Hyundai Motorsport have handed over their first customer New Generation i20 R5 ahead of it’s competitive debut on the 2016 Tour de Corse – Rallye de France later this month.
WRC3 frontrunner Fabio Andolfi will be behind the wheel of the car that will be run by a small private Italian team.
Key Hyundai Motorsport staff were on hand at the headquarters in Alzenau, Germany for the handover including Team Principal Michel Nandan and Andrea Adamo who oversees the Customer Racing department, along with Luca Murdolo, team manager of the Italian squad.
“In order to meet the tough targets we have set ourselves with the New Generation i20 R5 program we have passed a huge number of milestones in a short period of time.” said Customer Racing Team Manager Andrea Adamo.
“However, the delivery of the first completed chassis to our customers is undeniably the most important point yet for us. It is when the Customer Racing department begins to live up its name and starts to fulfil its aim of building cars for private owners, and expanding the Hyundai name’s presence in rallying outside of the the WRC class.
“We are now only a week away from the New Generation i20 R5’s first competitive outing in an international event, at the Tour de Corse – Rallye de France. That weekend will, of course, be another landmark for the project and as we continue to deliver to new customers we are sure that are more to come.”
Andolfi is due to test the car ahead of his debut in a four-wheel-drive machine and will be supported with a dedicated race engineer from Hyundai Motorsport.
Despite the order books full until early 2017, the Customer Racing Department will resume testing this week with Kevin Abbring and Seb Marshall getting behind the wheel once again as they prepare for their own entry to the Tour de Corse – Rallye de France.
The upcoming WRC round will see three New Generation i20 R5’s take to The Rally of 10,000 corners with Abbring and Marshall heading up Hyundai Motorsport N’s WRC2 entry, Andolfi’s entry and 2014 Tour de Corse winner Stéphane Sarrazin.