Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By David Evans

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.”

Pho­tos: FIA ERC

i20 R5: Ab­bring (l) and Mar­shall ( r)

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