Hyundai Motorsport continues i20 WRC intensive testing in France and Finland
The relentless testing schedule continued through August for the 2014-spec Hyundai i20 WRC car. The car made its tarmac debut in France, as well as further tests carried out on gravel conditions in Finland.
The two test drivers, Juho Hanninen and Bryan Bouffier were both in action over the 10 day testing period, both taking turns of driving over the different terrain.
Data was gathered form the gravel testing period in the Vosges regions of France between 12 and 6 August – this was the latest iteration for the i20 WRC.
“For our first time with the 2014-spec i20 WRC on tarmac, we adopted a deliberately br0ad test plan with the main goal of defining the base set-up for that surface,” explained Team Principal Micehl Nandan. “We completed good mileage with no major issues, and obtained valuable feedback from both Bryan and Juho, which will allow us to concentrate next on fine-tuning the individual components. Overall, it was a very positive tarmac debut.”
Bryan Bouffier added: “I think this test has given us a very good base from which we can develop further. The roads in the Vosges region allowed us to assess some key components and to identify the characteristics of the i20 WRC on tarmac. I’m very pleased with the behaviour of the car in the fast sections and when the road is bumpy. Of course, we will continue working on some areas but overall I find the car very well balanced and easy to handle.”
The team then moved to the gravel test stages, which were in Finland. Finland is well-known for fast gravel roads and jumps, which are very technical and demanding. Juho Hanninen was behind the wheel, to test the upgraded 2014-spec i20 WRC.
“In Finland we used an evolution of the 2014-spec car, different from the one which we used in France,” added Nandan. “We applied some changes to the shape of the body and during the test we worked on the aerodynamics of the car. The i20 WRC was fitted with a new aerodynamics package and we focussed our efforts in finding a good balance. We wanted to check that all aspects of the car worked properly at high speed, as well as on the jumps, which are extremely demanding. The car can reach extreme acceleration through these jumps so it is essential to study the behavior of the car and all of its components upon landing. We’ve also tried different suspension and differential solutions to develop the best set-up for next year’s rally.”
With test sessions planned almost every two weeks, Hyundai Motorsport now faces the busiest time of the development phase ahead of its entry into next year’s FIA World Rally Championships.