Published on June 11th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Hyundai Cars Made 1-2 Finish At Nürburgring 24 Hours Last Weekend
The Hyundai Elantra N TCR had a spectacular Nürburgring endurance debut, placing first.
Last weekend, Hyundai entered three vehicles into the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. For two of those vehicles – the i20 N and Elantra N TCR – it was their debut there. While the i20 N finished 89th due to a fix that needed to be done after brushing a tyre wall.
However, the Elantra N TCR went on to place 1st and 2nd in their class, 32nd and 33rd overall.
Here’s the race report with more.
Hyundai Motorsport’s pair of TCR cars dominated the TCR class of the Nürburgring 24 Hours to take their first class victory at the famous event in style at the head of a tremendous 1-2 finish for the Elantra N TCR and i30 N TCR.
The two cars qualified first and second in the class – the Elantra N TCR shared by Marc Basseng, Manuel Lauck and Moritz Oestreich, taking pole. It was an advantage that Basseng used to great effect to move into the lead for the first part of the race ahead of the i30 N TCR that was started by Luca Engstler – he would hand over to Hendrik Still and Jean-Karl Vernay in turn. In changing conditions through the opening hours the pair of Hyundai swapped the lead of the category. After starting on slick tyres both cars had to stop for wets with near perfect timing as weather conditions deteriorated – catching out many other teams.
Though the track dried as the six-hour mark approached, a fog descended on the 25km Nürburgring Nordschleife, reducing visibility to the point where race organisers put out the red flag, suspending the action for over 14 hours until the green flag flew again at 12 noon on Sunday.
Unfortunately, the stoppage erased an 11-minute advantage for the two Hyundai entries over their nearest rival. Such was the time loss that when both cars pitted soon after the restart it saw the Hyundai Motorsport team lose the class lead for the first – and only – occasion during the race.
As the greater performance of the Hyundai cars began to show through once more, and the differing strategies used up and down pitlane began to even out, the advantage at the front began to grow once more – finally extending to nearly a lap at the end of the race. The team’s superb performance was celebrated with rapturous applause on the pitwall as the two Alzenau, Germany-built machines were bought across the line by Lauck and Vernay in 32nd and 33rd positions overall.
In its Nürburgring 24 Hours debut the near-production i20 N finished a strong 89th overall. The car is the latest addition to the N line-up to take up the tradition of racing at the event and continue the strong links between the high-performance models and the Nürburgring circuit. The drivers – Marc Ehret, Kai Jordan, Markus Lungstrass and Guido Naumann – showed the strong performance and reliability of Hyundai’s road-going designs, despite needing a stop for repairs on Saturday after a brush with a tyre wall.