The New Generation i20 R5 will make its first WRC2 start next month at the Tour de Corse – Rallye de France (29 September-October 2), subject to completion of the homologation process. Three of the brand new machines are set to line up for the event, the tenth round of the WRC season. Among this trio of New Generation i20 R5 that will take the ceremonial start in Ajaccio will be entries from the first two customer teams to take delivery from Hyundai Motorsport.
Alongside the two customer teams will be a Hyundai Motorsport backed entry for Kevin Abbring and Seb Marshall. In his role as lead test driver for the team Abbring has been an integral part of the Customer Racing team throughout the project. The Dutchman has completed almost all of the 5,000km of testing conducted during the seven-month development process.
The Customer Racing department will travel to the Tour de Corse – Rallye de France with two targets. The first will be to prove the pace of the New Generation i20 R5 on the stages against the more established manufacturers in the class. However, the weekend will also show the level of support that customers can expect. The customer teams at the rally will be supported by a dedicated engineer, with further specialist technicians in attendance to make sure that all three cars remain as competitive as possible throughout the event.
“With the competitive debut of the New Generation i20 R5 this year’s Tour de Corse – Rallye de France will be the biggest event in the history of Hyundai Motorsport,” explained Michel Nandan, Hyundai Motorsport team principal. “The foundation of the Customer Racing department was an important expansion for the company, and we will have an unprecedented six Hyundai Motorsport built entries at the start of the rally. For the first time we will compete with a car other than our WRC challenger. In taking on the R5 category and the WRC2 championship we have targeted one of the most competitive areas of modern motorsport. Due to the tight deadlines which have been a constant part of this project we are still awaiting final confirmation of the car’s homologation for competition from the FIA. However, with preparations in the workshop well advanced the New Generation i20 R5 should be ready to compete in France.”