Hyundai reveals first Customer Racing Young Drivers

by Phil Kinch

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing have revealed the first names chosen for the new-for-2019 Young Driver Program.

The Customer Racing Young Driver Program, which was launched at the start of April, is designed to help young drivers under the age of 24 to progress through the various national and regional series, towards the top level of TCR Competition: The FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR).

Five drivers have been selected from two different series so far, with four of these drivers in action this weekend in the opening rounds of the 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series.

Luca Engstler dominated the opening races of the 2019 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Series. Credit: Match Chong

The first to drivers selected are competing for the Norbert Michelisz run M1RA Motorsport squad this year in TCR Europe: Luca Engstler and Dániel Nagy.

Engstler is already a proven talent, having won both the TCR Asia International Series and the TCR Middle East Series last year, at the wheel of an Engstler Motorsport run Volkswagen Golf. Engstler secured his third title earlier this year in Sepang where he won the inaugural TCR Malaysia Series in his Hyundai i30 N TCR.

Nagy has enjoyed a different road to this program, driving in the TCR International Series in both 2015 and 2017 and last year competing in TCR Europe full time where he took one victories as part of his title challenge. Nagy also competed as a wildcard in WTCR last year at Hungary where he secured a podium in the second race of the weekend.

Jessica Bäckman joins the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Young Driver Program. Credit: WSC / TCR Europe Series

Andreas Bäckman and Jessica Bäckman, who will be driving for Target Competition in TCR Europe this year, have also been selected. Both drivers competed in three different TCR Series in 2018, racing for WestCoast Racing.

They competed in the inaugural TCR UK Touring Car Championship alongside champion Daniel Lloyd as well as the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship where they drove alongside Fredrik Ekblom. They made a one-off appearance in the TCR Europe finale last year in Barcelona alongside TCR UK race winner Ashley Sutton.

Finally, Daniel Miranda has been selected as part of the programme, where this year he will race in the TCR Asia International Series with Eurasia Motorsport. This will be Miranda’s debut season in TCR Competition where he will join Gao Hua Yang in the lineup.

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