Gabriele Tarquini says Hyundai have ‘achieved their targets’ already, after the Italian claimed victory in the opening TCR International Series race in China, hailing the i30 N as a ‘new generation’ of TCR car.
Tarquini made it a dream start for the BRC-run Hyundai team at the Zhejiang International Circuit, as he avoided incidents around him and made pass after pass to claim victory for the new i30 N TCR car.
“It was great – we knew that it was tough after qualifying, because starting from 13th and 14th was not easy, but the car was great,” said Tarquini. “We are newcomers in this championship – I am a rookie in this championship because it’s my first-ever TCR race!
“I was very lucky during the first few corners, but I managed to finish the first lap seventh, so at this time, I was thinking that I could win the race. The pace was great – the work that we did in the last few long months before the first race has paid off.
“We have built a fantastic car which is probably a new generation of car. It is very fast and I must thank Hyundai for the effort they put in, because although I was the driver to develop the car I had the support of the BRC team, and especially the support of Hyundai Customer Racing.”
After his dominant race one win – which is the lowest starting position from which Tarquini has ever won a touring car race – the cars were immediately handed 40 kg of ballast and given a 5% reduction in power.
Tarquini then went on to finish sixth, having been as high as fourth at one point, confirming that the car is capable of performing well even with Balance of Performance [BoP] restrictions placed on it.
“I can confirm that you can feel 40 kg [of weight] and 95% of power,” added the 55-year-old. “Especially in the second part of the race, the car was slower than in the first race – we had to manage the brakes, the power and the traction – everything around the car.
“The concept of TCR is sure that if you are too fast they must slow you down a little bit. The target was achieved – the target for Hyundai was to win a race, and even if it was very difficult thing to win a race starting from 14th, I achieved the target and I am also very happy to finish sixth in the second race.”