Hyundai Announces Tarquini and Michelisz as 2018 WTCR Lineup


Gabriele Tarquini
Credit: WSC / TCR International Series

BRC Racing Team have confirmed their driver lineup for the 2018 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) with test driver Gabriele Tarquini returning to the team alongside former works Honda driver Norbert Michelisz. The team will run two Hyundai i30 N TCR cars in this years series

The news that the team will run Michelisz alongside Tarquini confirms recent rumours of the Hungarian driver leaving the works Honda WTCC operation after finishing second in his last attempt to try and seal the FIA World Touring Car Championship. Michelisz is re-united with Tarquini at BRC Racing Team after the two were team mates at Honda in WTCC from 2013 to 2016.

Tarquini debuted the Hyundai in late 2017 racing in China, Italy and Dubai. Credit: WSC / TCR International Seris

Former British Touring Car Championship, FIA European Touring Car Championship and FIA World Touring Car Championship champion Tarquini expressed his happiness at being able to take the Hyundai onto the World stage for its first full season in 2018.

“After leading the testing for the i30 N TCR last year I know the car very well,” said Tarquini

“This season will be a fantastic opportunity to put the experience both I, and the team, have to compete at the very front of the new championship. I’m looking to a full season of racing once again, competing in what I am sure will be a very tough and competitive championship.”

Norbert Michelisz has already sampled TCR machinery in 2017 and will do so again in WTCR this year.
Norbert Michelisz has already sampled TCR machinery in 2017 and will do so again in WTCR this year. Credit: WSC / TCR International Series

Tarquini has already had experience of the Hyundai i30 N TCR car as he was the test driver for the programme which got underway early in 2017.

He went on to compete in the car at the final two rounds of the TCR International Series at the Zhejiang circuit in China and the Dubai Autodrome as well as taking part in the TCR Europe Trophy. Tarquini took two wins on the road in the Hyundai, however due to the car not being fully homologated he did not score points for either win.

Michelisz is looking forward to the challenge of both a new car and team as he looks forward to the 2018 season after making his debut in the TCR International Series in Hungary last year.

The Hyundai i30 N TCR will see its first full season of competition in WTCR this year.
The Hyundai i30 N TCR will see its first full season of competition in WTCR this year. Credit: WSC / TCR International Series

“I have the same feeling as I did at the start of my career, I’m working with a new team, a new car and in a new championship,”  explained Michelisz.

“It’s a new challenge, which is great motivation for me. I’m looking forward to working with Gabriele again, and learning from his experience testing before the first races. Last year it was clear the i30 N TCR and BRC Racing Team were the package to beat, so I’m certain we can challenge for wins and the title this season.”

With both drivers announced, this means that four out of the twenty six grid slots allocated for the 2018 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) are taken, with the recent announcement of Comtoyou Racing confirming both Denis Dupont and Aurélien Panis for the season ahead.