Photo: TCR Series

The Hyundai i30 TCR could make its race debut this year

Gabriele Tarquini visited the TCR International Series paddock this weekend, with the Italian attracting attention as both a popular driver and a representative for Hyundai Motorsport.

The 2009 WTCC champion met with old friends and former rivals in the TCR paddock. “The TCR reminds me of the old days of the WTCC, when I was champion. I’m looking forward to racing here, so get ready, very soon I’ll be coming to get you,” the Italian joked with his soon-to-be rivals.

Tarquini signed a contract with Hyundai Motorsport at the beginning of the year to develop the new i30 TCR the Korean manufacturer is preparing for the popular touring car category. Progress is going well according to the Italian: “It’s still early days. We have only done two tests in Motorland Aragon and this week in Misano. Still, the car is good, I’m happy with how things are going, it has a good base and is a well rounded car,” Tarquini told TouringCarTimes.

Hyundai Motorsport’s initial plan was to spend the year developing the car, with a 2018 race debut in mind. However those plans could change as the testing is showing encouraging results. “Perhaps we will enter a couple of races at the end of the year, I don’t know but it’s a possibility,” Tarquini said. “It’s not a problem that they are fly-away ones, Hyundai is based in Korea and that makes it easier for them to take the car there.”

The next test for Tarquini and Hyundai will take place in Valencia (Spain) at the end of this month.