CHICAGO, Ill. – Bryan Herta Autosport announced a new partnership today at the Chicago Auto Show with Hyundai to field two Hyundai i30 N TCR class sedans in the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car road racing series, one of North America’s premier sports car campaigns. The TCR class makes its Pirelli World Challenge debut in 2018 after three years of TCR competition throughout the World.
Bryan Herta Autosport, a two-time Indy 500-winning organization, will fine-tune two versions of Hyundai’s i30 N TCR racecars currently available to customers in Europe and develop all aspects of the race team, from vehicles and technicians to drivers, coaching and team management.
Veteran Pirelli World Challenge drivers Mark Wilkins of Toronto, Ont., Canada, and Michael Lewis of Laguna Beach, Calif., will drive the new Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai i30 N TCR machines in the 12-race PWC TCR division in 2018. Wilkins, 34, is a multi-time Pirelli World Challenge winner in the GT and GTS categories in addition in other major sports car events, while Lewis, 27, has won four races in GT Sprint and SprintX competition in the PWC series.
Bryan Herta Autosport, founded in 2009, has grown from a single-car Indy Lights team into a world-renowned motorsports franchise. In 2011, the team captured the 100th anniversary of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” with driver Dan Wheldon. In 2016. BHA, partnering with Andretti Autosport, returned to the coveted victory lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in capturing the 100th running of the Indy 500 with driver Alexander Rossi. In addition, Bryan Herta Rallysport made its debut in the exciting Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship in 2015.
“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 Dean Evans, chief marketing officer, Hyundai Motor America. “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 in the 2018 TCR season.”
“We couldn’t be more excited about our new relationship with Hyundai N in this highly competitive manufacturer-based Pirelli World Challenge TCR class,” said Bryan Herta, president and CEO, Bryan Herta Autosport. “Having witnessed the untapped potential of 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.”
The TCR Series, originated in 2015, was marketed as a cost-effective spin-off of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), targeted at C-segment hatchbacks production-based touring cars. The title TCR follows the naming convention now used by the FIA to classify the cars that compete in touring car racing.
The Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car divisions will compete in six doubleheader weekends (12 rounds total) beginning March 23-25 at the state-of-the-art Circuit of the Americas (COTA) followed by VIRginia International Raceway April 27-29, Lime Rock Park May 25-28, July 13-15, August 10-12 and Watkins Glen International Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Each TCR race will be 40 minutes in length and one rolling start and one standing stand each weekend.