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Terça, 02 Abril 2024 19:19 | Actualizado em Terça, 16 Julho 2024 14:03

Hyundai Motorsport customer results round-up bulletin
  • Kris Meeke and James Fulton were fastest on every stage of Rallye Casinos do Algarve and won the second round of the Portuguese Rally Championship by nearly a minute
  • James Williams started his season in the British Rally Championship with a fourth place in the North West stages with co-driver Ross Whittock and the i20 N Rally2
  • Tom Oliphant emerged victorious from a superb battle in Race 3 of the TCR Australia weekend at Symmons Plains to claim his first win for HMO Customer Racing.
 i20 N Rally2 customers started national championship seasons in France, Germany and Italy with strong pace, while Hyundai Team Portugal’s Kris Meeke and James Fulton again dominated proceedings in Portugal. There were some important firsts for TCR teams in both the USA and Australia with a debut podium for StarCom Racing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge  and a superb maiden win with HMO Customer Racing for Tom Oliphant.  
Safari Rally trip finished with class podiums for i20 N Rally2 crews
i20 N Rally2 drivers Nicolas Ciamin and Charles Munster finished fourth and fifth respectively in WRC at Safari Rally Kenya (March 28-31). Driving a car prepared by the French 2C Competition team, Ciamin was consistent throughout the famously gruelling event and avoided any major problems alongside co-driver Yannick Roche. The duo topped the WRC2 Challenger class on four stages, including three on the final day of the event as they claimed a second-place finish in the category.
Munster was making his career-first WRC2 start at the event. He and co-driver Loïc Dumont were the quickest WRC2 Challenger crew on two stages as they also avoided major issues throughout the weekend. In the final results they claimed 13th overall and completed the WRC2 Challenger podium to complete a strong debut in the world championship.
Nicolas Ciamin - i20 N Rally2 - Safari Rally Kenya
Charles Munster - i20 N Rally2 - Safari Rally Kenya
Meeke and Fulton continue super start to Portuguese season
Kris Meeke and James Fulton dominated the second round of the Portuguese Rally Championship at Rallye Casinos do Algarve (March 15-16). The Team Hyundai Portugal crew won all nine stages on the gravel event in their i20 N Rally2 to take overall victory by nearly a minute and continue their superb start to the 2024 campaign.
Their team-mates Ricardo Teodósio and José Teixeira looked to be on course to complete a 1-2 for the Hyundai Portugal-backed team. However, though they never dropped out of the top three times, the defending champions – and 2023 victors on the event – fell to third place over the last two stages to take the final step on the podium.
In their Racing 4 You-run i20 N Rally2 Pedro Meireles and Ricardo Cunha held sixth position – a result which would have matched their finish in the opening round – until they were forced to retire on the final stage of the rally.
Kris Meeke - i20 N Rally2 - Rallye Casinos do Algarve
Kris Meeke - i20 N Rally2 - Rallye Casinos do Algarve
British crew start national season with consistent performance
The new British Rally Championship season began at the North West Stages (March 23) with James Williams and Ross Whittock aboard an i20 N Rally2. After clocking only the eighth quickest time on the opening stage the pair climbed to fifth before the end of the opening loop, though the progress was limited by the cancellation of the final two stages before the mid-day service.
They proved that point with the second fastest time on SS6 when the action resumed in the afternoon. On the following stage they took fourth place. Williams and Whittock avoided any major issues when caught out on slick tyres during isolated rain showers on the stages, though the changing conditions limited their pace on the wet roads. Through this situation the pair held fourth position until the end of the event.
James Williams - i20 N Rally2 - North West Stages
James Williams - i20 N Rally2 - North West Stages
i20 N Rally2 crew take strong finish from Italian season opener
Andrea Nucita and Rudy Pollet finished an impressive fourth on Rally Il Ciocco e Valle del Serchio (March 15-16). The pair showed their best pace in the final three stages of the event, winning two tests and going second quickest on the other. The times helped them secure their finishing position after they moved into fourth earlier in the day, having begun the second day of running in sixth place. 
Andrea Nucita - i20 N Rally2 - Rally Il Ciocco
Andrea Nucita - i20 N Rally2 - Rally Il Ciocco
Hyundai crews finish 1-2 on American event
Hyundai Motorsport customers finished first and second in class at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood (March 15-16). In their first start of the season, i20 R5 crew Patrick Gruszka and Florian Barral finished fourth overall and were the fastest RC2 entrant on all 14 stages to begin their defence of the class title in the American Rally Association events. John Coyne finished eighth overall in an i20 N Rally2 to take second in the class with his Irish countryman Josh McErlean taking an unfamiliar seat as a co-driver for the weekend.
i20 N Rally2 customers show strong pace to start year in France
Hugo Margaillan started his French Tarmac Rally Championship season with a sixth place finish at Rallye Le Touquet – Pas-de-Calais (March 15-16). On his competitive debut with the i20 N Rally2 he and co-driver Corentin Silvestre held a podium place for most of the rally’s opening day, which was run on wet, muddy roads. They would briefly lose their top three place before reclaiming it on the opening stage of the second day of the contest. Unfortunately, on the following stage they would suffer a puncture and drop to sixth. They finished the event there, one spot ahead of Belgian crew Cédric Cherain and Damien Withers. The Belgian Rally Championship regulars improved their pace and position as they gained confidence in the conditions on the unfamiliar roads. Ultimately the finished less than four seconds behind their CHL Sport Auto team-mates.
