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Mon 14 Feb 2022

Hyundai switches test home to Finland

Hyundai Motorsport has shifted its test base from its home in Germany to the heart of Rally Finland territory.

A change in regulations allowing for a systems check test base, which comes following the inclusion of hybrid technology, has opened the opportunity for the Alzenau-based squad to look further afield for a new home for test and development work.

Jämsä, 60km south-west of Rally Finland host city Jyväskylä and on the doorstep of the legendary Ouninpohja special stage, is that new home. It also lies close to other famous Finland tests such as Pihlajakoski and Päijälä.

Hyundai wasted no time in setting its i20 N Rally1 running through the woods after last month’s Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Deputy team director Julien Moncet said: “The regulation has changed a little bit from FIA side, allowing us to have one base, plus another base for system checks. That’s why we move to Finland. Finland seems the best one [for the permanent test site].”

The team’s roads are based around Jämsä and offer the sort of benefits the locally-based Toyota Gazoo Racing has enjoyed in terms of defined seasons.

The same roads can be used for winter rally preparation as well as specific events like Rally Finland and other high-speed gravel running like Rally Estonia and, potentially, Rally New Zealand.

Hyundai switched its testing focus to pre-Rally Sweden preparation in Sweden last week.

The Korean manufacturer is looking to bounce back from a troubled opening round in Monte-Carlo with i20 N driver Ott Tänak chasing a second successive victory on the WRC’s winter event, following his Arctic Rally Finland success 12 months ago.

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