Hyundai team members try to win the 2019 WTCR once again. Courtesy of Hyundai Motor

Can Korean automakers defend annual championships?

Hyundai Motorsport customer team strives to win out in the 2019 World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), which will start its test run in Barcelona next week, just as it did last year.

On March 18, Hyundai Motor announced two i30 N TCR teams and their 2019 driver lineup, which includes 2018 champion Gabriele Tarquini along with three other competent drivers.

The WTCR is an international championship, which is recognized as the highest class of competition for touring cars. This year marks the 15th edition of the annual event.

The quartet of drivers will compete in all 10 rounds of the 2019 season, which will take place across three continents,” a Hyundai official said. “Beginning in Morocco on April 5-7, action will then head to five iconic circuits in Europe.”

Malaysia will host the final round of the season in December.

Drivers vow to speed up

Reigning champion Tarquini vows to put forth his best efforts.

It will be a very competitive season as we look to defend the title. Honestly, I hope my closest challengers are the other drivers in the i30 N TCR,” he said.

We saw last year how close the battle for the title was – coming down to the final laps of the year – and it will be the same in 2019.”

Nicky Catsburg, who debuts in the championship, said that he was looking forward to going racing.

I saw some races last year, and it was always very close and very competitive,” he said.

I think that the WTCR will suit my driving style quite well, and I’m excited about the season, especially thinking of the races at the Nurburgring to come.”

Andrea Adamo, who leads Hyundai Motorsport team, was confident of good results for this season.

The i30 N TCR was incredibly successful in the series last year, which has set the benchmark for the season ahead,” he said.

Both teams, and all four drivers are worthy championship contenders, and we wish them all the best for the challenge ahead.”