Reigning world champion to race on Australian shores
Hyundai has confirmed its two drivers for the inaugural Kumho TCR World Tour this season.
The Korean manufacturer has again enlisted the Italian BRC Racing Team to represent it on the global stage, fielding a pair of Elantra N TCRs.
Re-joining the team for the inaugural Kumho TCR World Tour will be last year’s WTCR champion Mikel Azcona and 2019 title winner Norbert Michelisz.
Spaniard Azcona joined Hyundai last season following a long relationship with Cupra and managed to seal the title after taking four victories. From Hungary, Michelisz took the WTCR title in 2019 for Hyundai and last year finished fourth in the championship.
Hyundai Motorsport chief Cyril Abiteboul highlighted retaining a proven package was important for the inaugural Kumho TCR World Tour.
“BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Mikel Azcona and Norbert Michelisz have already proven themselves to be a winning combination, so we’re obviously very happy to have both drivers and the team representing Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing again for the first season of the Kumho TCR World Tour,” Abiteboul said.
“The Customer Racing department have customers in many of the championships the new global series will visit, and the arrival of BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Mikel Azcona and Norbert Michelisz will only increase the profile of Hyundai Motorsport teams in these nations.
“We have seen many times in different series that the Hyundai Elantra N TCR is a very strong package, even at the highest level of the category. I’m confident that 2023 will add to list of successes for Hyundai Motorsport-built cars.”
Azcona is excited to continue with Hyundai in the Kumho TCR World Tour for 2023.
“When I joined the team for 2022 it was a great opportunity, and now we have another one with the beginning of the Kumho TCR World Tour,” he said. “Last year we proved that me, Norbert and the team worked very well together when we won both titles and I think we are only stronger at the start of this season with Hyundai Elantra N TCR.
“With the preparation done, I think we have a great chance to race of the titles again and add to the success we had last year.”
Teammate Michelisz is enthusiastic about the new era of touring car racing’s highest level.
“As the first season of the Kumho TCR World Tour this year is really exciting,” he said. “A lot of things are changing and in good ways. We know that Mikel and I are very strong, and we know that the Hyundai Elantra N TCR is a great car. However, there are lots of questions which we will only find the answer to when we start racing in Portugal.
“All of these unknowns – the new tracks, the new tyres, racing with teams in the regional TCR series – mean that the driver who will win the title will be the one who adapts to these things the fastest. I can’t wait!”
The Kumho TCR World Tour will race twice in Australia, including at Mount Panorama for the second running of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International on November 10-12.
Portimao in Portugal will host the opening round of the Kumho TCR World Tour on April 28-30 featuring Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series driver Ben Bargwanna on the grid for the first of two European events.
The next round of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series is part of the Shannon SpeedSeries event at Phillip Island on May 12-14.