Hyundai Motorsport Customer Results Round-up Bulletin 5-7 April
- Defending champion Gabriele Tarquini scores a race win on the opening weekend of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season and left Morocco third in the standings.
- Luca Engstler gave the i30 N TCR victory on its TCR Asia debut, one of four Hyundai drivers to stand on the podium during the Sepang weekend.
- Hyundai Paraguay supported Diego Dominguez won the Rally Trans Itapúa, starting his national campaign win victory, and adding to his lead in the CODASUR series.
8 April 2019 - The i30 N TCR scored wins in the first weekends of both the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup and TCR Asia seasons, thanks to drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Luca Engstler respectively.
Hyundai Customer Racing's victorious performances truly spanned the globe, with Diego Dominguez taking the top spot in the first round of the national championship in Paraguay.
Race win for Tarquini caps consistent i30 N TCR performance in WTCR opener
Defending champion Gabriele Tarquini made a winning start to the 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season at the Race of Morocco (April 6-7). The Italian took his i30 N TCR to victory in Race 2 of the weekend.
Despite a restrictive Balance of Performance at the start of the year, all four drivers with Hyundai Customers were able to get points in the event in Marrakech. In the first race of the season, Hyundai was the only manufacturer to have all of their cars in the point-scoring positions. The teams added more points in Sunday’s Race 2 and 3. Behind Tarquini, both his teammate Norbert Michelisz and TCR newcomer Augusto Farfus added to their tallies in Race 2.
Tarquini completed his weekend with fifth place in Race 3. Together with his earlier win, and fourth place in Race 1, the result left him in third place in the early points’ standings. Similarly, A trio of points’ finishes for Michelisz, topped by an eighth in the final encounter, put BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse third in the teams’ standings to start the year.
i30 N TCR wins on TCR Asia debut in Malaysia
i30 N TCR drivers took away a handsome collection of podiums and points from the car’s debut in the TCR Asia Series at the Sepang International Circuit (April 5-7) in Malaysia. Luca Engstler and Théo Coicaud from Team Engstler dominated Saturday’s running. The duo secured 1-2 results in both qualifying races – which ended with an all-Hyundai top three completed by Pepe Oriola – and Race 1.
Engstler was never headed throughout the event and had a perfect day by completing the fastest lap in the race. Coicaud, though, had to recover from a poor start that left him only fifth at the end of the opening tour. However, he was able to drive up the order to reclaim his second place. Oriola finished fourth, and TCR debutant Daniel Miranda completed the top six in his Eurasia Motorsport car.
TCR debutant Miranda moved into the early lead of Race 2 after starting second on the reverse grid. The Filipino driver held on to take second place. Oriola scored a first i30 N TCR podium in his Solite Indigo Racing entry, climbing up the order after starting only eighth. Coicaud performed a similar feat, turning ninth on the grid into fourth at the chequered flag, lifting the Frenchman to second in the points’ standings to lead the Hyundai customers after the opening weekend.
Hyundai Paraguay crew start national championship with victory
Paraguayan Diego Dominguez continued his strong start to the season by winning the Rally Trans Itapúa (April 5-7), the opening round of the national championship in his home country. The Hyundai Paraguay supported team was consistent throughout the two-day event. After arriving second at the end of the first day and winning the last stage before the halt, Dominguez and co-driver Edgardo Galindo kept up the performance on Sunday. They moved into the lead within the start of the final loop and protected the position to claim the victory.
Not only was the win the perfect start to their national campaign, but, with the event counting towards the continent-wide CODASUR championship, it strengthened their advantage in that series after their win in the previous round in Argentina.
Double top ten finish on French gravel stages
Sarrazin Motorsport drivers Brice Tirabassi and Dominik Dinkel put two i20 R5 in the top ten at the Rallye Terre des Causses (April 6-7), the first round of the French gravel championship. Returning for a second season with a Hyundai in the series, Tirabassi finished second in the R5 class and fourth overall.
Running with his co-driver, Loïc Declerck Tirabassi moved into the position with the fastest R5 time on the penultimate stage and held the spot on the finale which is the longest test of the event. Dinkel also made places in the late running, taking tenth place and sixth in class on that final section.
Top ten result starts Hungarian national campaign
The Hungarian national rally championship for 2019 began with the Eger Rallye (March 29-31). Long-time i20 R5 campaigners Lovász Pál and Tamás Kürti were joined on the stages by Zsolt Marozsi and Máté Szegedi of the Corse Attack Rallye Team.
It was Pál, once more competing under his own LPWM Sport banner, who was the better of the two drivers finishing eighth overall, while Marozsi – in only his second start with an i20 R5 - completed the rally to gain valuable knowledge about the chassis to begin the season.
Customers take i20 R5 into new territory at Czech series’ opener
The number of i20 R5's on the stage continues to grow as Hyundai Racing customers are participating in new series'. At the opening date for the Czech national championship, the Valašská Rally (March 29-31), two of the latest teams to adopt the car for their season made their debut in the championship. Kowax Racing fielded two entries for drivers Martin Vlček and Petr Trnovec. Meanwhile, Pole Maciej Lubiak used the Czech event to learn more about his new charge in preparation for the planned outing in the Polish championship.
Vlček provided the best result of the trio, breaking into the top ten stage times on three occasions and finishing in the top ten places for the Czech championship.
Slovenian pairing take Mitropa Cup podium from Lavanttal Rallye
Pál was also one of three drivers to start their i20 R5 at the Lavanttal Rallye in Austria (April 5-6), combining commitments in the Mitropa Cup and his national championship. Another of the Hyundai crews, Hyundai Slovenia, supported duo of Rok Turk where Blanka Kacin was the best of the three. Throughout the rally, they ran inside the top ten and finished sixth overall, claiming second place of those registered for the international competition.
Class podium for Italian crew
Matteo Daprá completed the top five overall at the Rally 1000 Miglia (March 29-30) in an i20 R5. With co-driver Fabio Andrian at the opening round of the Italian WRC series, which includes both R5 machinery and older WRC-spec cars, he was one of the fastest R5 entrants for the duration of the event, moving into second position in class on the last stage.
Pace on WRC2 stages on the Tour de Corse
Two i20 R5 crews took on the challenge of the Tour De Corse (March 28-31). Both Simone Tempestini and Andrea Nucita showed the pace of the car on the twisting island tarmac, each setting times that put them among the best of the 25 R5 teams entered for the event. Driving mistakes, however, left neither able to collect the result which their speed on the stages promised.