Hyundai Motorsport team principal Andrea Adamo says the popularity of the Customer Racing division’s new i20 N Rally2 has “caught us by surprise”, with over 25 orders already placed with a deposit.
The i20 made its competitive debut in the hands of Oliver Solberg and Jari Huttunen on the Ypres Rally just over a week ago, with the latter winning out the box in WRC2 despite a power-steering issue that afflicted both cars.
Last weekend, Andrea Crugnola gave the car its second win from as many starts as he defeated Luca Rossetti, driving Hyundai’s original i20 R5, by 15 seconds on the Rally del Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy (pictured below).
Hyundai’s new car has unsurprisingly proved popular already, but the lack of availability of some important raw materials worldwide could become a problem in meeting this demand.
“We have 26 orders with a deposit,” Adamo confirmed to DirtFish. “Honestly this caught us by surprise because we never would have thought to have sold so many cars, so we have to review the plan.
“We have to review the plan in the moment when worldwide the availability of raw material, aluminum, steel is becoming a big huge problem. I would never expect in my life to find myself in this situation where we cannot find aluminum, steel, semiconductors, electronics. The world has changed and we have to pass through these things.
“I can understand the customers that have paid the money and have seen the car doing well are wishing to have it in their hands overnight but it will be all good, just step by step.”
It was important for us to show in a competitive Tarmac rally that the car is competitiveAndrea Adamo
Adamo said the early success of the i20 N Rally2 had given Hyundai’s engineers “back some oxygen” following an intense period in which they ensured the car passed FIA homologation and prepared it for Ypres and last weekend’s rally in Italy.
They will also carry out a three-day test in Greece, where Solberg will compete in WRC2 in just under three weeks.
“They really needed to breathe because they were holding their breath for so long and there’s some stress, so I’m very relieved for them and I’m happy to see that all their big efforts brought some good results,” Adamo said.
He added that Crungola’s win was “very important” given it was a more straightforward victory than Huttunen’s, taken in a capitulating WRC2 field, and was in stark contrast to the i20 R5’s debut in 2016, which Adamo described as “troubled”.
“It was important for us to show in a competitive Tarmac rally that the car is competitive, let me say,” he said.
“Honestly I was quite impressed. Andrea Crugnola did well, by the way he had some lines of flu, [he] was not 100% so there were some ingredients to add some spicy shades on it.
“But he went well and I have to say that if I look back to 2016, the debut of this [new] car is amazing. The old one was much more with troubled days, this one is a totally different thing.
“I want to say thank you to my engineers, mechanics, everyone.”