCR China Season
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Martin Cao clinches TCR China at season finale on the Macau street circuit

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Motorsport 202311201730
Martin Cao clinches TCR China at season finale on the Macau street circuit

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  • Hyundai N Team driver Martin Cao secured the TCR China drivers’ title at the series' final weekend of the year on the Macau Guia Circuit
  • Cao scored his fourth win of the season in Race 1 at the track to build a points advantage that was too large for his rival to overcome in the final contest
  • His results helped the Elantra N TCR clinch the car model championship title in the series after Hyundai drivers won half of the series' 12 races during the season.
Hyundai N Team’s Martin Cao finished the 2023 TCR China season as he started it, with a winning performance to clinch the drivers’ title in his first season racing the Elantra N TCR

Alzenau, Germany

November 19, 2023 – Hyundai N Team’s Martin Cao finished the 2023 TCR China season as he started  it, with a winning performance to clinch the drivers’ title in his first season racing the Elantra N TCR.

Cao converted a second place start for Race 1 on the Macau street circuit into a fourth victory of the season. The result allowed him to take a giant step towards the drivers’ title, while also guaranteeing the car model championship title for the Hyundai Elantra N TCR. The points’ advantage the victory opened up in Cao’s favour proved crucial as he was forced out of Race 2 after contact while he made his way through the top ten after starting ninth.

He had started the season with victory in Race 1 of the opening weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit. He sprang from fourth on the grid to take the lead on the run down to turn one, and held the lead for the duration of the race to open the season with a victory.

However, it wasn’t until after back-to-back race wins at Race 2 at Zhejiang in treacherous, sodden conditions and Race 1 on the series’ first visit of the season to the Zhuzhou International Circuit that Cao took the championship lead for the first time. The final step on the podium in a 1-2-3 finish for Elantra N TCR drivers in Race 2 on the championship’s return to the former Chinese GP venue helped him keep the points lead, but he would slip to second after two more races at Zhuzhou, despite finishing both contests in the top five. Cao started the Macau weekend six points in arrears, but was able to retake the lead with his fourth win of the season.

The season brought large numbers of Hyundai Motorsport customers to the TCR China grid – led by multi-car entries from both the Hyundai N Team and Z Speed. The two outfits combined to put five Elantra N TCR drivers in the top ten of the championship as Elantra N TCR drivers won half of the 12

races during the year.

Customer Racing Junior Driver Max Hart finished sixth. The Irish Z Speed driver finished the season with a masterful lights-to-flag victory in Race 2 of the Macau weekend to add to his fourth in the opening race at the circuit. Cao’s Hyundai N Team stablemates Andy Yan and Rainey He finished seventh and ninth respectively, with Z Speed driver Zhang Zhen Dong between them – eighth in the final standings.

Martin Cao said: “It was a great season after a difficult comeback in the points after round five. The car was very fast in Macau – the set-up and tyres were almost perfect which gave me so much confidence to push for a better result. Thanks for Hyundai and the Hyundai N Team for putting together the perfect package for us this weekend, and all season. I look forward to another good year in 2024.”

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Manager Andrea Cisotti said: “The level of competition in TCR China this season has been fantastic. The racing between multiple manufacturers and drivers has been very close, and the championship lead changed hands several times – right down to the final race of the final weekend of the year. To win in such a competitive championship is a huge achievement, so Martin Cao and the Hyundai N Team can rightly be very proud. Cao won on every track the series visited – including in incredibly wet conditions at Zhejiang and at the final weekend in Macau. The victory for our Junior Driver Max Hart, after a superb drive in the final race of the year, completed an excellent season in TCR China for Elantra N TCR customers.”

2023 TCR China Championship – Final Drivers’ Standings

1. M. Cao 178

2. J. Young 159

3. J. Zhang 145

4. M. Xie 111

5. D. Zhu 101

6. M. Hart 91

2023 TCR China Championship – Final Car Model Standings

1. Hyundai Elantra N TCR 351

2. Lynk & Co 03 TCR 303

3. Honda Civic Type R TCR 253

Sunwoo Kim

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Established on 19 December 2012, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH is responsible for Hyundai’s global motorsport activities, including the FIA World Rally Championship, FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup, and Customer Racing projects. Hyundai Motorsport quickly established a strong reputation in WRC, finishing as runners-up in the manufacturers’ championship on three consecutive occasions between 2016 and 2018 before claiming the title in 2019 and 2020. The company then embraced the all-new technical challenge of WRC’s hybrid era in 2022, resulting in the birth of the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid. 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 N Rally2 to the front-running Elantra N TCR, Hyundai Motorsport-built cars have claimed victory in several championships, including national rally series in France and Spain, as well as titles in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) in 2018, 2019 and 2022. Designed and built at its Alzenau headquarters, the Veloster N ETCR heralded an exciting new era in 2019, in which electric racing became one of the company’s pillars. Embarking on its tenth year in 2023, Hyundai Motorsport continues to unify WRC, Customer Racing, and electric racing, which play 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.

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