Hyundai will join the BTCC next season with independent team EXCELER8 confirming it will field the i30 Fastback N Performance model.
The independent team made their debut in the British Touring Car championship in 2019, fielding a pair of MG6 cars, and ended the year 19th in the Teams’ championship.
The team has been vocal about its intentions to develop its own machinery for their second year in the championship and have confirmed that they will design and build two i30 Fastback N Performance cars from 2020.
The Hyundai i30 Fast N Performance was launched early in 2019 and shares all of its running gear with the 271bhp, front-wheel-drive i30 N Performance hatchback that debuted in 2017, but it has a 7% increase in torsional stiffness thanks to the coupe-like bodyshell.
The design process began in September and the team has strengthened its technical department with a new relationship with seasoned NGTC design consultants.
They have also engaged the support of key players in Hyundai’s UK Dealer Network and are in consultation with Cosworth Electronics, which will be responsible for the BTCC Hybrid System (set to be introduced in 2022), in order to future-proof the design of the i30 Fastback N Performance to extract the maximum benefit from the additional electrification.
Speaking about the announcement, EXCELR8 Team Principal, Oliver Shepherd said: “The build of the Hyundais marks the next stage in our multi-year plan to become a title contender in the British Touring Car Championship.
“The i30 Fastback N Performance offers a very favourable combination of wheelbase, track width, drag coefficient and torsional stiffness, so we are extremely excited about the prospects of this project.
“It’s going to be an extremely busy winter, but the whole team is extremely motivated to get the cars out on track as soon as possible.”
BTCC Chief Executive, Alan Gow also said that it was great to see a new marque entering the series and it is exactly why the NGTC regulations were introduced.
“It’s fantastic to see another new marque join the BTCC, this time with EXCELR8 Motorsport.” said Gow.
“When we set the NGTC regulations it was for precisely this purpose, to allow this sort of diversity between teams and drivers.
“This new project from EXCELR8 should make a great addition to the grid. It’s been fascinating to see how the team has grown across its maiden season in the BTCC, and the attitude and work ethic the team has shown while it gets up to speed.
“It’s no secret that the MGs were one of the oldest chassis on the grid, and the job the team had done to refresh them was very impressive.”