Only a few weeks now into the build of the Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster TCA race car and already it’s race-ready appearance is taking shape since our introduction article. The Bryan Herta Autosport team recently took delivery of their 2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec and the first part of their mission was simple — gut it. The team got to work tearing down the factory car by eliminating any dead weight, redundant electronics, and wiring to be competitive in TC America’s TCA class.
The $23,380 price on the window sticker includes many standard and optional equipment features that are now long gone, like the airbags and Infinity audio, but we checked in with the team to see how the rest of the targets for weight, safety, and functionality were being met inside the car.
The Herta Team Mission
Our contact, Assistant Team Manager Bob McAleer, has been following each major milestone and is assisting us in revealing this Hyundai Veloster TCA that is very accessible for modest race teams and privateers. McAleer also looped in Trackside Support Data Engineer, Justin Jang, who went over the numbers and details they could share on the new Hyundai Veloster TCA race car.
The gutting of the Veloster was fairly straightforward by removing all the comforts that consumers of this car want while sitting in traffic. Gone is the air-conditioning system, carpeting, headliner, sound deadening, and all OEM seats and seat belts. The bulk of the weight savings was the air-conditioning compressor and condenser, heater core, and the blower fan assembly.
The target weight of the car is 2,700 pounds. Although the removal of many original components helps reduce the curb weight, race cars also carry the added weight of a steel rollcage. When all is said and done, its net weight is significantly less versus the Veloster Turbo R-Spec from the showroom floor!
Custom is the Only Way
One of the interesting hurdles the team had was minimal aftermarket support for the new 2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec. “No aftermarket quick-release steering wheel adapter existed for the 2019 Veloster, so we had to modify the adapter from our Veloster N TCR race car,” says Justin.“We even added simple buttons on a CNC carbon fiber plate to allow the driver to control the MoTeC dash and talk over the radio. There’s a mil-spec connector on the end, but that’s really the only thing that is expensive on the assembly. I think it has the looks of a professional race car but is something that many people could do in their garage.”
With a number of careful fitment and veteran experience tactics, they were able to maintain much of the dash, center console, and door panels for a clean look. The MoTeC digital cluster in front of the driver relays all of the vitals to the engine now, and gone are the less-precise gauges and warning lights of the stock cluster. They are fine for everyday commuting but not competing on the track.
Using Proven Methods Now and Later
The team’s veteran mechanics routed safety equipment and wiring through natural openings in the dash and chassis, like those needed for the MoTeC wiring, data port, and the safety net. Even the door panels were neatly trimmed to accommodate the safety cage which meets all of the SRO requirements. The fabrication here not only had to be done with speed to meet the unveiling date but also with precision and repeatability, as these modifications will be replicated on each new Veloster TCA car for clients.
At this time, the big unveil at the TC America finale event in Las Vegas is less than a month away. Although the current photos appear as if the car is ready to hit the track, the Bryan Herta Autosport team is still hard at work testing different components before the final homologation is due in December.
Next up in our series is our examination of the suspension gear on this TCA car that runs in a heavily restricted class for rules. The coilover suspension, springs, rollbars, and vital setup can be the difference-maker in this extremely competitive class.