HMO Customer Racing has confirmed it is to field two Hyundai TCR cars for Josh Buchan and Bailey Sweeny in this year’s TCR Australia series.
It means the team will scale back from running three cars as it did in 2022, to running a brace of Hyundai cars like it did in 2019 and 2021.
Nathan Morcom will thus no longer race for the team, which is run by his father Barry.
Buchan’s car, an Elantra N TCR, will feature support from Hyundai Australia this season, with a livery which reflects Hyundai’s international tin-top colours.
Buchan made his TCR Australia début in 2021, winning two races at Sydney Motorsport Park in an impressive run to seventh overall in the drivers’ standings.
Last year, the 28-year-old proved to be a title contender, despite only winning one race at Sydney, ending the year third overall. He started the season in a Hyundai i30 N before switching to the newer Elantra for the season finale.
“The car looks amazing with its striking new livery and I’m very proud to have the support of Hyundai Australia for the 2023 TCR Australia Championship,” said Buchan.
“There is no doubt we have lifted the bar in terms of presentation this year, and now it is up to me and the team to elevate the Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR to the position it deserves – at the front of the pack.
“It has always been a dream of mine to compete in a world championship, which will be fulfilled this year with two rounds of the new TCR World Tour in Australia.
“It will be very special to race against the world’s best touring car drivers on our home turf. And hopefully we can do enough throughout the year to be among the Top 30 in the World Rankings and be invited to the World Tour Final at the end of the season.”
Sweeny made his début with the team in 2022 and was a standout performer, scoring two victories, both at Bathurst, and five podiums on his way to fifth overall.
He will race one of the team’s Hyundai i30 N TCR cars once again in the coming campaign.
“I can’t wait to get back to racing this weekend at Symmons Plains after a long summer break,” said Sweeny.
“With my first season behind me, I can take off the training wheels and it’s time to throw out the rookie badge.
“I learnt a lot last year and am proud of the progress I made, particularly in the second half of the season.
“I left Tassie [Symmonds Plains Raceway] last year in last place on the championship table and came back to finish the season in fifth overall. So, I would be disappointed if I’m not in the fight for the championship right from the start.”
Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Executive Officer Ted Lee added: “Motorsport has been part of Hyundai N’s DNA even before we launched an N road car.
“From 2014 in the World Rally Championship, then from 2018 in world TCR, we have been competing and winning at the highest levels.
“Our new project with HMO and Josh Buchan in Australia is an exciting new chapter in our high-performance story. We wish him well.”