Successful Sydney weekend | Hyundai N
Our Elantra N TCR customer team have claimed two podium finishes with drivers Mikel and Norbert in Sydney at the seventh round of the Kumho TCR World Tour this weekend (3-4 November).
Race 1 took place under floodlights and after qualifying third on Friday, Mikel started Race 1 on the second row. Weather conditions were poor, but the Spaniard made a good start and moved into second place. The rain gradually got heavier, resulting in a brief red flag stoppage. Mikel had a good restart, keeping second place, resulting in his sixth podium finish of the year. However, a post-race penalty was applied which demoted him to third.
“I’ve been able to recover a few points in the standings,” explained Mikel. “I really needed that podium finish in Race 1 to keep in the fight.”
Team-mate Norbert qualified eighth but got entangled in the mid pack at the start of Race 1, dropping to 20th. He made his way back into 15th, but his progress was halted due to a safety car and the red flag stoppage. The Hungarian was on a charge to regain positions at the resumption of the race and crossed the line in eighth.
“I’ve scored a lot of important points this weekend,” said Norbert. “I also had a great package in the Elantra N TCR which allowed me to get involved in the battles.”
Saturday’s two races were nothing short of chaotic, providing the entertainment touring car fans love to watch. Mikel had an unfortunate start to Race 2, having to make a pit stop at the end of lap one after contact. He was able to re-join but was a lap down on the leading pack and ultimately finished 19th.
Race 3 started strongly for Mikel, gaining three places to fourth from his starting position of seventh in the opening lap. An issue with his Elantra N TCR later in the race though caused him to lose pace and drop back to sixth. He had to defend hard from the car behind for the remainder of the race where he crossed the line in sixth.
“I struggled on Saturday,” commented Mikel. “I really had to battle hard, especially in the last one – but that’s racing sometimes.”
Norbert was fighting at the front end of the field in Race 2, and the close racing he was involved in caused him to slip from second to fifth. He was elevated to fourth at the chequered flag because of a penalty for another competitor.
He had a relatively quiet Race 3, moving up a position to third in the opening corners. The place was maintained throughout the race, and a penalty for the car ahead meant he was awarded second instead – his fifth podium of the season.
“I gave it my all to get on the podium this weekend,” smiled Norbert. “I am still leading the standings which was my main target before the event.”
Norbert continues to lead the Kumho TCR World Tour for Drivers by a single point heading into the penultimate round of the season. Mikel and BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse retain their positions in each of the standings.