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Hyundai i20 N Rally2 new updates at Rally Croatia

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The development parts, which are centred on the car’s engine and suspension, are expected to provide a 3bhp boost in performance as well as improvements to handling and reliability. The newly homologated parts will be made available to existing i20 N Rally2 customers and fitted to new cars produced by the Customer Racing department in the coming months.

Hyundai Motorsport customers will debut the latest upgrades for the i20 N Rally2 this weekend following homologation earlier this month. Two crews will use the new parts in Rally Croatia in WRC2, while competitors in the French Tarmac Rally Championship at Rallye Rhône Charbonnières will also use the new parts for the first time.
 
The developments are the product of a busy testing schedule for the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing department over the first quarter of the year. This included five days on rough gravel at Chateau de Lastours in Southern France during February, and trips to Italy and Spain in March and April for running on tarmac. Across the tests the car completed nearly 4,000km of running. Driving duties were shared between several drivers, including WRC2 regulars Teemu Suninen and Emil Lindholm and customer drivers such as Eric Camilli, who brings his extensive experience in the Rally2 category to the project this year as he contests the French Tarmac Rally Championship in an i20 N Rally2. Each driver provided important feedback to help the car remain a strong all-round performer on all surfaces and for drivers with a variety of styles and preferences.
 
The upgrades to the 1.6 litre, turbocharged engine include a new Variable Valve Timing (VVT) system, aimed to improve the low-end torque from the motor. The faster acceleration will allow the car to reach its top speed sooner, providing a boost on even the most technical rally stages. Together with other freshly homologated changes to the engine, such as new pistons, Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing’s engineers estimate the new package provides a significant boost in performance. These figures were confirmed by the testing on tarmac, when the test team deliberately sought out very different road conditions for their two locations; high-grip roads near Udine in Italy and the bumpy, technical stages of the Asturias region of Spain.
 
In February, the rough gravel trails found in France were the perfect location to confirm the reliability and handling improvements provided by redesigned uprights and damper bracket which were homologated in March. The updates to the key parts should give crews greater confidence to push to the maximum on every corner.
 
The cars driven by Emil Lindholm and Nicolas Ciamin, prepared by the CHL Sport Auto and 2C Competition teams respectively, will be fitted with the new homologated parts for Rally Croatia – the fourth round of the WRC2 season.  Ciamin has already enjoyed a strong start to the season with podium finishes in the WRC2 Challenger category at Rallye Monte-Carlo and Rally Kenya. He sits fourth in the WRC2 championship standings.
 
Also this weekend cars with the new package of upgrades will also be competing at Rallye Rhône Charbonnières, the second round of the French Tarmac Rally Championship. The new parts will be available to all i20 N Rally2 customers to purchase as a package to upgrade their cars and will be fitted to all new chassis built at Hyundai Motorsport’s Alzenau base in the coming months.
 
Hyundai Motorsport Rally2 Project Manager Andrea Cisotti said: “This package of upgrades for the Hyundai i20 N Rally2 is an important step forward. We have listened to our customers’ feedback, as well as studied data to focus on the key areas where we can make gains. The increases in performance and reliability have been validated by exhaustive testing. Running on a range of roads around Europe, with many different drivers makes sure we continue to offer a car that is capable of maximum performance in all conditions, and with anyone at the wheel. The results of the work are clear to us and should provide an immediate boost to our customers in Croatia and France this week and to all our customers in the coming months.”