Tue 18 Jun 2024

Loriaux: Hyundai doesn't fear high-speed gravel rallies

Hyundai WRC program manager Christian Loriaux says the team has every reason to be confident in the pace of the i20 N Rally1 Hybrid on the upcoming fast gravel rallies.

While the Alzenau-built Hyundai has won regularly on rough rallies – like the last event in Sardinia – it hasn’t been such a regular visitor to the winners’ circle on the faster events coming up in Poland, Latvia and Finland through the summer.

With its permanent test site running out of central Finland, the Hyundai’s pace on fast gravel roads has undoubtedly quickened to challenge and beat Toyota at times.

Loriaux said: “Last year in Finland, Thierry [Neuville] was second on the event and, don’t forget, Ott [Tänak] won Finland in 2022 – that was the first year for these hybrid cars. I think the car has always been up there, it was the same in Sweden [in 2022] when Ott was very strong on a fast, loose-surface event.

“We’ve developed the car some more over the winter ahead of this season and I think we can see there’s more pace already. The car’s always been up there, but this year we are stronger than we have been before.”

Hyundai heads to Mikołajki as defending winners of ORLEN Rally Poland, with Neuville the last WRC star to claim victory in the Polish lakes in 2017.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM