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Hyundai Targeting Customer TCR Entries in PWC, IMSA for 2019

Hyundai targeting customer TCR entries in IMSA and PWC for 2019…

Photo: Bryan Herta Autosport

Hyundai could have a presence in both IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and Pirelli World Challenge next year with its next-generation TCR offering, which is due to be available for customers in North America in time for 2019.

Bryan Herta Autosport introduced the Korean marque to the North American sports car racing market in PWC competition this this year, winning the TCR team championship and finishing second and third in the driver standings with a pair of i30 N TCR entries for Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis.

Team owner Bryan Herta says that interest in the new car, which is widely tipped to be based on the Hyundai Veloster N, is high based on the team’s strong showing with the i30 N.

He added that he hopes a successful run in the upcoming California 8 Hours Intercontinental GT Challenge event will generate further interest.

“We had such a great season this year, and we’re going to start selling customer cars next year, which hasn’t exactly been announced but I want people to know we’re going to start selling customer cars,” Herta told Sportscar365.

“It’s a great package and it’s really competitive. We were able to demonstrate the competitiveness of it all year in Pirelli World Challenge and we thought that doing an endurance race with driver changes and refueling would show the versatility of the car.

“It can be used in a lot of different racing applications. This one’s a little different and we wanted to be able to show potential customers that the car could be entered in any number of types of events.”

While the new car will be built by Hyundai’s motorsports arm in Europe, Herta’s Indianapolis-based team will be the point of contact for North American customer sales while continuing as a customer program themselves.

Herta indicated that having a U.S. operation to handle the needs of the North American market has commercial value for all involved.

“The plan is that we will support it here in the U.S. on the sales and technical support side,” he said.

“We would provide parts support over here so we’d be the point of contact for other customers, which is funny because we’re a customer ourselves of Hyundai Motorsports in Germany.

“We can manage a lot of the U.S. operations for them and also bring value to teams here in the U.S. because we’ll be easily reachable, we don’t have the time change, and we can help diagnose and troubleshoot problems.

“We’re very familiar with the car and its systems now, and we can also provide parts support here in the U.S. We can literally have either at-track support or have parts back in the customer’s hands in 24 hours.

“By being U.S.-based, we have lots of advantages and it allows us to support the program.”

Herta anticipates customer interest in both IMSA and PWC, and noted that the car is available for track day enthusiasts as well.

As for BHA’s program for next year, team staff recently attended the IMSA event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to scope out that series, while interest in PWC remains high.

“We were at the [WeatherTech Raceway] Laguna Seca IMSA round evaluating that series, getting a look at that paddock, and evaluating that opportunity,” Herta said.

“I think it’s something that we’re looking at supporting either as a team or supporting customers in that series. We’re looking at PWC in much the same way.

“Right now it’s very possible we could race in either or both of those championships as a team next year.

“It will somewhat be dependent too on if we have multiple customers and they want to race in one championship or the other. We’re going to want to support where the other Hyundai customers cars are racing.”

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Ian

    September 21, 2018 at 11:13 am

    “heavily based on a Veloster N” ??
    don’t TCR rules mandate a 4-door car?

    • Partick

      September 21, 2018 at 2:15 pm

      It’s essentially the Velocitor with 4-doors. SRO GT4 is global. I know IMSA is more picky about what cars are eligible (i.e. wont let the Panoz GT4 car run), but I think they would the Hyundai since it is so closely related to the Velocitor and the i30 N is a regular production car.

      • Andy

        September 21, 2018 at 4:01 pm

        The Veloster N is a 3 door hot hatch and is new for the 2018MY. The current racer (i30) is sold in the US, same J6 platform and engine as the Elantra GT Sport. The regulations say it should but I don’t believe it is limited to ONLY 4 or 5 door, yet. I believe that is the intent though. But I would be surpised if they didn’t just badge the car as a Veloster N on the chassis they have homologated as it is currently the 5 door car I believe. I don’t believe they are required to run it as named, and as they don’t sell the i30 line in the US they must feel there’s marketing value to the name.

