Apart from a few minor modifications, the cars are close to production ready.
Hyundai hasn’t even pulled the sheets off its most potent production model, the i30 N, but already the marque is entering two examples into the Nurburgring 24-Hours race. Bold move. Two cars that are reportedly "close to series production" will hit the track for the first time in competition in one of the toughest races around.
The cars will participate in the SP3T class (1.6- to 2.0-liter turbocharged engines). Both will come equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engine and paired to a six-speed manual gearbox. That same engine and transmission will carry over to the production model, says Hyundai, and apart from a few regulatory modifications, the cars are mostly stock.
An FIA-homologated roll cage, a fire extinguisher, and a single racing seat has been added for the event. Racing brakes and tires have also been equipped, while the exterior gains a new front splitter and rear spoiler for added aerodynamic downforce.
"We want our high-performance brand to have considerable racing pedigree so it is important that we compete with minimal modifications," said Head of Performance Development Albert Biermann in an interview back in April. "Nürburgring is where the i30 N has undergone much of its testing and chassis development."
The team of drivers will include employees from Hyundai’s Global R&D Center in Namyang, including engineer Jaekyun Kum, along with a trio of professionals. Vincent Radermecker from Belgium, Stuart Leonard from the U.K., and journalist Christian Gebhardt will take the driver’s seat of team number one.
Team number two will consist of Pieter Schothorst from the Netherlands, Jens Dralle, an automotive journalist from Germany, and Youngsun Jee and Jonghyuk Kwon, two engineers at the Hyundai R&D Center. The ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race at the Nurburgring will kick off tomorrow, May 25, 2017.