Hyundai, oblivious to the rumours, finishes the tests of the Rally of Italy-Sardinia

Hyundai, oblivious to the rumours, finishes the tests of the Rally of Italy-Sardinia

Rough waters go down at Hyundai Motorsport, but the obligation is above all. Although rumors of a possible closure of the Hyundai project in the WRC at the end of this season are growing stronger, the great actors who bring this program to life continue with their work. In fact, Thierry Neuville, Ott Tänak and Dani Sordo have completed the specific test prior to the Rally of Italy-Sardiniaproves that it will take place next week and that it has reported great successes for the South Korean brand in recent years.

The official drivers of the Asian manufacturer are still looking for the first victory of the new Hyundai i20 N Rally1 hybrid, a circumstance that could well occur in Sardinia. Even if the brand’s ‘Rally1’ has proven to be a step behind its rivals on gravel, the company’s track record on the Mediterranean island is very positive. In fact, Hyundai has achieved victory in four of the last six editions of the rally and although Sébastien Ogier won in 2020, in the three previous years the victory has gone to a Hyundai driver.

Thierry Neuville has been the first driver to complete the test prior to the Rally of Italy-Sardinia with the Hyundai i20 N Rally1. The Belgian, winner in Sardinia in 2016 and 2018, could only acknowledge the superiority of the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 in Portugal, but hopes to be closer in Italy. For that end, Neuville has completed a positive test day which will serve the brand’s engineers to collect all the necessary data to prepare the South Korean ‘Rally1’ in the best possible way for the demanding and tough stages of the fifth round of the World Cup.

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Ott Tänak took over from Neuville in these tests. The Estonian has been the driver most critical of Hyundai’s performance and has not been very happy with the limited test time with the i20 N Rally1. With everything, Tänak finished his test day more or less satisfied and with the feeling of having made real progress. Now the question is whether Hyundai has responded to their demands and whether Tänak and the rest of his teammates can really fight against Toyota in the Sardinian stages.

Waiting to solve this mystery, Dani Sordo was in charge of completing the last day of testing for Hyundai in Sardinia. The Cantabrian driver is still adapting to the Hyundai i20 N Rally1, even though he managed to get on the podium in his first event with the car. The Spaniard, like his teammates, has evaluated the small innovations that the i20 had in this test after its discreet passage through Portugal. Sordo will seek his third victory in the Rally of Italy-Sardinia.

Photos: Daniele Careddu