Catsburg, Farfus get first taste of Hyundai WTCR power
Nicky Catsburg and Augusto Farfus got their first taste of Hyundai i30 N TCR power as Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing’s preparations for 2019 began in Portugal earlier this week.
The WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO newcomers joined Norbert Michelisz and 2018 WTCR OSCARO title winner Gabriele Tarquini at the Autódromo Internacional Algarve near Portimão.
Michelisz and Tarquini shared the track time on day one, working through a number of checks and analysing different combinations of damper and spring settings to confirm the previous bench testing carried out by the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing engineers.
Catsburg and Farfus got their turns on day two with both setting competitive lap times and highlighting the strong performance and the balance of the chassis following their first running in the Korean machine.
“When I first drove the Hyundai i30 N TCR I could immediately tell it was a different type of car from what I have raced before, my first drive in a TCR,” said Dutchman Catsburg. “However, the handling characteristics were still very familiar from the front-wheel-drive cars I have competed in before. You have to push it in a similar way to get the performance from it. It’s clear that Gabriele did a great job with developing the car, and that Hyundai Motorsport and their customers have created a very strong package.”
Brazilian Farfus added: “It was 2006 the last time I was racing at front-wheel-drive car, but from my first laps in the Hyundai i30 N TCR I felt comfortable, and able to push. Before my runs on track both Gabriele and Norbi were able to give an idea of what to expect from the balance of the chassis, and their experience was really valuable. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I was able to get up to speed. It’s very nice to start the Christmas and New Year break with a successful first test and a positive feeling about the car, which I can take into 2019, and to the customer team in FIA WTCR.”
Further testing is planned in the New Year when Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing will confirm the exact driver line-up for its two-car teams in WTCR OSCARO 2019.