Friday, September 17, 2021

Hyundai Motorsport deliver first i20 N Rally2 ahead of Ypres Rally Belgium debut

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  • Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing has delivered the first Hyundai i20 N Rally2 to teams, readying for the car’s competitive debut at next week’s Ypres Rally Belgium 
  • The cars will be driven by Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Drivers Oliver Solberg and Jari Huttunen at the event, after both have been vital to the development of the chassis
  • The Hyundai i20 N Rally2 is the second rally car created by the Customer Racing department and is designed from a blank sheet of paper based on the road-going i20 N model.

Hyundai Motorsport has delivered the first Hyundai i20 N Rally2 to customers ahead of next week’s Ypres Rally Belgium, where the car will make its competitive debut in the WRC 2 class with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Drivers Oliver Solberg and Jari Huttunen.
 
The landmark event comes five years after the Hyundai i20 R5 made its first public appearance at the Belgian rally, running as a course car for the then-European Rally Championship round.
 
Both Solberg and Huttunen will arrive at the start of the event well prepared, having also been central to the i20 N Rally2’s busy development schedule. Their final preparations will be completed with the teams in the coming days, with testing planned on roads close to the rally’s Flanders base before their arrival in service park.

Hyundai Motorsport deliver first i20 N Rally2 ahead of Ypres Rally Belgium debut
Photographer: Jordi Rierola Worldwide Copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Based on the road-going i20 N model the new i20 N Rally2 represents an entirely new design intended for privateer teams and drivers around the world. By starting with a blank sheet of paper the Customer Racing department’s designers and engineers could take advantage of the doubtless strengths for the i20 R5, but also put in practice the lessons learnt from five years of competing and supporting customer teams. The result is a very strong all-round package that represents a significant step forward in every key area of the design – from performance and reliability to handling and drivability – after more than 3,000 kilometres of test running since the car first ran late in 2020.
 
The extensive testing program saw the chassis honed on a range of gravel, tarmac and snow stages across Europe, as the Customer Racing department successfully sought to develop a car that was equally strong on all surfaces – not just for WRC 2 competition, but for the wide spectrum of national and international series where the Rally2 category has become the premier class.

Hyundai Motorsport deliver first i20 N Rally2 ahead of Ypres Rally Belgium debut
© Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

With this clear target of developing a car that is capable of victory on any rally with any driver – regardless of experience level or personal driving style – the engineers relied on feedback from a number of different drivers including Solberg and Huttunen as well as WRC drivers Craig Breen and Ott Tänak. Every driver who joined the test team left with a positive feeling about the new car, and having their own mark upon the development of the final package.
 
Alongside the first rally starts of the Hyundai i20 N Rally2 the Customer Racing department is also working to build and deliver chassis to those teams who have filled the order books since they opened earlier this year. Following the debut of the car further examples will join the fray of series across the world in the months to come. 
 
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Manager Andrew Johns said: “After such a busy test schedule as we have had with the Hyundai i20 N Rally2 the first competitive event feels a very important milestone for the project. We know we have a strong all-round package thanks to the efforts of our designers and engineers since we started work on the car, and now is the opportunity to show it on the stages. Both Oliver and Jari are well prepared for Ypres Rally Belgium, having been a vital part of the testing phase. The further running they will do with their teams before the stages will provide the final push to make sure that everything is prepared for the first stages. Of course Ypres Rally Belgium is only the start of our work to deliver i20 N Rally2 across the world, and the beginning of our support to customers with the new car.”

Hyundai Motorsport deliver first i20 N Rally2 ahead of Ypres Rally Belgium debut
© Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

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