Thursday, May 30th, 2013 - Kia Motors Australia
First comprehensive testing session carried out last week to evaluate all key areas of i20 WRC’s performance. Shakedown marks beginning of Hyundai Motorsport’s testing activity.

After an intensive few months of preparation at its new headquarters, Hyundai Motorsport has taken the i20 WRC out of the workshop and onto the road to start its testing programme.

The result was a successful shakedown for the latest specification of the Hyundai i20 WRC on a private testing ground near its Alzenau, Germany, headquarters. Hyundai Motorsport’s technical team completed the rollout while encountering no significant issues. Now, the test schedule ramps up to prepare for entry in the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) World Rally Championship in 2014.

This three day, 550 kilometre shakedown was followed by the car’s first comprehensive testing session, during which various set-ups were tried out and valuable data were gathered for analysis by engineers back at the Hyundai Motorsport facility. While all key areas of the car’s performance were evaluated, there was a major focus on collecting feedback from the i20 WRC’s 1.6 litre turbocharged engine.

“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,” said Michel Nandan, Team Principal. “We have an intensive testing schedule for the rest of 2013. It 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.”

With an ambitious target to meet in a short time, the tight schedule is intended to ensure that Hyundai Motorsport arrives ready to compete at the Monte Carlo Rally in January 2014.

“The learning from the first tests for me is quite positive,” Nandan said. “We have now a lot of useful feedback to digest for the next steps of our preparation.”

The Hyundai i20 WRC was designed at Hyundai’s Namyang R&D Centre in Korea and is being made race-ready at the Hyundai Motorsport headquarters in Alzenau, Germany

THREE QUESTIONS TO HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT TEAM PRINCIPAL, MICHEL NANDAN:

Michel, the last couple of weeks were pretty busy for the team at Hyundai Motorsport. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

“Indeed, it has been a busy few months here at Hyundai Motorsport as we prepared to kick-off our testing programme to get ready for the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship. 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 car we are currently testing was originally designed by our colleagues in Korea at the Namyang R&D Centre. It has then been developed and prepared in Alzenau by the team which is growing constantly day-by-day.”

What are your thoughts on the first two outings of the i20 WRC on the road?

“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.

On the human side of things, I have already seen great teamwork, from the engineers in Namyang and the growing team of people in Alzenau. I have to say I’m very proud of everyone and I should thank them for the good job they have been doing so far. We have a lot of work ahead of us but I’m sure that with the commitment everybody showed so far we will respect all the timings and objectives we have for this year.”

What are the next steps in the testing programme?

“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.”

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Alyson MacDonald

P: 02-9701-1768
M: 0411-244-676
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Keywords

First comprehensive testing session carried out last week to evaluate all key areas of i20 WRC’s performance. Shakedown marks beginning of Hyundai Motorsport’s testing activity.

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