· Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing has revealed the line-up of team and two drivers that will compete in this year’s inaugural TCR World Tour
· BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse will field a pair of Hyundai Elantra N TCR for Mikel Azcona and Norbert Michelisz – the same combination that won the WTCR title double in 2022
· The team and drivers have completed several days of pre-season testing in preparation for the start of the new series, which begins at the Portimão circuit in Portugal.
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing drivers Mikel Azcona and Norbert Michelisz will reunite with the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup winning BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse and the Hyundai Elantra N TCR to contest the first season of the TCR World Tour.
The combination will head to new circuits and countries among a host of novel challenges for 2023. At each stop on the World Tour calendar, the Hyundai Motorsport customer team will be on track alongside their counterparts racing for points in an established – and very competitive – regional or national TCR championship.
The season starts with four stops in Europe – joining TCR Europe on three occasions, with the June weekend at Vallelunga acting as a non-championship round for TCR Italy. Back-to-back weekends follow, with two races each in South America and Australia, in August and November respectively before the World Tour ends on the Macau Guia Circuit as the event welcomes back international Touring Car racing for the first time since 2019 as part of TCR Asia Challenge.
The list of events features some of the most well-known circuits in the world, including Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, and the famed Mount Panorama Circuit at Bathurst, where the penultimate World Tour date will join the TCR Australia season finale for what is certain to be an exciting weekend. The new venues are just some of the new challenges facing the team and drivers this season. Each new TCR championship the World Tour joins will present the international competitors with a new weekend format, while the understanding the Kuhmo tyres supplied for the season has been one of the key focuses of the team’s testing in preparation for the season.
The match-up of Michelisz, Azcona, BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse and the Hyundai Elantra N comes off the back of an excellent final year of WTCR competition in 2022, which included five race wins and ended with the titles for the Cherasco-based squad and Azcona, in his first campaign at the wheel of a Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing-built car.
Across the five seasons of WTCR, BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse drivers won three individual titles – one each for Michelisz, Azcona and Gabriele Tarquini, who continues in the Team Manager role for 2023, as well as the 2022 teams’ crown. Hyundai Motorsport customers also won both titles in 2018, the first year of WTCR. The aim is now to begin the new era of international TCR racing with the same immediate success.