Hyundai Motorsport customer results round-up bulletin
- i20 N Rally2 driver Andrea Crugnola finished a superb tenth overall on Rally Monza to win the WRC3 class and give the new car its best overall finish to date in the World Championship
- For the second straight season Hyundai customers swept the TCR class titles in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, with Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis crowned drivers’ champions
- In his first race with the i30 N TCR Lo Sze Ho scored a podium finish at the Macau Guia Circuit in the final weekend of the TCR Asia season.
November 22, 2021 – In the final round of the World Rally Championship the i20 N Rally2 picked up its best overall result in the series so far after a great performance by Andrea Crugnola, who took seven fastest times within the RC2 class. At the same event there was also a career-best WRC3 finish for a Customer Racing Junior Driver, further proving the potential of the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing department’s newest design. In TCR competition teams in the USA brought a hugely successful season to a championship-winning end and elsewhere two drivers, on two different continents and with two different cars scored podiums in their first racing weekends with a Hyundai.
i20 N Rally2 takes best-ever WRC overall result in Monza
Andrea Crugnola showed excellent pace in his i20 N Rally2 on Rally Monza (November 18-21), finishing a great tenth overall – the best of a packed RC2 class entry. One of five i20 N Rally2 on the event – the largest entry for the car since its August debut – Crugnola and co-driver Pietro Ometto were fastest in the category on seven stages. This included four of the six tests completed on Saturday as he moved to the top of the WRC3 standings, past the series’ regulars as well as the WRC2 entrants. He was equally strong on the two styles of roads the rally presented – his wins coming on both the mountain stages and the more technical tests laid out around the Italian Grand Prix venue itself. His finish was the first WRC3 victory for the new car, and its best overall result in World Championship competition, as well as Crugnola’s career best result.
Customer Racing Junior Drivers Grégoire Munster and Josh McErlean finished fourth and seventh respectively in class. For Munster, less than a week after his debut in the i20 N Rally2, the result moved his career best in WRC3 forward. McErlean, meanwhile, put in a strong performance in his first start with the car.
After being drafted into drive one of the i20 N Rally2 at late notice Stefano Albertini put in good times in the opening mountain stages. However, his first RC2-class start at the world level was ended by a mistake which put him off the road.
i20 R5 and i20 N Rally2 runners score top tens in the Canaries
Three Hyundai customers finished in the top ten overall on Rally Islas Canarias (November 18-20), the final round of this year’s European Rally Championship. Contesting the Spanish Superchampionship round at the event Hyundai España-backed drivers Iván Ares and Surhayen Pernía finished sixth and seventh overall – third and fourth of those competing for national championship points – after strong runs in their i20 R5. Pernia was especially impressive in the early running, and scored one overall stage win. Ares, similarly, amassed a collection of top-five times overall, including being second fastest on SS3.
The trio of Hyundai in top ten was completed by Canaries-based driver Yeray Lemes, making his debut start in an i20 N Rally2. Improving his pace – and position – throughout the rally he ended the event with two top ten times, taking tenth overall on the penultimate stage.
The fourth Hyundai customers on the event were Team MRF Tyres and driver Nil Solans. He was on course to end a consistent run, which also included an overall fastest time, inside the top ten until an error in the closing stages.
Junior Driver wins overall in first i20 N Rally2 start
Making his first start in the i20 N Rally2 Grégoire Munster dominated the Rallye National Monts et Coteaux (November 12-13) in France. The Customer Racing Junior Driver was able to head seven of the event’s eight stages overall, and was still the fastest RC2 entrant on the remaining test as he showed great consistency and control in the car immediately as he pulled away to win overall by very nearly three minutes. The rally was also the first with the new design for the BMA team behind the entry.
Career best finish continues strong run of form for i20 R5 crew in Chile
Point Cola Racing i20 R5 driver Martin Scuncio scored a second consecutive podium finish in the Chilean national rally championship at the Gran Premio Osorno (November 11-14). At the end of a strong run that put him in the top five on all but one of the competitive stages he finished second overall. At just six seconds behind the overall leader after nearly 200km the result was his best career finish in the national championship.
Class podium leads i20 R5 trio in France
Three i20 R5 crews finished in the top ten overall at the Rallye Terre de Vaucluse (November 13-14), the best placed of which took second in class, and narrowly missed out on the overall podium. In his first rally at the wheel of an i20 R5 Mathieu Franceschi topped the class on four stages in his CPI Racing by Enjolras-prepared entry on his way to fourth place, less than ten seconds behind the class winner and the final spot on the overall podium.
