HYUNDAI’S R5 MAKES FLYING DEBUT
Hyundai’s i20 R5 made its first public appearance at last week’s Ypres Rally and was immediately on the pace of its competitors in the hands of Kevin Abbring.
Because the i20 R5 remains unhomologated, it ran as course car at the head of the field without any official timing. Sources within the event confirmed to MN that the car was quickest on some stages and would have finished inside the top three had it been registered for classification.
No definite date has been agreed for homologation, but it will be in the next two months.
Abbring, who was co-driven as usual by Britain’s Sebastian Marshall, said: “I’m really proud to have been part of this car’s development. We started testing in February and we’ve done a lot of kilometres on the gravel and on the asphalt, so to come here and drive in this event is really satisfying.”
Neither Abbring or Marshall would be drawn on the car’s performance relative to its competitors, but both said the team was entirely satisfied with its time in Belgium.
Customer racing manager Andrea Adamo said: “Our appearance on the stages was all about continuing the development of the car. We are very happy with the performance of the car compared to the fastest crews in the rally. That our car completed the weekend trouble-free and with competitive times is a testament to the quality of the car we have produced.
“The results of the weekend, together with the feedback from Kevin, will allow us to better focus our development as we aim to make the most of the remaining time we have before our customers will take the New Generation i20 R5 out to compete.”
i20 R5: Abbring (l) and Marshall ( r)