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WRC driver Thierry Neuville will swap gravel for asphalt when he guest-drives a Hyundai i30 N in a round of the German TCR series at the Nürburgring next weekend.

Just a week before he continues his fight for the FIA World Rally Championship in a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC at ADAC Rallye Deutschland, Neuville will take the wheel for Hyundai Team Engstler, having already completed a test session at the circuit.

The Belgian has been coached by Hyundai ambassador Luca Engstler, who finished second in the 2018 TCR series.

“The touring car is much closer to the production car than the World Rally Car, which is much more extreme,” Neuville said.

“But both cars are great fun and are winning cars in their series. The WRC has four-wheel drive with an adjustable centre differential, around 400 PS and more specialised aerodynamics, while the Hyundai i30 N TCR has less power and is a front-wheel drive.

“The rally car has also been designed to be fast on a wide variety of surfaces – gravel, snow or asphalt. Therefore, it has a fundamentally different design than the circuit car.”

Neuville has set himself some high goals despite his limited circuit experience.

“I already have a good feeling in the Hyundai i30 N TCR after my first test laps, but on Thursday before the race at the Nürburgring we will run some tests on site there. FIA WTCR champion Gabriele Tarquini, who co-developed the Hyundai i30 N TCR, will also support me then.

“The other drivers in the ADAC TCR Germany are all touring car specialists too and it will be difficult to drive in the front. But I think I might have a surprise in store for you. I’m sure I can take something from the circuit with me that will help me with the asphalt rallies. “

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

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