Gabriele Tarquini, Thierry Neuville amongst TCR Germany guest starters

Gabriele Tarquini, Thierry Neuville amongst TCR Germany guest starters

Gabriele Tarquini
Photo: Alexandre Guillaumot / DPPI

Hyundai Team Engstler has revealed the names of some of the drivers who will guest start in the team’s third Hyundai i30 N TCR car in 2019, with touring car legend Gabriele Tarquini and WRC star Thierry Neuville the biggest names to be revealed.

When the official entry list for the 2019 season was announced with 21 cars, an entry had been reserved as a ‘VIP’ car by Hyundai Team Engstler.

It has now been revealed the current FIA World Touring Car Cup driver Tarquini, and Hyundai WRC driver Neuville, will amongst the names to take on the German TCR series as a ‘VIP’ entry.

The car will also be driven by journalists, well-known motorsport drivers or influencers, throughout the season.

Tarquini, who was instrumental in the development of the i30 TCR, will get a drive later in the year at an event which does not conflict with his WTCR commitments.

The car will be driven by Auto Bild Motorsport journalist Guido Naumann, 45, at the season opener.

Also getting an opportunity to race the car will be Luca Engstler, the reigning TCR Asia champion, who is taking on a full season in both TCR Europe and TCR Asia with Hyundai in 2019.

Young Swede Jessica Bäckman, who is also competing in TCR Europe in a Hyundai with Target Competition, will also be given a race opportunity on the TCR Germany grid.

The other names to drive the guest car have not yet been revealed, with two more slots available on the seven-round TCR Germany calendar.

“We are pleased to be able to realise this exciting project in ADAC TCR Germany in cooperation with Hyundai Team Engstler,” said Till Wartenberg, Director of Marketing and Press at Hyundai Motor Germany.

“I’m sure the VIP Hyundai i30 N TCR will cause a stir. The fact that we were able to enthuse motorsport greats like Gabriele Tarquini or Thierry Neuville for the project is fantastic.

“The launch of the VIP car in ADAC TCR Germany is a great way to further emotionalise the Hyundai brand.”