After an intensive few months of preparation at its new headquarters, Hyundai Motorsport has taken the i20 WRC out of the workshop and onto the road to start its testing program.
The result was a successful shakedown for the latest specification of the Hyundai i20 WRC on a private testing ground near its Alzenau, Germany, headquarters. Hyundai Motorsport’s technical team completed the rollout while encountering no significant issues. Now, the test schedule ramps up to prepare for entry in the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) World Rally Championship in 2014.
This three-day, 550-kilometer shakedown was followed by the car’s first comprehensive testing session, during which various set-ups were tried out and valuable data were gathered for analysis by engineers back at the Hyundai Motorsport facility. While all key areas of the car’s performance were evaluated, there was a major focus on collecting feedback from the i20 WRC’s 1.6 liter turbocharged engine.
“The car is on the road and I have to admit it was quite an emotional moment to see the latest specification of the i20 WRC in action for the first time,” said Michel Nandan, Team Principal. “We have an intensive testing schedule for the rest of 2013. It will take us to different venues across Europe, to evaluate the i20 WRC in different conditions and on different terrains, which reflect the variety of circumstances we will encounter in the World Rally Championship next year.”
With an ambitious target to meet in a short time, the tight schedule is intended to ensure that Hyundai Motorsport arrives ready to compete at the Monte Carlo Rally in January 2014.
“The learning from the first tests for me is quite positive,” Nandan said. “We have now a lot of useful feedback to digest for the next steps of our preparation.”
The Hyundai i20 WRC was designed at Hyundai’s Namyang R&D Center in Korea and is being made race-ready at the Hyundai Motorsport headquarters in Alzenau, Germany