Tarquini on the i30N
Gabriele Tarquini is the veteran Italian race driver leading Hyundai’s assault on the 2018 World Touring Car Championship. The 56-year-old former F1 racer leads the series after six rounds – with just four to go – and heads to China at the end of September looking to add to his four outright race wins of the season so far. Gabriele, what makes the i30 N TCR racecar so quick?
Any car’s performance is a combination of things: chassis, the balance of the car, the engine’s power and the power delivery. You’re leading the WTCC, but what will it take for you to win the title?
This year, the i30 N has been the car to beat. I hope I win the title, but more than this, I hope a Hyundai driver wins the title. Development on this car began well over a year ago, and I think this is what is making the difference.
What crossover is there between the i30 N road car and your racecar? The racecar is based on the road car, so many parts are the same; rear suspension, the chassis, the basic aerodynamics and even the 2.0-litre engine are all very similar. Just the turbo and the electronics are significantly different.
What are your own thoughts on the i30 N road car?
For me, the chassis stands out. The car is such fun to drive, both on the road and on the track, actually. The front axle is very sharp, and the car has outstanding rear grip so it has excellent balance – just like how you want a racecar to be.
Did you play any part in the road car’s development?
I tested it towards the end of the process, yes, but mostly I worked to develop the racecar, to be honest. I was involved with all aspects of this, at many European circuits.
Sum up your thoughts on the entire i30 range in one sentence. Every model has a strong character. These are cars for families but, you know… with a certain fire inside.