Hyundai continued its preparations for the 2014 World Rally Championship during October, completing 15 days of testing in total with the i20 WRC and driving more than 1000 kilometres on both gravel and tarmac.
“This month was exceptionally busy for us: we were out testing the i20 WRC on both surfaces for more than half of the month, with our three test drivers swapping the seat on four separate test sessions. We now have two latest-spec i20 WRC, which allows us to further intensify the development schedule by alternating between the two chassis,” said Hyundai Motorsport team principal Michel Nandan
“Overall, it was a positive month as we managed to test new parts, try different set-up solutions and cover some good mileage with the car.”
October's testing kicked off with a four-day gravel test in the south of Spain where the team continued to assess the behaviour of the i20 WRC in warm weather conditions with both Juho Hanninen and Chris Atkinson
“During this test we took the opportunity to continue the development of the car on gravel conditions, similar to the ones we will find in Portugal and Sardinia next year. We tried several configurations for these kinds of terrains and evaluated some new components which we hadn't tested before,” explained Nandan.
Hyundai then moved from the south of Spain up to the Catalonia region for a five-day gravel test. This was followed by a tarmac test in Baumholder, Germany, home of the iconic Arena Panzerplatte, which forms part of Rallye Deutschland's itinerary.
“After concentrating on loose surfaces in the first part of October, we took the i20 WRC to tarmac for a test on the same conditions of Rallye Deutschland. We had some new suspension parts to try as we hadn't tested on tarmac since August,” Nandan continued.
Finally, in the last week of October, the team continued tarmac development in Catalonia on the roads of Rally de Espana, the penultimate round of the WRC, which was held last week.
“Testing on the same roads as the rally allows us to start to have some references on the stages we will tackle next year,” Nandan remarked.
October also marked the beginning of another important process for Hyundai as the dossier for the homologation of the i20 WRC needs to be compiled and lodged by the FIA, the sports governing body, by the end of the month.