WRC2 A FULL 2016

New Generation i20 R5 shows good pace on competitive debut in Corsica.


Kevin Abbring and Seb Marshall’s Tour de Corse – Rallye de France is brought to a premature end by a water leak on their New Generation i20 R5
Both they and privateer driver Fabio Andolfi set top-three stage times among the R5 runners on the challenging event
With the knowledge gained from the rally the Customer Racing department will continue to make improvements to the car to pass on their clients.

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing
2 October 2016

Bastia, Corsica

October 2, 2016 – Hyundai Motorsport endured a tough competitive debut with the New Generation i20 R5 on the Tour de Corse – Rallye de France, as a water leak stopped Kevin Abbring during the rally’s second afternoon.

The long stages for which the Corsican event is known were a tough proving ground for the new machine. Abbring was third quickest in WRC2 throughout the opening day of the rally. On a day without a midday service the brand new car completed 160km of competitive running. After making some set-up improvements to the car during service he showed renewed pace on Saturday morning.

It was stage five that started the second day’s itinerary. Through the 54km La Porta – Valle di Rosina run Abbring and the New Generation i20 R5 were able to match the times of the more seasoned WRC2 competitors. The same was true throughout the 30km Novella – Pietralba SS6 until close to the end, where a puncture and suspension damage dropped the Dutchman off the pace.

Though Abbring and co-driver Seb Marshall arrived at the Bastia Service Park late after making a temporary fix on the road section the team took the decision to repair the car, and return to the stages for the afternoon. Stage seven revisited the road of the morning’ opener and the initial times promised a reward for the crew. The New Generation i20 R5 was fastest of the WRC2 entrants early in the stage. Unfortunately, the run was halted halfway through the stage by the water leak, a potential consequence of the morning’s incident.

Sadly, once the car was brought back to the service park it was discovered that the engine had been damaged, closing the team’s rally a day early.

Kevin Abbring said: “We were just starting to show some of the pace of the New Generation i20 R5. We had a strong run on Friday to complete such a long day without a problem, and with the improvements we made in service we were setting some really good pace early on Saturday. Because of the delays after the suspension damage we were out of the battle for the front, but the whole team wanted to have the car on the stages for the afternoon. Again our times were competitive, but we had a water leak and had to stop on the stage. Once we were back in service, we found that the engine had been damaged, so we had to retire.”

Driving for one of the two privateer teams running New Generation i20 R5 in the rally Fabio Andolfi also showed the potential in the new car. On Saturday’s final stage the Italian, competing in a four-wheel-drive entry for the first time, was just two seconds down on the WRC2 stage winner, despite catching the competitor ahead on the road.

Stéphane Sarrazin, in the third of the New Generation i20 R5 on the event, was forced to retire with damage from a broken wheel on Saturday afternoon.

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing manager Andrea Adamo said: “We came to Tour de Corse – Rallye de France to prove the performance of the New Generation i20 R5. Both we and, more importantly, our customers showed that the car can compete at the very front of WRC2. To be matching, or even beating, the times of teams and drivers who have been competing all season on our first event is really impressive. Unfortunately, the water leak happened at the point of the weekend where the car looked at its strongest. We knew the long stages of this rally were always going to be a tough place to debut a new R5 and so it proved. With what we have learnt here we can make improvements, so that our customers can continue to prove themselves at the highest levels of the R5 category.”

The Customer Racing department will return to Hyundai Motorsport headquarters in Alzenau, Germany, using the knowledge gained in Corsica as they continue to build new cars.


About Hyundai Motorsport’s Customer Racing Department

Hyundai Motorsport GmbH established its Customer Racing department in September 2015 with the aim of enhancing Hyundai’s motorsport image around the world – in parallel to its WRC programme. The company began work on a new R5 car based on Hyundai’s New Generation i20 WRC and carried out the first test and rollout of the vehicle in January 2016. Led by Customer Racing Manager Andrea Adamo, the department delivered the first completed New Generation i20 R5 to customers in September 2016. The i20 R5 is available to professional and amateur drivers for use in WRC2 and national / regional championships.

Further information about Hyundai Motorsport is available at:

About Hyundai Motor
Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is committed to becoming a lifetime partner in automobiles and beyond. The company, which leads the Hyundai Motor Group, an innovative business structure capable of circulating resources from molten iron to finished cars, offers top-quality best-sellers such as Elantra, Sonata and Genesis. Hyundai Motor has eight manufacturing bases and seven design & technical centers worldwide and in 2015, sold 4.96 million vehicles globally. With more than 100,000 employees worldwide, Hyundai Motor continues to enhance its product line-up with localized models and strives to strengthen its leadership in clean technology, starting with the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen-powered vehicle, ix35 Fuel Cell.

More information about Hyundai Motor and its products can be found at: or

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Media Hyundai Motorsport

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All The Best, Pablito, Pablo MACHI WRC

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