The New Generation i20 R5 will make its first WRC2 start at the forthcoming Tour de Corse – Rallye de France. Three of the brand new machines will be entered for Stéphane Sarrazin and Jacques-Julien Renucci, Italian pairing, Fabio Andolfi and Manuel Fenoli and current lead test driver Kevin Abbring with Seb Marshall.
In his role as lead test driver for the team Abbring has been an integral part of the Customer Racing team throughout the project. The Dutchman has completed almost all of the 5,000km of testing conducted during the seven-month development process.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “With the competitive debut of the New Generation i20 R5 this year’s Tour de Corse – Rallye de France will be the biggest event in the history of Hyundai Motorsport. The foundation of the Customer Racing department was an important expansion for the company, and we will have an unprecedented six Hyundai Motorsport built entries at the start of the rally. For the first time we will compete with a car other than our WRC challenger. In taking on the R5 category and the WRC2 championship we have targeted one of the most competitive areas of modern motorsport. Due to the tight deadlines which have been a constant part of this project we are still awaiting final confirmation of the car’s homologation for competition from the FIA. However, with preparations in the workshop well advanced the New Generation i20 R5 should be ready to compete in France.”
Fingers crossed, eh?