Hyundai withdraws customer teams from Nurburgring WTCR ahead of practice

Hyundai has decided to withdraw its customer teams from this weekend's World Touring Car Cup event at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, saying it's "not made to feel welcome" in the series

Hyundai withdraws customer teams from Nurburgring WTCR ahead of practice

In a short statement released just prior to first practice at the German venue, Hyundai said it believes it is unfairly treated by the series.

The comments follow a difficult start to the new WTCR season for Hyundai at Zolder, as the best Hyundai finisher was Norbert Michelisz in eighth in the second race.

It marked a massive downturn in performance for the South Korean manufacturer, which propelled Michelisz to the drivers' title and the BRC squad to second place in the teams' championship last year.

It is understood that Hyundai's grievance has its roots in BoP rules and a new ECU system, which it believes has made the i30 N TCR package uncompetitive against the six other cars present in the series.

"Hyundai Motorsport has announced that our customer teams will not participate in WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup Race of Germany (24-26 September)," a statement read.

"Hyundai Motorsport has the feeling that neither the company nor our customer teams are given equal treatment in the series to other competitors and are not made to feel welcome.

"We remain committed to demonstrating the high-performance credentials of our racing vehicles on an international stage, in series that are reflective of Hyundai's N brand."

Following Hyundai's withdrawal, the FIA issued a statement saying it would speak to the marque's customers teams and reiterated that its aim is to ensure fairness in motorsport.

"All the three parties [FIA, WSC and promoter Eurosport Events] are united in their mission to deliver a fair competition for all entrants, from a sporting, technical and promotional point of view, providing a platform to compete on an equal basis.

"EEL, FIA and WSC look forward to continued and constructive dialogue with Hyundai Motorsport's customer teams."

Hyundai is represented in WTCR by BRC and Engstler teams, each of which fields two cars in the championship.

Michelisz is Hyundai's top driver in the standings' after the opening round of the championship, sitting in 11th place with 13 points, 30 down on points leader Yann Ehrlacher of Cyan Racing Lynk and Co.

The two Hyundai teams Engstler and BRC occupy seventh and eighth in the championship with 20 and 17 points respectively.

By comparison, Cyan Racing leads the title race with 74 points.

Munnich Honda driver Nestor Girolami and Ehrlacher won one race apiece in the WTCR season opener, with Girolami's victory putting him second in the championship, seven points down on Ehrlacher.

The second round of the season is part of the support bill of the Nurburgring 24 Hours and features two sprint races, one each on Friday and Saturday.

shares
comments
Zolder WTCR: Ehrlacher takes first Cyan win and grabs early points lead

Previous article

Zolder WTCR: Ehrlacher takes first Cyan win and grabs early points lead

Next article

Nurburgring WTCR: Ehrlacher extends points lead with Girolami penalised

Nurburgring WTCR: Ehrlacher extends points lead with Girolami penalised
Load comments

About this article

Series WTCR
Author Rachit Thukral
The tin-top champion who doesn't know the meaning of retirement Plus

The tin-top champion who doesn't know the meaning of retirement

The news is out that three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx is stepping down from full-time racing. But he's still got plenty of mileage left him in yet, and his son has much more

WTCR
Jun 16, 2020
The phoenix driver who is at peace with his defeats Plus

The phoenix driver who is at peace with his defeats

Esteban Guerrieri spent years trying to make it in single-seaters, and came closer than you'd think to making it to F1. Now he's forging a successful tin-top career, but it's his philosophical approach to defeat and personal growth that is truly impressive

WTCR
Jan 13, 2020
The surprise team orders twisting a world title battle Plus

The surprise team orders twisting a world title battle

Team orders in major touring car racing are nothing unusual with manufacturer honour at stake. But in the 2019 World Touring Cars title fight, one team is raising eyebrows with the choices it is making

WTCR
Nov 18, 2019
The 'weapon' clash that turned a world title battle bitter Plus

The 'weapon' clash that turned a world title battle bitter

Emotions ran high at Suzuka last weekend between two teams gunning for global tin-top bragging rights, and little has been done to cool those tensions since. While that's great news for WTCR, is there a danger of both outfits losing sight of their main aim?

WTCR
Nov 2, 2019
How WTCR's last real independent has stayed in play Plus

How WTCR's last real independent has stayed in play

The World Touring Car Cup has gone from strength to strength for 2019 - but one small team in particular is proving time and again that it merits a place alongside the series' big hitters

WTCR
Apr 23, 2019
The lessons World Touring Cars must heed from history Plus

The lessons World Touring Cars must heed from history

The WTCR has made a massive step up in quality ahead of its second season in its current format, but as manufacturers start to lock horns is it already in danger of repeating other great touring car series' mistakes?

WTCR
Apr 5, 2019
A world champion in waiting's tortuous path to recovery Plus

A world champion in waiting's tortuous path to recovery

Tiago Monteiro seemed destined to win the World Touring Car Championship last year, until a huge testing crash halted his charge. After early whispers of a swift racing return, he recounts his arduous (and incomplete) road to recovery

WTCR
Aug 9, 2018
Why a world championship made the ultimate sacrifice Plus

Why a world championship made the ultimate sacrifice

A rulebook scrapped with two-thirds of its planned existence remaining and the disintegration of a 'world championship' - yet everyone's a winner from one of modern motorsport's greatest acts of martyrdom

WTCR
Jan 9, 2018