Hyundai plan radiator changes after Neuville troubles
Hyundai will make changes to its i20 WRC in the next fortnight in an effort to avoid another transmission failure similar to the one which ruled Thierry Neuville out of last week’s Rally Sweden.
Neuville dropped six minutes on day one when the rear differential seized on his new-for-2016 i20, forcing the car into front-wheel drive only.
“We had no cooling on the differential,” said Neuville, “so it cooked itself and then it exploded. It must have all melted inside, the noise was bad and I could feel it trying to lock, it was slowing down the wheels and then it went bang.”
The problem was caused by an oil leak in the differential cooling radiator.
Hyundai team head Michel Nandan explained: “We had a leak on the fitting for the diff cooler. The oil came out and there was no more oil in the diff, so everything seized. This problem was 100 per cent our fault. This was one part which, provisionally, was going to be changed for Mexico after a test – that’s the plan now. We have a new radiator coming and we will change the route for the pipes.”
After a promising podium on the season opener in Monte Carlo, Neuville heads to Mexico 41 points down on series leader Sebastien Ogier.
“Of course it’s disappointing,” Neuville said. “We would have been in second place, but that’s the game. I can’t say anything about Mexico, I can’t do more than my job. I do that and I hope for the best.”