Rally star Thierry Neuville ready for guest start in ADAC TCR Germany
- Hyundai rally driver breaks new ground in circuit racing at the Nürburgring
- Belgian pilots Hyundai i30 N TCR VIP car of Hyundai Team Engstler
- "I could surprise you," says Hyundai Motorsport’s Thierry Neuville
12 August 2019 - Just one week before the demanding ADAC Rallye Deutschland, Hyundai WRC driver Thierry Neuville (Belgium) will make a guest appearance on the circuit.
At the ADAC TCR Germany round at the Nürburgring (August 16-18) the rally racer, who current sits in third place in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), will be driving the VIP car for Hyundai Team Engstler. The 31-year-old is particularly looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the Hyundai i30 N TCR, having already completed his first test drives on the Eifel course.
Neuville ranks among the worldwide rally elite
Thierry Neuville is currently one of the fastest rally drivers and the most successful Hyundai Motorsport pilot in the World Rally Championship. He has won a total of eleven WRC races so far with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, including in Corsica and Argentina this season. The Belgian is currently in third place in the WRC, 25 points from the top of the standings.
Neuville was born on 16 June 1988 in Sankt Vith, Belgium, around 15 kilometres from the Grand Prix circuit in Spa-Francorchamps. It is therefore unsurprising that he caught the motorsport bug at an early age.
In 2007, at the age of 19, the time had come. After initial successes in his home country, he soon competed internationally, first in the Junior World Championship, then in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Neuville made his debut in a World Rally Car at the Monte Carlo Rally in 2012 and ended his first World Championship season in seventh place overall. One year later, Neuville narrowly missed the title as the overall runner-up. In 2014, the rally ace switched to Hyundai Motorsport - a successful partnership that has continued ever since. In the same year, Neuville clinched the first WRC victory at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland for the Alzenau-based team. In the past three seasons, Neuville, who has triggered a rally boom in his home country and neighbouring regions, has finished second in the WRC.
First test in Hyundai i30 N TCR
The Hyundai i30 N TCR with a power output of 350 PS (257 kW), which will be used by Hyundai Motor Deutschland on behalf of Hyundai Team Engstler as a VIP car in the current ADAC TCR Germany season, was tested by Neuville for the first time at the Nürburgring in July. He was coached by Luca Engstler, the brand ambassador of Hyundai Motor Deutschland and second in the ADAC TCR Germany in 2018. "The touring car is much closer to the production car than the World Rally Car, which is much more extreme," says Neuville, commenting on the differences between his actual work equipment and the TCR vehicle.
For the race weekend at the Nürburgring, the Hyundai driver has set himself some high goals despite his limited circuit experience:
Busy times are ahead for Neuville after his TCR guest appearance. He competes in the ADAC Rallye Deutschland the week after the Nürburgring (22-25 August). The 31-year-old will then compete again in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC at the German WRC, which goes around Lake Bostal in Saarland, the Moselle vineyards and on the legendary stages of the Baumholder military training area.