Tarquini gives Hyundai's new i30 victory on TCR International debut

Gabriele Tarquini gave Hyundai's new i30 N TCR victory on its TCR International Series debut in China

Tarquini gives Hyundai's new i30 victory on TCR International debut

Hyundai announced last month it would enter two of its development cars in Zhejiang for multiple touring car champions Tarquini and Alain Menu.

The i30, Hyundai's first purpose-built circuit racing car, was granted a temporary homologation by TCR officials, meaning neither Menu or Tarquini were allowed to take part in the second part of qualifying on Saturday despite finishing first and second respectively in the opening phase.

Its temporary homologation also meant the i30 was ineligible for points, which were on offer in the second qualifying segment.

The pair lined up 13th and 14th for the start of race one, but Tarquini - the 2009 World Touring Car champion - charged through the order and made up eight places on the first lap alone to run sixth.

He then took advantage of a squabble between Rob Huff's Volkswagen Golf GTi and the Audi S3 of Frederic Vervisch to move into fourth on lap two, and had picked off Gianni Morbidelli, points leader Jean-Karl Vernay and Pepe Oriola's SEAT Leon by mid-distance in the 19-lap race to claim the lead.

Tarquini finished the race 1.626 seconds clear of Team WRT's Vernay and his team-mate Huff.

"I certainly did not expect that and this will stay as one of the best memories in my career," said 55-year-old Tarquini.

"To win at our debut just proves that the excellent work done pays off.

"I realised I had a chance to win and pushed hard, despite the fact we had some fears after having encountered problems with the oil radiator in practice and qualifying.

"The weekend really was not bad for a newcomer to the series. At the end of the day, I am a rookie in TCR!"

The i30 was handed a Balance of Performance adjustment before Sunday's second race, with its engine power turned down to 95% and 40 kilograms of ballast added to the car.

Double British Touring car champion Menu - who finished the first race 12th after a drive-through penalty - crossed the line fourth in race two, with Tarquini two places behind.

Venue change for season finale

The International Series' season finale has been moved from the Formula 1 support bill in Abu Dhabi on November 25-26 to a standalone event a week earlier at the Dubai Autodrome.

As part of an agreement struck with Formula One Management before its debut season, TCR has joined the undercard at three grands prix for the previous two years.

While it supported F1 in Bahrain, its mooted Monaco Grand Prix support round was canned after the Automobile Club de Monaco blocked the move.

Autosport understands TCR has had little contact from F1's owners in recent months and, while it has made no formal announcement of a date change, the series' website now acknowledges a change of location for the final round.

The finale will instead take place around the 3.39-mile, FIA Grade 1 Dubai circuit on November 17-18.

shares
comments
Motorsport.tv partners with Tata Communications

Previous article

Motorsport.tv partners with Tata Communications

Next article

Motorsport Jobs: How do you find a job in motorsport?

Motorsport Jobs: How do you find a job in motorsport?
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020