Hyundai Motorsport N is seeking success in Spain in the third round of the 2022 FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup, Race SP, this weekend, with the team’s first King of the Weekend crown of the year it’s goal and with a new driver in its midst.
Nicky Catsburg makes his debut in the Hyundai Veloster N ETCR at the Circuito del Jarama-RACE, lining up alongside Mikel Azcona, Jean-Karl Vernay, and Norbert Michelisz.
The team’s main focus in Jarama is to battle at the front of the field throughout the weekend and move up the manufacturers’ standings. Mikel Azcona currently lies third overall in the drivers’ title battle after a competitive outing in Hungary last weekend.
Boasting a home advantage, Azcona is hoping to have a strong performance in front of the local fans at a track where he has plentiful previous experience.
“Race SP is undoubtably the most important event of the season for me,” said Mikel. “Circuito del Jarama-RACE is a very old track that I’ve been driving since 2012 and it’s one of my favourites in Spain.
“It’s going to be very challenging with the electric car; I have plenty of experience with combustion engines here, but this will be my first time with a battery-powered car. There are big kerbs at the circuit and with these cars, we need to take care under these conditions. It will be fantastic to show the fans that we are competitive and fight for the victory there. At the same time there is a bit of pressure, because you always want to do well on your home track but I think we’re making good progress race by race. I’m very optimistic for the weekend.”
For Frenchman Vernay, it’s a new track to add to his roster.
“I have never raced at the Circuito del Jarama before, but I’ve spoken to Mikel about it and in my opinion the layout is quite cool,” said J-K.
“I’m quite excited to experience this track, I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of fun. Hopefully we will be able to continue with our positive pace and be quite strong in qualifying with no mistakes in the races. We need to score maximum points, so that has to be our target this weekend to ensure we stay in the fight. Our competitors are unlikely to make many mistakes, although I hope they will, but we need to be in the mix if they do. All of this together will be the key to success.”
Michelisz, meanwhile, last competed at the circuit in the late 2000s.
“It’s been a long time since I drove at Jarama, so it still feels like it a new circuit for me,” said Norbi. “I will try to carry the momentum from Hungary to Race SP; there is still some things I need to learn but I think we have a good base.
“Everything is in place to have a successful weekend. I will try to get some tips from Mikel about the circuit but I think we will be competitive. Jarama is a proper old-fashioned circuit with a lot of crests and elevation changes. There’s a mix of low speed and high speed corners, so for me the key to success will be to have confidence in the car and find the sweet spot between setting it up and driving it – which is always the challenge with the ETCR cars!”
Hyundai Motorsport N is confident it can mount a challenge for the King of the Weekend honour at Race SP. Jarama is a new track to ETCR competition; situated north of Madrid in San Sebastián de los Reyes, the 3.85km circuit presents the drivers with a relentless array of tight and twisty turns.
“We’ve learned a great deal in the first two rounds of the season, and now we’re looking to strengthen our position further at Race SP,” said Stefan Ph. Henrich, Hyundai Motorsport Director of Marketing and PR.
“Back-to-back weekends are never easy, as we only have a short turnaround time between events to implement our learnings, but the advantage is that we can continue our momentum from one to the next. The Hyundai Veloster N ETCR has shown great promise in the opening events of the season, and now we need to ensure speed and consistency in the remaining rounds to fight for the titles.”