The Hyundai Veloster N will prove its mettle at IMSA
Hyundai is buying into the aging adage “win on Sunday, sell on Monday.” To support North American sales of the Veloster N, the South Korean marque will race its hot hatch in IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge series’ Touring Car Racing (TCR) class.
The move to race the Veloster N in North America is part of Hyundai’s expanding motorsports efforts. The brand previously raced the i30 TCR in the U.S. despite its decision to withhold the road going version stateside. Opting to fabricate a shiny new car for TCR competition aligns with North American sales of the Veloster N.
In fairness, the Veloster N TCR is not brand-new from the ground up. The i30 and Veloster N TCR cars share 85 percent of their componentry, including a 350-horsepower 2.0-liter four-banger. The stablemates are manufactured at Hyundai Motorsport Headquarters in Alzenau, Germany.
Last year, Hyundai took home the manufacturer’s championship in Pirelli World Challenge competition with the i30 TCR, owned by Bryan Herta Autosport. Herta and team, including a new cast of four drivers across two cars, will make the jump to IMSA TCR with new Veloster, hoping to spray the champagne once again. But first, it will have to beat out other compact crates like the Honda Civic Type R TCR, Volkswagen GTI TCR, and the Audi RS3 LMS TCR.
While the success of a homologation car may not factor into a customer’s showroom decision to the degree it once did, there is no denying visceral influence of seeing a track-going version of the car in question passing in-class competitors. The number of podiums may not be the first boasting point of the production Veloster N, but it slots in nicely at the end of a press release.
“Transforming the Veloster’s lightweight, rigid architecture into an endurance race car will help us build credibility for Hyundai’s growing N brand and bolster the reverse-halo effect that the Veloster brings to Hyundai’s diverse vehicle lineup,” Bryan Herta says.
On the heels of the Veloster N TCR announcement, Hyundai Motor America declared that it will offer contingency bonuses to customer teams in the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge.
The first stop for the new Veloster TCR is Daytona International Speedway for the Michelin Pilot Challenge series on January 25.