Now that the Hyundai i30 N has finally been revealed, it’s time for the hot hatch to earn its (racing) stripes. The touring car version will be competing in the new Touring Car Racing (TCR) class of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge in a factory-supported effort, in conjunction with Brian Herta Autosport.
Two units of the i30 N TCR will take to the track in all six rounds in the US, with drivers Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkens. They will be racing alongside Grand Touring, GT Cup, GTS, TC and TCA classes of the World Challenge, as well as the IndyCar Series on occasion.
“Hyundai is thrilled about the prospects for our new N branded racing team competing in the Touring Car Racing class of Pirelli World Challenge,” said Hyundai Motor America chief marketing officer Dean Evans. “Our new partnership with world-renowned Bryan Herta Autosport and their phenomenal drivers coupled with the proven capabilities of our Hyundai i30 N racers puts us in a great position for success.”
Bryan Herta Autosport president and CEO Bryan Herta said, “We couldn’t be more excited about our new relationship with Hyundai N in this highly competitive Pirelli World Challenge TCR class. Having witnessed the untapped potential of the i30 N TCR race platform for this series, we’re more than confident we can leverage the strength of Hyundai’s racing and performance groups to great success in the 2018 season.”
To get the car up to touring car racing, the 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol has been tweaked with a BMC air induction kit and a Life Racing ECU and data acquisition system, bringing power output up from 271 hp on the road-going Performance Package model to 350 hp. There’s also a six-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shifters, plus motorsport-spec multi-plate clutch and driveshafts.
The chassis retains the use of front MacPherson strut and rear four-link suspension, as well as adjustable dampers. Brakes consist of front Brembo six-piston monobloc callipers and rear two-piston callipers, clamping on ventilated discs using Pagid pads and Goodridge braided hoses. They hide behind bespoke Braid 18-inch alloy wheels.
It sure looks the business on the outside, with a large front splitter, sizeable fender flares and an enormous rear wing. Fitted with steel and fibreglass panels, the body has been strengthened compared to the standard production model, and features a lightweight, high-tensile steel roll cage. Inside, there are race seats with six-point harnesses and a 330 mm steering wheel, both by Sabelt.