Hyundai i30 N Prototypes enter the 2017 Nurburgring 24-Hour race

Article by Christian A., on May 25, 2017

Korea-based automaker Hyundai seems pretty excited to take their new concept out for a ride. Two prototypes that are set to make their debut this coming September at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show have already been taken to the Nurburgring. Both examples of the Hyundai i30 N entered the Nurburgring 24-Hour race – a move that’s seen to be quite a bold move for the automaker. To put it into perspective, these cars will be joining a competition in one of the toughest race tracks around. And what makes it more amazing is that it marks the first time they’ll be hitting the track.

The examples will be entered in the SP3T class - that is for cars with 1.6- to 2.0-liter turbocharged engines. Both cars will be equipped with the engine and transmission that the production model will be built with. That is a 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engine that will be partnered with a six-speed manual gearbox. And these will be the exact same configuration people can soon buy from dealerships, with only minimal (and regulatory) fixes to prepare it for the 24-hour race. The company says that both models are “close to series production”.

Of course, for any car to enter the competition, certain things will need to be added to make sure the driver stays safe. In this case, that includes an FIA-homologated roll cage, a fire extinguisher, and a single race seat. Racing brakes and tires also replace the original parts for the event. As for the exterior, the Hyundai i30 N gets a new front splitter and rear spoiler for extra aerodynamic downforce.

Alber Biermann, Hyundai’s head of Performance Development said in an interview last month that they are hoping for their “high performance brand to have considerable racing pedigree.” This is why it is focusing on making it competitive with minimal revisions.

He also added that this track is where the i30 N concept based much of its testing and chassis development. Well, the fact that not much configurations were added to the cars except for the standards means that the company has lived up to their expectations.

For the Nurburgring 24-Hour race, the i30 N will be driven by a team of employees from Hyundai’s Global R&D Center in Namyang as well as professionals including: engineer Jaekyun Kum, Vincent Radermecker of Belgium, Stuart Leonard of the UK are some of the professionals, and also journalist Christian Gebhardt. This group consists of team number one.

As for team number two, it’s composed of the same mix of professionals and Hyundai R&D Center employees namely: Pieter Schothorst of the Netherlands, German automotive journalist Jens Dralle, and two engineers Youngsun Jee and Jonghyuk Kwon.

Press Release

Final test for Hyundai i30 N during the Nürburgring 24-hours race

Hyundai Motor will enter the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race at Nürburgring with two close-to-series-production Hyundai i30 N models – the first model from Hyundai’s high-performance sub-brand N – ahead of the global launch in the second half of 2017. This participation also represents the final testing of the vehicle in the ultimate endurance at the legendary race track.

“The 24-hour race at the Nürburgring is one of the most challenging endurance race in the world. We will use the race as a final test for our Hyundai i30 N development to check how the vehicle is performing under these extreme conditions and where we can still fine tune the car before its market launch,” says Albert Biermann, Executive Vice President and Head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development at Hyundai Motor Company. “With the Hyundai i30 N we want to offer a car that feels direct, responsive and predictable and that performs well on the track without compromising every day driving capabilities. Most importantly the i30 N should be fun to drive for everyone.”

The Hyundai i30 N will be Hyundai Motor’s first high performance model under the N sub-brand. The ‘N’ stands for Namyang, Hyundai Motor’s global R&D Centre, and for the Nürburgring, home to Hyundai Motor’s European Test Centre. The ‘N’ logo resembles a chicane, representing the ultimate driving experience on winding roads. At the Nürburgring, the i30 N has undergone much of its testing and chassis development, so Hyundai Motor wants its high-performance model to finally prove its race track capability in the world most challenging race.

The two cars participating in the race will enter the SP3T class (1.6- to 2.0-liter turbo charged engines), they are equipped with a 2.0-litre turbo-charged petrol engine in combination with a six-speed manual transmission. The same powertrain combination will be applied in the Hyundai i30 N series model. For the participation in the 24-hour race the two cars have been modified focusing mainly on the drivers’ safety, featuring a FIA homologated roll cage, a fire extinguisher and a race seat. For enhanced grip and braking performance the i30N’s are fitted with racing tires and race brakes. Additionally the vehicle’s exterior design based on the New Generation i30 series production model has been fitted with a front splitter and rear spoiler to enhance aerodynamics and increase downforce.

The team of race drivers includes engineers from Hyundai’s Global R&D Centre in Namyang. The pilots of race car #1 will be Vincent Radermecker from Belgium and Stuart Leonard from the UK, both professional drivers, supported by Christian Gebhardt, a automotive journalist and race driver from Germany, plus Jaekyun Kim, engineer at the R&D Centre of Hyundai Motor in South Korea. Racing Team #2 will consist of Pieter Schothorst from the Netherlands as the professional driver, Jens Dralle, also an automotive journalist from Germany and Youngsun Jee and Jonghyuk Kwon, both engineers at Hyundai Motor's South Korean R&D Centre.

Hyundai Motor has teamed up with strong partners as sponsors for its participation in the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race at Nürburgring including Shell Helix, Hankook Tire and Alpinestars.

Source: Hyundai

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