Hyundai Motorsport will field four cars at the 2015 Tour de Corse, in what will be the team’s first entry at the event, due to the French round having been held elsewhere for the previous seven years.
Kevin Abbring will join regular drivers Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon, hoping to add to the success that the Hyundai crew has enjoyed recently, with five stage wins at Rally Australia. With three rounds of the championship remaining, the team will be aiming to increase their points hold on second place in the manufacturers’ championship.
For Abbring, the French rally is the fourth of the season, as the Hyundai Test Driver has entered FIA World Rally Championship rounds at Sweden, Poland and Germany so far in 2015. The Dutchman tackled the Tour de Corse as part of the FIA European Rally Championship last year, taking a third place finish in the process.
“In Germany we had the opportunity to drive a lot of kilometres on the tarmac so that should be good training for Corsica,” said Abbring. “OK, it is a bit different to Rallye Deutschland – it is very technical with a lot of corners. I think that it will be all about managing the tyres, especially because the stages will be very long.
“It will be an exciting rally and the long stages will be a great opportunity for me to get some prolonged driving under pressure in the car. It’s the third event of my four-rally programme, so I am definitely keen to put everything I’ve learned so far into practice.”
In contrast to the standard WRC format, Tour de Course features just nine stages, but seven of these exceed 35km. An abrasive tarmac surface makes correct tyre selection vital, and the mountain roads and cliffside passes make it a particularly challenging run.