With less than a month before the New Generation i20 R5’s homologation Hyundai Motorsport has used a four days of test program in France last week (August 2-5) to fine-tune the car and introduce clients to the car.
Running on tarmac at the Chambley circuit, the Customer Racing department focused on extracting the maximum performance and reliability from the i20 R5’s 1.6 direct injection turbocharged engine. Concentrating on long runs for two days, the team added 500km to the car’s development without encountering a major issue. The success of the test vindicated the work the department’s engineers have done throughout the testing program that began in January.
Following its public debut at the Ypres Rally in June, the team has received significant new inquiries about the New Generation i20 R5. On course to fill their order books into 2017, the days at the private circuit gave the Customer Racing department the opportunity to host teams and drivers at the test. High-profile competitors from across Europe travelled to Chambley, with drivers able to get behind the wheel of the i20 R5.
The expanded squad of mechanics have started to build the first chassis to be delivered to customers. The stock of parts has grown from one designed to back the two car test programme, to one intended to support teams competing around the world. They will also be able to call upon Customer Racing engineers from Hyundai Motorsport to help them get the best from the new car on rallies.
“We are very close to starting the homologation of the New Generation i20 R5 in only a few weeks. As we have gone through the programme, each time we have run the car has become more and more important, so naturally it was very important to have a successful test last week,” said Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing manager, Andrea Adamo. “At the Ypres Rally we showed we have developed a very strong car on tarmac, and at Chambley we are able to concentrate on fine-tuning and building on the results we had seen previously to prove the reliability we have built into the engine. However, the ultimate success of the project will fall with our customers. It was great to welcome them to the test, and for them to get their first chance to drive the car. The feedback from those who got behind the wheel was very positive which is both encouraging and rewarding.”
The New Generation i20 R5 will be homologated in early September. The car’s competitive debut, in the hands of customers, is expected later the same month. Hyundai Motorsport plan further days later in year where interested drivers will be able to experience the car, taking place on both tarmac and gravel roads.