Tänak gets first taste of new i20 Rally2 car

WRC Champion puts Hyundai's new car through its paces across two days in Italy

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Reigning World Rally Champion Ott Tänak tested Hyundai’s all-new i20 N Rally2 for the first time in Italy last week.

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Department completed its first significant mileage with the car on gravel, with the Estonian running for two days.

Finn Jari Huttunen also drove for a day, having conducted the car’s initial shakedown test on asphalt in Germany.

Tänak said: “I had two busy days in the Hyundai i20 N Rally2.

“With the Customer Racing department, we were able go through a lot of work with the suspension and balance of the chassis. It is clear that the car has some nice characteristics, so there is a strong base to work from.

“As an all-new design, it is always important to get the first information about the car and performing the opening tests before the end of the year gives the team the chance to continue the work over the winter and into the New Year, when I look forward to rejoining them for more development days.”

The new car, which is scheduled for homologation in July, has now completed more than 300 miles across the two sessions.
As development of the world’s newest Rally2 car continues, other Hyundai drivers will take their turn to offer feedback, with Tänak’s factory team-mates Thierry Neuville, Craig Breen and Dani Sordo all expected in the car over the winter and early into the new year.

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Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Operations leader Andrew Johns said: “The first tests with the Hyundai i20 N Rally2 are the start of our work with the new car. Though these days have concentrated on chassis and drivability, during the development phase we will run on all surfaces and expand our focus to make sure every area of the chassis is optimized for different set-ups and driving styles.

“The test in Italy last week also set the tone for the development phase. In Ott and Jari we had two very talented drivers on hand and with their feedback – and that of the other drivers who will join the testing in the months to come – our engineers will be able to make sure the i20 N Rally2 is a strong all-round package.”

Words:David Evans

Photos:Hyundai Motorsport