HYUNDAI TEST­ING HITS FEVER PITCH

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Hyundai has en­tered the fi­nal phase of its 2017 de­vel­op­ment, with the fo­cus shift­ing to sus­pen­sion and trans­mis­sion set-up at its test in Spain last week.

Kevin Ab­bring, Dani Sordo and Hay­den Pad­don drove the test New Gen­er­a­tion i20 WRC for four days on gravel. The team’s other driver Thierry Neuville was ab­sent from the test – as he has been from all 2017 test­ing ( see story be­low).

Loose sur­face run­ning will now dom­i­nate Hyundai’s pro­gramme un­til it turns its at­ten­tion to a pre-event test for the sea­son-open­ing Monte Carlo Rally in the French Alps.

Team prin­ci­pal Michel Nan­dan told MN: “Al­though there are still some small evo­lu­tions on both chas­sis and en­gine which will come later in the year, this spec­i­fi­ca­tion of the car is al­ready quite close to the one we will run in the WRC next year.

“In the next tests we will try some fur­ther im­prove­ments on the en­gine side. The car also fea­tured an up­dated aero pack­age.

“We started with Tar­mac test­ing in Au­gust and we will con­tinue in Oc­to­ber, mean­while we will con­tinue to fo­cus on gravel de­vel­op­ment to pre­pare the be­gin­ning of the sea­son be­fore switch­ing back to Tar­mac in De­cem­ber to pre­pare for Monte Carlo [next Jan­uary].”

In the mid­dle of get­ting next year’s car ready, Hyundai Mo­tor­sport is also busy pre­par­ing for its busiest event ever – next week’s Tour of Cor­sica, where Ab­bring will give the i20 R5 its de­but.

“This will be a proud mo­ment for ev­ery­body in­volved in Hyundai Mo­tor­sport,” Nan­dan added.

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