Hyundai Motorsport has launched a new Customer Racing Young Driver initiative, in order to support young circuit racers who compete with the i30 N TCR around the world.
The South Korean manufacturer joined the global TCR ranks at the end of the 2017 season when it launched the i30 N TCR, and last season in its first full year of competition the car clocked up more than 30 race victories, as well as securing the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup drivers’ title.
Hyundai Motorsport will offer the initiative to any young driver under the age of 24 who races with one of the Hyundai Customer Racing teams in a national or regional series.
The programme is intended to ‘help with progress through the various national and regional series, towards FIA WTCR’.
Drivers will be selected based on their on-track results as well as ‘their ability to work with the teams’ engineers and their professional approach both at, and away from, the circuit’.
The young racers will also receive a special logo for their race overalls and the support and mentoring of Hyundai FIA WTCR drivers, including Gabriele Tarquini, who helped with the initial development of the i30 N TCR.
Further training and media coaching will also be offered. The Young Driver class will be invited to an FIA WTCR event during 2019, with the best performances receiving a test opportunity with BRC Racing, which runs the WTCR teams.
“The introduction of the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Young Driver initiative adds another layer of support from the department available to our customers around the world,” said Hyundai Motorsport Team Director Andrea Adamo.
“We already have some fantastic drivers racing with our cars, and the opportunities presented by being part of the program will hopefully attract more young talent to Hyundai and the i30 N TCR.
“Through the new scheme we can help them in their professional motorsport careers, allowing them to progress through the national and regional TCR series towards FIA WTCR.
“I look forward to working with them in seasons to come.”
Supporting the initiative is TCR promoter Marcello Lotti, who praised the initiative as it fits in with the TCR philosophy of supporting the touring car pyramid progression.
“Having this level of support from a customer racing manufacturer for the TCR regulations is fantastic,” added Lotti.
“A major part of the appeal of the category is the ability for drivers and teams to progress from a domestic series to international competition with the same car, so to have the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Young Driver initiative embrace that is very encouraging.
“There are already a great number of very talented up-and-coming drivers racing in TCR, and incentives like this will only make the series more attractive.”