Hyundai’s World Rally Championship co-drivers believe that cockpit heat generated from the exhaust on the new Rally1 cars could be a challenge on hot rounds in particular in 2022.
Hyundai is currently conducting a rally simulation test of its i20 N Rally1, running the car as if it were on event, in northern Italy.
Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja were in the car on Wednesday but Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe have also been in the new machine this week, and will take over the testing on Thursday.
Speaking to DirtFish’s Colin Clark, who has been invited to the test, Wydaeghe said the heat inside the new car “can be an issue” but it was not a problem specific to Hyundai because each car shares the same spaceframe chassis.
“The exhaust is just passing on the right side of our legs in all new cars, so for Toyota and Ford it’s the same, and this is causing some massive heat,” Wydaeghe said.
“Now we are almost in winter time so it’s quite cold outside, but if you go to Portugal or Sardinia or Kenya it will be a big challenge.
“But we have good engineers and I’m sure we can find some solutions for that, I hope.”
Järveoja added: “I think the heat will be quite difficult in the hot rallies.
“Today when we are testing it’s quite cold outside but in the car it’s already quite hot, so let’s see.”
This is the future – first video of the Hyundai i20N Rally1 in full electric mode on a road section in Italy this morning pic.twitter.com/WRXZ3qptAG
— dirtfishrally (@DirtFishRally) October 27, 2021
The FIA – including rallies director Yves Matton and technical director Jerome Touquet – was present at Hyundai’s test.
That means it will not only have taken note of this new issue – likely only discovered because of the unique and longer format of Hyundai’s testing plan – but also examined the ongoing situation regarding the seating position of co-drivers.
As reported by DirtFish, factory co-drivers have written to the FIA over concerns that the higher seating position is unsafe.
Asked if the FIA was listening to his concerns, Järveoja – who first aired the issue in public last month – said: “We discussed it and I hope for some ideas about what we should do, so let’s see. They’ve written it down and probably they will discuss [it].
“My seat position is now a bit better so I understand that basically they lowered us a little bit.”
When asked about his experience of testing so far, and specifically about the seating position, Wydaeghe said he was “convinced that we can find a solution to make some changes and to still feel comfortable in the new car”.
“We need to wait and discuss with the team and the FIA to see what’s possible,” he continued. “I hope that we can go a bit lower to feel comfortable and safe in the car.”