Hyundai set to join BTCC grid in 2020
Two Hyundai i30s will join the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, with Excelr8 Motorsport. It is the first time vehicles from the Korean manufacturer will have been entered into the series.
The Suffolk-based independent team is currently building the i30 Fastback N cars, and hopes to have both finished by February, allowing time for testing before the 2020 season gets underway on March 28th.
2019 was a landmark season for the team, which made the step up to the top tier of British motorsport by running the venerable MG6 cars that had been a feature of the grid since 2012. The miles logged with the MGs this year have allowed the team to build up significant understanding of the underpinnings and intricacies of the Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) regulations, and the competitive landscape of the BTCC itself.
Launched earlier this year, the road-going i30 Fastback N Performance shares all of its running gear with the 271bhp, front-wheel-drive i30 N Performance hatchback that made its debut to such acclaim in 2017, but with a 7% increase in torsional stiffness thanks to the coupe-like body shell.
The design process for the i30 Fastback N Performance began in late September and has the support of key players in Hyundai’s UK Dealer Network.
“The build of the Hyundais marks the next stage in our multi-year plan to become a title contender in the British Touring CarChampionship," says Excelr8 Motorsport team principal Oliver Sheppard.
"The i30 Fastback N Performance offers a very favourable combination of wheelbase, track width, drag coefficient and torsional stiffness, so we are extremely excited about the prospects of this project.It’s going to be an extremely busy winter, but the whole team is extremely motivated to get the cars out on track as soon as possible.”
“It’s fantastic to see another new marque join the BTCC," added BTCC chief executive Alan Gow. "Hyundai is a globally recognised brand, which has made a big impact in other forms of motor sport already. This new project should make a great addition to the grid.
"It’s been fascinating to see how the team has grown across its maiden season in the BTCC, and the attitude and work ethic the team has shown while it gets up to speed.
"It’s no secret that the MGs were one of the oldest chassis on the grid, and the job the team had done to refresh them was very impressive. I look forward to seeing how much of a step forward they make with the new-generation Hyundais.”