In two cars readied by Sarrazin Motorsport Jean-Marc Manzagol and Benjamin Clemençon finished seventh and eighth respectively.
Stage win and podium finish close Cypriot season for i20 R5 customer
Panayiotis Yiangou set one fastest stage time in his i20 R5 on the Tiger Rally (November 13-14). In the car run by his family team he was consistently on the pace through the weekend and ended the event in second place. The result was his second consecutive podium finish in the national championship, as the season came to a close.
Fourth place for Irish i20 R5 runner at British Championship finale
i20 R5 driver Josh Moffett missed out a podium on the Ulster Rally (November 20) by a mere handful of seconds after slipping to fourth on the final stage. One of three i20 R5 drivers on the rally – the final round of the British championship – the Irishman was the best of trio – as has been the case regularly during the disrupted 2021 season. Strong pace through the first eight stages put him in position for a first podium of the campaign. However, the fourth best time on the final test was not enough to protect the position.
Hyundai customers cap IMSA season with championship title sweep
For the second consecutive season Hyundai Motorsport customers swept the three titles on offer in the TCR class of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge as results at the Road Atlanta (November 11-12) season finale confirmed the champions. Bryan Herta Autosport Veloster N TCR drivers Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis secured the drivers’ championship at the end of a hugely consistent season, which has seen them finish outside of the top five only once in the ten-race season. Their results, completed with a fifth placed finish in the final contest of the season, also confirmed the #77 squad as teams’ champions.
The event at Road Atlanta was a strong one for Hyundai teams. Bryan Herta Autosport’s pair of Elantra N TCR locked out the front row in qualifying, with the Copeland Motorsports Veloster N TCR of Customer Racing Junior Drivers Tyler Maxson and Tyler Gonzalez third. The three led the early part of the race – Gonzalez getting between the two Elantra started by Ryan Norman and Harry Gottsacker.
Maxson, as well as Lewis, would later lead in the race. The Copeland Motorsports’ duo would finish as the best Hyundai in third, and the Elantra of Norman and Parker Chase fourth. The finish confirmed Hyundai as manufacturers’ champions to complete a hugely successful campaign.
Macau podium in drivers’ first i30 N TCR start
Hong Kong driver Lo Sze Ho finished a superb second in the final race of the TCR Asia season at Macau (November 19-21). In his first weekend in the Z-Challenger Racing-entered i30 N TCR he was immediately on the same pace as the leading drivers in the championship as he qualified sixth on the famous Guia Circuit street track. A good start and early laps in Saturday’s Race 1 brought him to fourth – latching onto the back of the podium battle. He would be handed third in the closing laps when a driver ahead was forced to pit.
In Race 2 – starting from the third place he earned the day before in his Shell Hong Kong-sponsored car – he held a spot in the top three, avoiding mistakes on the notoriously punishing track, to take second place in the final laps when one of the leading drivers slowed with a puncture. Unfortunately, a minor technical issue would see him disqualified from the race.
Podium on Elantra N TCR debut in TCR Spain finale
On his debut race weekend with the Elantra N TCR Gustavo Moura Jr. ended the TCR Spain meeting at Barcelona (November 13-14) on the podium in second place. In a car entered by GC24 Motorsport for a one-off appearance at the season finale he qualified an impressive third on a grid that included many more experienced drivers.
After being spun out of fourth place in Race 1 on Saturday he rebounded in the final race of the weekend to take second place and further display his pace in the car.
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Manager Andrew Johns said: “Our customers have shown the true strengths of the Hyundai i20 N Rally2 in the last few weeks – not only in its pure performance, but also in how quickly crews are able to adapt to the handling of the chassis. Rally Monza bought the largest entry yet of the new car in a single event, including three drivers making their first starts with the i20 N Rally2. On their respective debuts Josh McErlean and Stefano Albertini were quickly able get good times on the stages. Grégoire Munster first won in France in his first run in the car, and then took his WRC3 career best finish. Of course Andrea Crugnola was mightily impressive for the entire rally in Monza – showing the i20 N Rally2’s all-round capabilities on the full range of stages on the event, and his top ten overall is a great milestone for the project. The second consecutive clean sweep for Hyundai customers in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge is, likewise, a huge achievement. That result, of course comes after a superb season for both Elantra N TCR and, of course, Veloster N TCR teams in the series – none more so than the new drivers’ champions.”