Nicky Catsburg takes sabbatical year from touring cars

Nicky Catsburg will take a sabbatical from touring car competition in 2021, despite being linked to the new PURE ETCR series.

Catsburg was in line to drive for Hyundai in the inaugural season for the electric series, but has been unable to commit due to clashing commitments elsewhere.

“I had an intention to participate in ETCR for Hyundai this year, but I couldn’t really fulfill my promises due to calendar clashes,” said Catsburg to TouringCarTimes.

“I still have a very good relationship with Hyundai, but it didn’t really make sense to try this again in 2021 because of the changing calendars.”

Catsburg drove a Hyundai i30 N TCR for Engstler Motorsport in the 2020 WTCR but missed the majority of the season due to clashing GT commitments with Chevrolet and BMW.

The Dutchman will continue to drive for Chevrolet and BMW in 2021, meaning further clashes are to be expected.

“I just couldn’t give them [Hyundai] the commitment that I feel like you should give a manufacturer when they hire you,” he said. “That kind of results in me having a touring car sabbatical.”

Catsburg is aiming to be back behind the wheel of a touring car in 2022.

“When things come back to normal, hopefully I come back to touring cars,” he said, “because I’d love to, it’s really a lot fun that I enjoy.

“Hopefully I can do that with Hyundai, I had a good time there. Let’s see what the future will bring.”