The Hyundai i20 WRC 2014 project is filling our traditional Monday motorsport slot is this week, as last weekend was rather quiet with all the major championships (both national and international) not on track.
As a result we thought we’d revisit the Korean manufacturer’s rally programme to see how the firm and its Hyundai i20 WRC contender are progressing. The answer: well, and at pace.
The team recently conducted a maiden gravel test, with all three factory test drivers getting behind the wheel for a stint. Juho Hanninen, Bryan Bouffier and Chris Atkinson all put the new 2014 specification Hyundai i20 WRC through its paces to sound out any issues and experience the car for the first time on the loose.
The exploratory session also gave the crew chance to further develop a strong working relationship. It’s not just the car and the driver that make up a successful WRC team – the mechanics, engineers and management all have to work in perfect harmony.
The more practice the better for Hyundai, as it’ll be going up against established teams from Citroen and Volkswagen, which have been working together in the WRC for years.
We know Hyundai will be there or there abouts when it lines up at the start of the first rally of the 2014 WRC season, as the car has already proved its pace.
Following over four weeks of relentless testing, the Korean firm’s WRC outfit has been pushing the car to its limits on a range of different surfaces to glean ever more data to use on the stages next year, as well as helping get the drivers comfortable in the car ahead of their competition debut in the Hyundai i20 WRC.
Hyundai motorsport team principal, Michael Nandan:
“We have had a very solid month of testing and learned a lot about the performance potential of the new Hyundai i20 WRC in a range of conditions. As with any inaugural testing, there have been some teething issues to overcome but this is precisely the purpose of testing and we have taken time to analyse and understand the problems.
“We have signed three very competent development drivers in Juho, Bryan and Chris, and the balance of the last month of testing has been positive.”
“It is important for us to gather data in rough, as well as fast and flowing conditions.
“The Hyundai Motorsport engineering and design teams are constantly working to perfect the i20 WRC so these latest tests gave us the opportunity to assess the main mechanical components of the car, like transmission or suspension. It is very much an evolution of the car we used in previous tarmac tests.”
That means it’s the Hyundai i20 WRC 2.0, the second generation, even better than before. It’s what you need to do in motorsport to win. Nobody can ever rest on their laurels, and you can be sure if Citroen and VW are, Hyundai is gunning to take them from those teams.
We can’t wait until the Hyundai i10 WRC first turns a wheel in anger, but what do you think of the Hyundai i20 WRC car? Would you like to see a rally-inspired performance version for the road? Tweet to us @twwhiteandsons or leave a comment on our Facebook page and let us know.