Hyundai Motorsport tested its i20 WRC for a total of 15 days and for more than 1000km in October, in preparation for a planned competitive debut at the opening round of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship.
Test drivers Juho Hänninen, Bryan Bouffier and Chris Atkinson alternated behind the wheel of the new car at tests in Spain and Germany, on asphalt and gravel stages.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Michel Nandan said October had been exceptionally busy: “We were out testing the i20 WRC on both surfaces for more than half of the month, with our three test drivers swapping the seat on four separate test sessions.
"We now have two latest-spec i20 WRC, which allows us to further intensify the development schedule by alternating between the two chassis. Overall, it was a positive month as we managed to test new parts, try different set-up solutions and cover some good mileage with the car.”
October’s schedule kicked off with a four-day gravel test in the south of Spain where the team assessed the behaviour of the i20 WRC in warm weather conditions with both Hänninen and Atkinson at the wheel.
“During this test we took the opportunity to continue the development of the car on gravel conditions, similar to the ones we will find in Portugal and Sardinia next year. We tried several configurations for these kinds of terrains and evaluated some new components which we hadn’t tested before,” explained Nandan.
The team then moved to the Catalonia region for a five-day gravel test. This was followed by a tarmac test in Baumholder, Germany, home of the iconic Arena Panzerplatte, which forms part of Rallye Deutschland’s itinerary.
“After concentrating on loose surfaces we took the i20 WRC to tarmac for a test on the same conditions of Rallye Deutschland. We had some new suspension parts to try as we hadn’t tested on tarmac since August,” Nandan added.
In the final week of October, the team continues tarmac development in Catalonia on the roads of Rally de España, which was held last week. “Testing on the same roads as the rally allows us to start to have some references on the stages we will tackle next year,” concluded Nandan.