        And this is NOT SRO, it’s TCR and entirely different regulations under the FIA. GT4 homolgation does not need automatic approval to race in IMSA, they use your GT4 homologation documents to establish the baseline of the car. Similarly IMSA has limited TCR cars to those available, some interpretation as to whether it’s THE car is available or the manufacturer sells cars in the US, within the US market. I think if Alfa was to show up they’d be allowed in with the Giulietta even though it’s not sold here as of now.

  2. Patrick

    September 21, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    This is what Hyundai needs to do in order to REALLY garner enthusiast’s attention!

  3. Just a guy

    September 21, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Why don’t they make a TCR 2 door class and a TCR 4 door class, because PWC doesn’t have enough classes…….

    • Slicks in the wet

      September 21, 2018 at 11:06 pm

      TCR Compact Gold
      TCR Compact Silver
      TCR Compact Rookie
      TCR Medium Gold
      TCR Medium Silver
      TCR Medium Platinum (for senior drivers)
      TCR GT3 Lite
      TCR GT4 Custom
      TCR TCR TCR Pro

      Should about cover it.

      • Patrick

        September 23, 2018 at 3:26 am

        Hahaha, “TCR Medium Platinum”

        You forgot TCR Street (drivers with the street cars and JCW bolt-ons), TCR LeMans, TCR GT Academy, TCR Hatch and TCR Notch.

      • MikeK

        September 28, 2018 at 11:36 am

        You forgot to add the TCR DSG series cars too.
        TCR DSG Compact Gold
        TCR DSG Compact Silver
        TCR DSG Compact Rookie
        TCR DSG Medium Gold
        TCR DSG Medium Silver
        TCR DSG Medium Platinum (for senior drivers)
        TCR DSG GT3 Lite
        TCR DSG GT4 Custom
        TCR DSG TCR TCR Pro
        TCR DSG Invitational (for Hollywood actors)
        TCR DSG LeMons (for old clapped out TCR cars)

  4. Prototype 1

    September 22, 2018 at 7:54 am

    So far in the CTSC, only Audi and VW race. Great that Hyundai are joining the ranks.

    Let’s hope the Manafactuers like Honda, CUPRA, Alfa Romeo, Ford, Kia, Opel, Peugeot and Subaru follows suit.

    • MikeK

      September 28, 2018 at 11:40 am

      I like the the VW/Audi battles if we could throw in a few SEAT’s then it would be like a great big VAG party. Too bad there’s not a Skoda, Lambo, Ducatti, MAN or Porsche TCR models. That would be better.

  5. dougjp

    September 22, 2018 at 8:26 am

    The problem is with Hyundai, they don’t sell the existing version in North America and now the race version is coming out in its second version? The idea that a Veloster is the same as a Hyundai GT/i30 and therefore something that can be bought for the street is laughable. And to allow this thing to run when a 2.0 turbo in an Elantra GT is not available to buy is a reflection of (a) Series’ desperate to allow anything, and (b) A marketing con by Hyundai who are too lazy (or dumb to realize) to bring a full line of proper 2.0T N cars for the street in NA to compete with VW GTi, Focus ST, Subaru WRX etc.

    • Slicks in the wet

      September 22, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      Dude. Literally all the TCR are fake ass shit that isn’t representative of road going cars.

      The racing is kinda cool.

      But the cars are a joke. Can’t buy FWD RS3 or WRX. So………

  6. Patrick

    September 23, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    I was just at the TCR race at Hockenheim. Pretty heavy presence by Hyaundai, Audi, Hona and VW.Honda won today.

    One thing I can say is the GT4 is GROWING! The ADAC series had a decent size display of GT4 cars (R8, Cayman, M4, AMG and Xbow) as they are adopting a GT4 series for 2019. To put it in perspective, consider that GT4 Euro Series had 40+ car counts evey race this season…

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