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Terça, 29 Janeiro 2019 00:44 | Actualizado em Quinta, 17 Outubro 2019 08:07

Hyundai Motorsport customer results round-up bulletin
 
  • The Rallye Monte-Carlo gave the Hyundai i20 R5 a first WRC top-ten overall, with Stéphane Sarrazin and Jacques-Julien Renucci claiming ninth position and an R5 podium
  • Luca Engstler won each of the first four races of the new TCR Malaysia series for Liqui Moly Team Engstler to make a near perfect start to the year in his Hyundai i30 N TCR
  • Customers continue to prepare for the 2019 season, with new drivers set to step into Hyundai cars for the first time in both TCR and R5 competition.
 –Hyundai Motorsport's customers in both the i20 R5 and i30 N TCR have enjoyed a successful early start to their 2019 seasons, with podium results in Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, the first month of the year brings news of teams and drivers readying themselves for their campaigns in the months to come.
 
Class podium and top-ten overall for i20 R5 at Rallye Monte-Carlo
 
Stéphane Sarrazin and Jacques-Julien Renucci gave the i20 R5 a first top-ten overall in the WRC at the Rallye Monte-Carlo (January 24-28). Driving a car prepared by Sarrazin’s own team the pair were among the fastest of the R5 crews throughout the rally on varied road conditions typical of the World Championship’s traditional opening round.
 
Competing against crews supported by manufacturer teams the French duo claimed the top R5 time on Stage 4 on the Friday afternoon, among a very consistent run through the rally. They finished with three consecutive second fastest times in class to claim ninth overall and third in the R5 class in the final standings.
 
Two Italian teams joined them on the rally. Running with Bernini Rally Andrea Nucita was able to closely match Sarrazin’s performance – taking the fourth best time in the R5 class on three of the four stages on the final day. However, a minor problem earlier in the rally stopped them from matching their overall result. The third i20 R5 on the list was provided by the HMI team for Massimo ‘Pedro’ Pedretti.
Stephane Sarrazin - i20 R5 - Rallye Monte-Carlo
Andrea Nucita - i20 R5 - Rallye Monte-Carlo
Dominant start for Hyundai teams in Malaysia
 
German driver Luca Engstler made an almost unstoppable start to his 2019 season in the TCR Malaysia series. Taking his Liqui Moly Team Engstler i30 N TCR to Asia for the first time after debuting the machine in TCR Germany last year, Engstler lined up second on the grid for the opening race at the Sepang Circuit (January 19-20).  However a stellar start put the Hyundai in the lead and he was able to hold strong in a wheel-to-wheel battle following a safety car period.
 
He backed up the performance in a wet Race 2, where he was able to power from seventh on the grid to a dominant victory. An excellent start to the season for the i30 N TCR customers was completed by TCR Korea champions Indigo Racing and Byung Hui Kang in second place to seal a Hyundai 1-2 in difficult conditions.
 
Engstler’s perfect start to the year in Sepang continued the following weekend (January 26). Pole position for Race 1 was followed by victory in another rain-affected event. Then, in the series’ highlight race under lights at the former GP venue Engstler leaped from eighth on the reverse grid to the lead almost immediately before driving to a dominant victory to finish the weekend.
 
The results not only put Engstler on the brink of clinching the title, but also put the i30 N TCR atop the Car Model of the Year points for the championship with two races remaining.
Luca Engstler - i30 N TCR - TCR Malaysia, Sepang International Circuit
Byung Hui Kang - i30 N TCR - TCR Malaysia, Sepang International Circuit
i30 N TCR customers ready for 2019 campaigns 
 
Though the wait continues for the majority of TCR series seasons to begin Hyundai Motorsport customers are already confirming their plans for the year ahead.
 
After impressing in national championships in 2018 Swedish siblings Andreas and Jessica Bäckman will move to TCR Europe this year, stepping into the i30 N TCR with Target Competition for the seven-round season, which begins in April at the Hungaroring.
 
Another young talent – Max Hesse – has also confirmed a switch to the i30 N TCR for 2019. The TCR Germany rookie champion will make his attack on the series title with Hyundai Team Engstler this year, joining Théo Coicaud who will start his second year with a Hyundai at the season opener at Oschersleben.
 
2019 will also see the debut of the Hyundai i30 N TCR in the TCR Asia Series. Established race team Eurasia Motorsport will take two cars to the series this year. Already confirmed for the campaign is driver one-make series champion Daniel Miranda, who returns to Touring Cars after a season in single-seaters. The identity of the second driver for the team will be confirmed at a later date.
 
Team Hyundai Portugal launches squad for 2019 national series
 
After taking Armindo Araújo to the title in their debut season with the i20 R5 Team Hyundai Portugal will return to the national championship with a two-car assault for 2019. Araújo will defend his title with co-driver Luís Ramalho, and they will be joined at the team by new recruits Bruno Magalhães and Hugo Magalhães. The pair will make their i20 R5 debut when the series begins with the Rali Serras de Fafe next month. Both crews were part of the team’s official launch event, revealing the cars for the year in front of gathered media as their testing ramps up for the start of the season.
 
The two Portuguese crews, supported by Hyundai Portugal, will be joined at the event by Hyundai Motorsport’s WRC crew of Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio, who will run in the i20 R5 as part of the preparation for Rally México.
Team Hyundai Portugal - 2019 Team Launch
Bruno Magalhaes - Team Hyundai Portugal - 2019 Team Launch
Hyundai Motorsport Team Director Andrea Adamo said: “Though it is still only January, there is no break for our customers, or for the Customer Racing department. Both the i30 N TCR and now the i20 R5 have started 2019 with superb results. To win four races out of four in TCR Malaysia is a huge achievement for Luca Engstler, and a great way to start a year where the i30 N TCR will run in TCR Asia for the first time. Stéphane Sarrazin’s result at Rallye-Monte Carlo shows the performance of the i20 R5. His result is a product of him as a driver, of course, but also of the support for our customers and the development work on the car to make sure it remains a challenger for stage and overall wins.”
 


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