The rally was also the first competitive event for Eric Camilli with an i20 N Rally2 run by 2C Competition. Camilli and Thibault de la Haye were fastest overall on SS4 as they chased a podium place. However, they crashed out on the following stage.
Hugo Margaillan - i20 N Rally2 - Rallye Le Touquet
Cedric Cherain - i20 N Rally2 - Rallye Le Touquet
Top ten finishes begin German season for i20 N Rally2 crews
A trio of crews took i20 N Rally2 prepared by FS Sport onto the stages of the opening round of the German Rally Championship – Rallye Erzgebirge (March 15-16). Nico Knacker and Thomas Puls finished as the best of the three in sixth position after a consistent run that began with the second fastest time through the opening stages.
The crew of Patrik Dinkel and Alexander Benning started their rally with different results. They suffered a puncture on the opening stage and a spin on SS2, leaving them 13th overall on their first return to service. Happily, their fortunes improved when the same stages were re-run in the evening as the pair recovered to eighth after top-ten times on both tests.
Their pace and progress continued into day two of the rally. Second fastest on SS6 and third on SS7 gave them seventh overall, which they kept for the remainder of the rally, despite another brief off-road trip on SS10.
The i20 N Rally2 crews on the event were completed by Martin Christ and Lina Meter, who finished 11th overall.
Elantra N TCR debutants score IMSA podium at Sebring
On their debut in the championship, new Elantra N TCR customers StarCom Racing finished a superb second in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Sebring International Raceway (March 14-15). The car, driven by Nick Tucker and Andy Lally crossed the line third in class after Lally had defended his position well in the closing laps. The duo was then promoted up to second when a rival was disqualified after the race.
The same decision – as well as another post-race demotion – helped defending IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge champions Harry Gottsacker and Robert Wickens score their first podium of the 2024 season. Gottsacker qualified their Bryan Herta Autosport Elantra N TCR on pole position and led for part of the first run of the race before the race was neutralised by a full course caution. After the driver swap pit stop half-way through the race Wickens resumed in sixth. The Canadian was only able to make up one place on track but was promoted onto the podium after the chequered flag.
Preston Brown and Denis Dupont finished fourth to remain second in the points standings, ahead of their Bryan Herta Autosport team-mates Mason Filippi and Mark Wilkins who finished sixth at Sebring, just ahead of the VGRT Elantra N TCR team of Victor Gonzalez and Tyler Gonzalez. 
Nick Tucker/Andy Lally - Elantra N TCR - Sebring International Raceway
Harry Gottsacker/Robert Wickens - Elantra N TCR - Sebring International Raceway
Oliphant’s Race 3 win completes strong Tasmania weekend for HMO Customer Racing
Tom Oliphant took his first win for HMO Customer Racing in TCR Australia at Symmons Plains (March 15-17) to complete a strong weekend for the squad in Tasmania. Oliphant’s team-mate and fellow i30 N TCR driver Josh Buchan qualified second and finished in the same position in Race 1 as Oliphant claimed eighth. The finish gave Oliphant third on the grid for Race 2, which he took full advantage of to finish second and secure a front row start for the final encounter.
From the start Oliphant was part of an incredibly tight lead battle that included as many as five drivers. In the close-quarters battle he narrowly avoided disaster after contact and methodically made his way to the lead before pulling away to claim victory. Buchan was chasing to join him on the podium, but was spun out at high speed to end his challenge for a top result.
Tom Oliphant - i30 N TCR - Symmons Plains
Josh Buchan - i30 N TCR - Symmons Plains
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Manager Benoit Nogier said “More of our rallying customers have shown good pace at the start of the season in national series. In France, Germany and Italy i20 N Rally2 crews have already shown they have the pace to challenge for at least podium positions and in Portugal Kris Meeke, James Fulton and Team Hyundai Portugal have continued their excellent start to the season with Ricardo Teodósio and José Teixeira claiming a podium at the same event. In TCR, our latest Elantra N TCR customers in the USA scored a superb podium on their IMSA debut at Sebring and Bryan Herta Autosport’s defending champions took a first podium of the season after qualifying on pole.  Tom Oliphant scored a first win with the i30 N TCR in only his second weekend racing the car in the very competitive TCR Australia championship.” 

About Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
Hyundai Motorsport GmbH is responsible for Hyundai’s global motorsport activities, including the FIA World Rally Championship and Customer Racing projects. Since its inception in 2012, Hyundai Motorsport has established a strong reputation in WRC and claimed the manufacturers’ title in 2019 and 2020. The company embraced the all-new technical challenge of WRC’s hybrid era in 2022, resulting in the birth of the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid. Following the creation of its Customer Racing department in 2015, Hyundai Motorsport has become a trusted partner for teams and drivers looking for success on the rally stages or on racetracks around the world. From its competitive Hyundai i20 N Rally2 to the front-running Hyundai Elantra N TCR, Hyundai Motorsport-built cars have claimed crowns in several national rally championships and titles in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) (2018, 2019, 2022) and the TCR World Tour (2023). Hyundai Motorsport has supported an important perception shift for the Hyundai brand around the world over the past ten years and continues to play an instrumental role in driving Hyundai’s global high-performance N brand.
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