Just a week before the demanding ADAC Rallye Deutschland, Hyundai WRCdriver Thierry Neuville (Belgium) will make a guest appearance on the circuit.
At the ADAC TCR round in Germany at the Nürburgring (August 16-18), the driver, who is currently third in the World Rally Championship (WRC), will drive a VIP car for Hyundai TeamEngstler. The 31-year-old is looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the Hyundai i30 N TCR after taking the first test drives on the Eifel course.
Neuville enters the world rally elite
ThierryNeuville is currently one of the fastest drivers and the most successful Hyundai Motorsport driver in the World Rally Championship. He has won a total of eleven WRC races with the Hyundai i20 CoupeWRC so far, including Corsica and Argentina this season. The Belgian is currently in third place in the WRC, 25 points from the top.
Neuville was born on June 16, 1988 in St. Vith, Belgium, about 15 kilometers from the Grand Prix circuit at Spa-Francorchamps. Therefore, it is not surprising that he caught a motorsport bug at an early age.
When I was a kid, we used to go to Spa for Formula 1 or the 24 hour race. But even then I liked the rally more. When we went to rallies, I always had more tension because there was more action. That's why I've always wanted to rally.
In 2007, at the age of 19, it was time. After initial success in his country, he soon took part in international competitions, first in the World Junior Championships and then in Intercontinental Rally competitions.
Neuville made his World Rally Car debut at the 2012 Monte Carlo Rally and ended his first World Championship season finishing seventh overall. A year later, Neuville narrowly missed out on the overall title. In 2014, the rally ace switched to Hyundai Motorsport, a successful partnership that has continued ever since. In the same year, Neuville took the first WRC victory at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland for the team from Alzenau. For the past three seasons, Neville, who has sparked a rally boom in his country and neighboring regions, finished second at the WRC.
First test in Hyundai i30 N TCR
Hyundai i30 N TCR with 350 hp power output (257 kW), which will be used by Hyundai Motor Deutschland on behalf of Hyundai Team Engstleras as a VIP car in the current ADAC TCR Germany season, was first tested by Neuville at the Nürburgring in July. He was coached by Luka Engstler, brand ambassador for Hyundai Motor Deutschland and second in ADAC TCR Germany in 2018. “A touring car is much closer to a stock car than the World Rally Car, which is a lot more extreme,” comments Neuville. differences between its actual work equipment and the TCR vehicle.
Both cars are very fun and win cars in their series. The WRC has four wheel drive with an adjustable center differential, around 400 hp. and more specialized aerodynamics, while the Hyundai i30 N TCR has less power and is front-wheel drive. The rally car has also been designed to be fast on a wide variety of surfaces - gravel, snow or asphalt. Therefore, it has a fundamentally different design than the ring car.
At the Nürburgring race weekend, the Hyundai driver set himself high goals despite his limited lap experience:
I already have a good feeling in the Hyundai i30 N TCR after my first laps, but on the Thursday before the Nürburgring race we will do some tests there. Then the FIA WTCR champion Gabriele Tarquini, who developed the Hyundai i30 N TCR, will support me. All other drivers in ADAC TCR Germany are also touring car specialists and it will be difficult to move ahead. But I think I might have a surprise for you. I'm sure I can take something from the chain with me that will help me in the tarmac rallies.
Classes await Neville after he appears on TCR. He competes in the ADAC Rallye Deutschland a week after the Nürburgring (August 22-25). The 31-year-old will once again compete in the Hyundaii20 Coupe WRC in the German WRC, which takes place around Lake Bostal in the Saarland, the Moselle vineyards and the legendary Baumholder military training stages.