Hyundai Motorsport will introduce an engine upgrade at the forthcoming Rally Guanajuato Mexico that it hopes will unlock more power from its i20 World Rally Car.
Mexico poses a unique challenge to WRC teams with altitudes reaching up to 2,700 metres above sea level and soaring temperatures. The dizzying heights, with thin air and lack of oxygen, have a suffocating effect on engines, typically reducing power by around 30 per cent.
Hyundai has chosen the demanding event to introduce a modified fuel injection system, which it says will help counter the effects of power loss caused by the high altitude stages.
Team drivers Thierry Neuville, Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo fine-tuned their Mexico set-ups at pre-event test in the Extremadura region of Spain last week. The engine was given an extra test at the team’s base in Germany.
“The altitude will be one of the key factors in this rally so we have tested these conditions on the engine test bench,” explained Team Principal Michel Nandan. “We also continued to test our paddle shift, which still needs some fine-tuning, but we are confident this will be ready for Argentina.”
Mexico brings back happy memories for Hyundai, recalling the team’s first WRC podium just under a year ago, when Neuville secured third place on only the squad’s third event.
This year the team heads to Mexico holding second place in both Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ standings following Neuville’s second place at Rally Sweden earlier this month.
Rally Rewind: Rally Guanajuato Mexico 2014
Here’s a recap of what happened last time
Mexico countdown: rally route
Long stages again the hallmark of Mexico’s action