Hyundai Motorsport is the first manufacturer to announce its driver lineup for the FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup in 2022.
Five drivers, including touring car heavyweight Jean-Karl Vernay, will race the Hyundai Veloster N ETCR in the series of seven events – which started last year under the PURE ETCR moniker and now earns FIA World Cup status for the first time .
The Frenchman will be joined full-time by fellow global stars Norbert Michelisz and Mikel Azcona, while Nicky Catsburg and Kevin Ceccon will share the latest entry.
Vernay was one of the stars of electric touring car racing in 2021, leading a Hyundai one-two at the final home-grown event of the season in Pau-Arnos to take second in the series.
Spaniard Azcona, who moved from CUPRA to Hyundai over the winter, was just one place behind Vernay in the standings and was the only driver to have more than one PURE ETCR win last year.
They will be joined by 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup winner Michelisz, from Hungary, who gave the Veloster N ETCR its public track debut at MotorLand Aragón in November 2020, and who was a fixture in pre-season testing.
Italian ace Ceccon – a WTCR race winner – will compete in the opening three rounds of the series, having won four times last year en route to second place in TCR Italy behind the wheel of a Hyundai.
Dutchman Catsburg will make his FIA ETCR debut in Jarama, Spain, in June, bringing a resume that includes a WTCR win with Hyundai plus multiple international wins and major race wins in GT racing.
Hyundai Motorsport has undergone a technical overhaul over the winter, with new engineers added to the project to work on the Veloster N ETCR, which produces 500 kW of peak power from its all-electric ETCR powertrain.
FIA ETCR is the world’s first all-electric touring car series with a world title at stake. Manufacturers compete with the most powerful touring cars ever built; the beasts of up to 500 kW (670 hp) compete against each other on a combination of iconic race tracks and innovative street circuits through countless short, sharp Battle races for the ultimate prize.
With sustainability at the heart of the series, the excitement on the track is coupled with a commitment to provide a global platform for the world’s largest automakers to showcase their latest electric cars in the intensive world of motorsport, while also show that electric mobility can be fun, fast and sexy.
Julien Moncet, Deputy Team Principal of Hyundai Motorsport, said: “As a team, we can look back with pride on our successes in PURE ETCR with the Hyundai Veloster N ETCR. However, we set high standards for all our projects and we know that even more performance is possible and we want to show this in FIA ETCR in 2022. Since the last round in France last year, our team has worked hard to find the maximum performance ready for the new season from the car. We’ve added even further to an experienced team of engineers committed to the project as we head into the first races of 2022. We’ve bolstered our lineup for this season with drivers with experience in ETCR and competition, as well as a huge range of other racing series. Their input during the pre-season testing has been vital in developing the car ready for another year of competition. The results of the run we have already completed are very positive and there is more to come for the first competitive weekend. When we line up for the opening race of the season, we know we will be as prepared as possible.”
Xavier Gavory, FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup Series Director, said: “Having won the title fight until the final 2021 DHL SuperFinal, Hyundai Motorsport returns with a new line-up bringing together five outstanding touring car drivers. That Jean-Karl Vernay and Mikel Azcona – two of 2021’s star players – being back in the series is great news, of course, while the addition of world title winner Norbert Michelisz and two more top racers Nicky Catsburg and Kevin Ceccon shows the continued growth of electric motorsport. on a global level. It’s already going to be an excellent season.”