Hyundai Elantra N TCR bags 4th straight 24 hours of Nürburgring win

The Hyundai Elantra N TCR of Mason Filippi, Harry Gottsacker, Bryson Morris and Mark Wilkins, representing Team Americas has won the TCR class of the 2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours, giving Hyundai victory for the fourth consecutive year at the race.

Hyundai Elantra N TCR 4 straight wins

The quartet crossed the line after completing 44 laps of the 25km track at the end of a race where 

running was severely curtailed by heavy fog that limited Sunday running to a handful of laps under Safety Car conditions after a red flag that lasted more than 14 hours. They headed a historic 1-2-3 in the class in the first year Hyundai Motorsport has entered a trio of cars into the race. Team Europe, the defending class winning driver Mikel Azcona, Marc Basseng and Manuel Lauck. Team China – Hongwei Cao, Zhang Zhendong, Rainey He and Andy Yan completed the podium in third aboard the #832 Elantra N TCR.

The weekend started well for the team of Bryan Herta Autosport drivers. Nürburgring 24 Hours debutant Morris snatched class pole away from his European team-mates with a superb lap late in the final qualifying session on Friday afternoon.

Team Americas and Team Europe started the race side-by-side, but it was Manuel Lauck who made the best start in slippery conditions – his experience at the Nordschleife helping him take the lead and build an early advantage. A strong double stint by Lauck and then a turn by Mikel Azcona had the car inside the top 40 overall before the car was forced into the garage to change a driveshaft. The time lost dropped the car from the lead of the TCR class to third, though Marc Basseng put in a double stint of his own to start climbing back up the order. With Lauck back behind the wheel Team Europe were on the cusp of retaking second in class from Team China when the race was red flagged seven hours into the race at 23:22 local time after a heavy fog descended over the circuit, causing a stoppage for safety reasons.

It was not until 13:30 on Sunday afternoon that the race restarted with five laps all run behind the Safety Car, with all three Elantra N TCR teams on the same lap. However, racing never resumed as the lingering fog forced the decision to call an early finish with an hour left of the original 24. The premature end confirmed Team Americas as victors, with no time for Lauck – driving for Team Europe at the time – to complete the comeback. Still, the Hyundai Motorsport celebrated the podium sweep in class at the end of particularly challenging edition of the Nürburgring 24 Hours.

(image 4) Hyundai Elantra N Tcr Victorious For Fourth Straight Nürburgring 24 Hours (1)

The Hyundai Driving Experience team started the defense of their VT2 Front class victory well. Their Fastback N Cup Car was leading the category once more after an opening stint by Michael Bohrer, when Jens Dralle pitted with a puncture. The delay dropped them to third in in class, but Marcus Willhardt and then Gyumin Kim brought the car up to second before the contest was suspended. Like their TCR counterparts, the ending to the race prevented them from launching completing the final stage of their recovery, leaving them frustrated to finish second in the class.

Hyundai Motorsport Circuit Race Project Manager Julien Moncet said: “We knew that a 1-2-3 finish in class for our Elantra N TCR teams was possible if we avoided mistakes and brought the cars to the finish. Mason, Harry, Bryson and Mark of Team Americas in the #831 had a very consistent race which was the Page 2key to their success in the end, and we know they could also be quick after Bryson took pole position from Qualifying. Manuel Lauck had an amazing first stint in mixed conditions to start building a good lead, but a technical issue – even though it was well handled by the team – would prove costly when the red flag stopped their comeback. Team China did an excellent job in the difficult situation, even as the least experienced line-up from our squad to complete the podium. It is unfortunate that after many months of preparation, including car preparation specifically for this event that the race was stopped due to weather conditions. It is something we can’t control but nevertheless we have achieved an historical 1 2 3 in TCR class. Our drivers stayed out of the many incidents on track and showed again Hyundai Motorsport cars can complete at the highest levels and on such demanding track as the Green Hell.”

Bryson Morris said: “We were able to take the win the #831 Elantra N TCR for Team Americas. It was a difficult weekend for me, coming back for a second weekend in the TCR car at the Nürburgring for the first time at the 24 Hours. In Qualifying 3 I was able to set the pole time in the TCR class but we had a bit of a surprise on the grid when the rain came down so we swapped tyres at the last second. The start of the race was the first time in the rain at the Nürburgring for me so it was a super difficult first stint but I was able to get through it. I got back in the car at night in the lead, but there was some fog – later we’d find out that was bad news. I drove for about an hour in pretty difficult conditions. It was a drying track with a dry line in most places but wet in others and the fog getting heavier and heavier with the eventual red flag. We were just able to go back out for five laps behind the Safety Car. Unfortunately, we couldn’t race to the end but still super happy to take the win.”

Marc Basseng said: “We had a really, really good start. We could take over P1 immediately and extend our gap, I think nearly to eight minutes. Unfortunately, we had a technical problem – a driveshaft boot which came off, maybe cause by some debris on the track because there were a lot of crashes going on. We lost around 15 minutes, but then we were really fast in tricky conditions but in the end the weather caused the red flag which lasted for a many, many hours. At the restart we were back on the lead lap, just 14 seconds behind the Team Americas car, but unfortunately the fog was so heavy that it was too dangerous to restart the race. I’m sure if we had gone back to green, we had a good chance for us to take the lead back but in the end it’s a 1-2-3 for Hyundai Motorsport which is a huge achievement.”

Andy Yan said: “Everyone knows the Nürburgring 24 Hours is the toughest race in the world and this year it might have been more difficult than ever. We faced difficult, changing conditions. It was raining, it became dry, then foggy and through it all we tried to do our best to get the result for us and the team and finally we did it 1-2-3 for Hyundai Motorsport and the Elantra N TCR. I’m really proud to have been part of the team.”

Pablo Salapantan

Pablo Salapantan

Pablo's first word was probably "Car", and this has developed into a personal passion that has consumed his professional life as well.

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