Double podium in TCR WT Portimão | Hyundai N
Our Elantra N TCR customer team enjoyed a positive start to the TCR World Tour season this weekend at Portimão and highlighted its title-contention hopes after a race-winning performance at the first round.
BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse driver Norbert secured the first pole position of the season at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve after a better qualifying strategy than his rivals worked in his favour. The Hungarian led Race 1 from the moments the lights went out to the chequered flag, securing a trip to the top step of the podium.
“It has been a fantastic first weekend in TCR World Tour,” explained Norbert. “I couldn’t think of a better start.”
His team-mate Mikel qualified second, securing a front row lock out for the team. The Spaniard made a good start in Race 1 and was defending well for the first few turns. He edged a gap from the competitor behind and crossed the line in second place only 0.705secs behind Norbert.
“It was amazing to qualify first and second this weekend,” said Mikel. “To convert it to a double podium in Race 1 shows we have the pace.”
Safety car disruption
The partially reversed-grid Race 2 saw plenty of disruption with two consecutive safety cars which left our Customer Racing drivers with few laps to move up the field.
Starting from ninth on the grid, Mikel was able to make way through the field, avoiding contact on a chaotic first lap to sit in fifth. After the second safety car period ended, he was able to gain a further place, finishing in fourth.
“I was really happy with the car in the second race,” beamed Mikel. “I was lucky to avoid any contact after a chaotic start and secure another good finish.”
Norbert, who lined up in tenth, had his progress up the grid halted during the safety car disruption, but a wheel-to-wheel battle on the second to last lap saw him clinch eighth.
“There were some good battles on track in Race 2,” added Norbert. “I was glad to score more points and leave Portugal leading the standings.”
Following the triumphant weekend, BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse lead the Kumho TCR World Tour for Teams. Norbert and Mikel sit in first and second in the Drivers’ standings respectively.
The next round of the TCR World Tour season, takes place at Spa-Francorchamps on 26-28 May.