Hyundai has begun preparations for its second season in the FIA World Rally Championship with a four day test in the Ardeche.

The team's 2015 drivers Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo both put the Hyundai i20 WRC through its paces on the Monte-Carlo Rally roads, with Neuville driving on Monday and Tuesday before handing over to Sordo for the following two days. With the team starting the 2015 season with "substantially developed" version of the Hyundai i20 WRC which ran in Monte-Carlo this year, Neuville said the test proved very beneficial.

"We've spent a productive two days in the car this week, keeping us busy as we prepare for next season," Neuville said. "I've had a good feeling from the car and we have been moving forward, step by step and getting quicker. It's important for us to start as early as we can for the first rallies of 2015. We will now continue with our winter programme so we can head into Christmas and New Year in the best shape."

Sordo agreed that more time in the car would prove helpful when Rally Monte-Carlo starts in January.

"The 2014 season might be over but the work doesn't stop as we carry out our 2015 preparation," Sordo said. "Thierry and I have both had two days in the Hyundai i20 WRC in Ard?che this week and it has been good to keep driving. December is a busy month but we need to do all we can to prepare for the next season."

Team Principal Michel Nandan added that the team will carry out a similar test in Sweden to understand the car's characteristics on snow.

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"The purpose of this week's test on asphalt and very soon on snow is to understand how the latest specification Hyundai i20 WRC handles on these conditions," Nandan said. "Although we have a full year of experience under our belts since we started our first event, we have to keep on working to prepare for the first rallies of the 2015 calendar - the first of which takes place next month.

"Our 2015 drivers Thierry and Dani both drove two days each this week and will also carry out a four day test in Sweden mid-December. We are continuing to evolve the Hyundai i20 WRC so these tests allow us to get final pieces of information for us to fine tune the cars for the first rounds of the new season."