(WRC.com, 27/5/2013) HYUNDAI’S new i20 World Rally Car has been driven in anger for the first time – covering 550 kilometres on a secret three-day test.
After a shakedown session in mid-May, last week’s test was the first time the Hyundai Motorsport team could begin to evaluate the i20 WRC’s performance.
It also marks the start of an intensive period of testing for the German-based squad, as it prepares to make its World Rally Championship debut on the 2014 Rallye Monte-Carlo.
While all key areas of the car were evaluated, there was a major focus on collecting feedback on the i20 WRC’s 1.6 litre turbocharged engine as part of the development programme for the powertrain.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Michel Nandan admitted the last few months had been extremely busy.
“After starting our operations from scratch at the Alzenau factory in early January, we have been developing the car and now we can put the theory into practice.
“The car is on the road and I have to admit it was quite an emotional moment to see the latest specification of the i20 WRC in action for the first time.
“The learning from the first tests for me is quite positive. I think we are starting from a good base that we can use to carry on working.
“This was crucial considering the tight schedule we have until the end of the year. We have now a lot of useful feedback to digest for the next steps of our preparation.
“We have an intensive testing schedule for the rest of 2013 which will take us to different venues across Europe, to evaluate the i20 WRC in different conditions and on different terrains which reflect the variety of circumstances we will encounter in the World Rally Championship next year.
“We are not disclosing our specific test venues or the names of the various drivers we will have but we will ensure that every aspect of the car’s performance is put to the test and thoroughly evaluated without leaving anything to chance.”