Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Lur­gan Park re­port, p31 Pho­tos: Jakob Ebrey, Writ­tle Pho­to­graphic Photo: Ral­ly­

Hyundai’s i20 R5 is un­likely to ap­pear in this sea­son’s Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship af­ter it emerged that the car’s ho­molo­ga­tion in­spec­tion isn’t planned un­til Oc­to­ber.

It had been hoped the Korean ma­chine could tackle Au­gust’s Ul­ster Rally or Rally Isle of Man in Septem­ber.

How­ever, un­til it’s ho­molo­gated by mo­tor­sport’s world gov­ern­ing body, the FIA, it can only run in the Na­tional Rally Cup class of the Bri­tish cham­pi­onship for cars with an MSA log book.

Hyundai Mo­tor­sport boss Michel Nan­dan said: “On the performance we are not so bad, we are do­ing some more tests next week and then again later in the month. We have a high-tem­per­a­ture test on as­phalt and some more mi­nor set-up changes to test on gravel, but these are both to help es­tab­lish the cus­tomer base [set-up]. Af­ter that, there’s one more test be­fore ho­molo­ga­tion in Oc­to­ber.”

Nan­dan re­ported there was al­ready strong in­ter­est in the car from cus­tomers, say­ing: “We’ve had be­tween 10 and 15 peo­ple in­ter­ested [in buy­ing one], so that’s a good start, but we are not go­ing to rush this – we want to be sure ev­ery­thing is per­fect. Re­ally this is the car for next year.”

The i20 R5 made a suc­cess­ful de­but pub­lic ap­pear­ance on the Ypres Rally in Bel­gium two weeks ago, run­ning as a course car on the European Rally Cham­pi­onship round with Bri­ton Seb Mar­shall co-driv­ing Dutch­man Kevin Ab­bring.

Event sources con­firmed that the car had clocked stage times faster than rally win­ner and lo­cal leg­end Freddy Loix man­aged in a Skoda Fabia R5.

MN un­der­stands that fur­ther de­ci­sions on the i20 R5’s fu­ture plans are ex­pected in the next two weeks.

All four types of R5 car in ex­is­tence (Citroen DS3, Ford Fi­esta, Peu­geot 208 and Skoda Fabia) com­pete in the BRC.

R5 i20 flew in Ypres

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