Hyundai Motorsport N targets strong start in FIA ETCR in Pau

Hyundai Motorsport N is fully charged for battle and targeting a strong start to the 2022 FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup, which begins this weekend with the Race FR at the Circuit de Pau-Ville.

Boasting a narrow layout which leaves little margin for error, the Circuit de Pau-Ville presents a challenging first test for the Hyundai Veloster N ETCR.

The team’s line-up features plenty of fresh faces, with Jean-Karl Vernay the only returning member of the 2021 squad.

“I cannot wait to be racing again after a long off-season, said Vernay who had a competitive first season in the ETCR category, narrowly missing out on the drivers’ title by four points.

As a Frenchman, Vernay has a certain affinity with Pau.

“Pau has been a good place for me, especially after winning there last year in PURE ETCR,” said. “This time it will be different as we are competing on a street circuit, but it is a track I know very well.

“Looking at our opponents, I think the competition level is going to be very high and consistent this year, so there will be no point where we can take it easy. We have made some big improvements to the car compared to last year and we are ready for this first race. My focus is on doing the best job we can and winning the Race FR.”

Vernay will be joined in his home country by Spaniard Mikel Azcona, Hungarian Norbert Michelisz and Italian Kevin Ceccon.

Azcona brings previous success from PURE ETCR to the team, having twice claimed the King of the Weekend in the inaugural season.

“The Circuit de Pau-Ville is a new track for me, and with it being a street circuit it will give us some difficult conditions to deal with,” said Azcona.

“The team and the car are also new to me, but as always I will try my best and give 100% of my effort. Although the goal is to go as fast as possible, we have to remember this is a long season and we need to be consistent throughout the year. The focus for the Race FR event will be to get valuable kilometres in the car and work closely with the team to secure the best result possible.”

The event will be a first outing in electric touring car racing for Michelisz and Ceccon, both drivers have CVs filled with touring car experience.

said: “It has been a very long time since I last had this feeling of starting something completely new, so I am very excited for the start of the FIA ETCR season,” said Michelisz.

“Pau is a circuit where having previous knowledge is a big advantage, as it is a very demanding street track that can be quite stressful for a driver. For me the most important thing will be to fine tune the car to a point where I feel comfortable to push it to its limit. If we can do this, then I think we can be confident in achieving a strong finish. I will try my best to be competitive from the first moment we take to the circuit.”

For Ceccon it will be a weekend of firsts. “It will be a demanding weekend for me as I do not know the track and it will be my first FIA ETCR race – and my first time racing any electric car – so everything is new,” he said.

“My expectations for the event is to just do my best for Hyundai Motorsport N and myself, and try to get the best result possible for everyone. Testing has been good so far but it is hard to tell where we are in comparison to the other teams: we will have to wait until Qualifying to discover that. Overall, I am really excited for this new electric adventure.”

For the team, Hyundai Motorsport Director of Marketing and PR, Stefan Ph. Henrich shares his drivers’ excitement.
“It is incredibly exciting to be competing in the FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup this season,” he said.

“Our Veloster N ETCR showed great potential on its debut last year and we are confident it can be even better in 2022. The team has made some positive steps with the performance package during the winter break and our goal is to compete for the King or Queen of the Weekend crown at every event. With our excellent driver line-up, we are well positioned to enjoy another successful season of electric racing and put ourselves in the fight for the both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles.”