BRC Racing Team, a Hyundai Motorsport customer, have ended their season in an epic fashion, by winning their first ever double title in WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup. This was made possible in two parts, by Hyundair Elantra N TCR driver Mikel Azcona being crowned the 2022 drivers’ winner and BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse taking their inaugural teams’ crown under the lights during qualifying at Race of Saudi Arabia.
These are the fourth and fifth titles for Hyundai Motorsport customers in the series and proves just how competitive the Hyundai Elantra N TCR is at the highest levels of international TCR racing.
Sean Kim, Hyundai Motorsport President, had this to say about the double title, “Congratulations to Mikel and BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse for winning both titles in WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup. Achieving both the drivers’ and teams’ titles completes and excellent year, it is the perfect reward for all those who have worked on the project. WTCR is an incredibly competitive series, with strong drivers and teams involved. The wins are an indication of the talent of the drivers and out customer team, as well as everyone involved with the project as part of our Customer Racing department.”
For Mikel, after a successful Race of Bahrain where he clinched pole position and won Race 1, extending the title advantage, he came in to the Race of Saudi Arabia knowing that he only had to score six points. After quickly getting up to speed in the two free practice sessions, Mikel outscored his opponents by progressing into the top-five shootout in qualifying and taking third position. That extended his lead to 68 points, and that confirmed that he had done enough to wrap up the title early in the weekend.
By clinching the WTCR title, Mikel has become the first Spaniard to do so and follows in the footsteps of teammate Norbert Michelisz, winner of the drivers title in 2019 and Team Manager Gabriele Tarquini, 2018 title winner.
“It feels like a dream to say I am the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup winner,” Mikel said. “This is something I have always dreamed of achieving ever since I was a young boy. It has been a fantastic year and I can’t thank BRC and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing enough for their hard work and support. I could not have done this without them. They have provided me with an incredibly competitive Elantra N TCR that I was able to challenge with race by race. It is also great to win the teams’ title as well, it has been a tough season, but this is the perfect reward.”
Mikel set his title winning intentions early with a victory in the opening round of the season, Race of France. His second win came in Race 1 at the Hungaroring in June, which pushed him to points leader. He then extended his advantage at the Race of Spain with a third win and a podium and maintained it with three more trips to the podium in Portugal and Italy. A double visit to the rostrum in Alsace gave him a 35 point lead going into the final two rounds.
This season for BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse had been one of their strongest in the series. After taking the points lead at the Race of Spain, the team continued to grow and extract the full potential of the Hyundai Elantra N TCR.
In total the team accumulated two pole positions, five fastest laps, seven podium visits and five wins before clinching the title. Though this was the first time Mikel and BRC had worked together, they quickly found an effective way to do so and it ended in the ultimate success.