Hyundai Motorsport will debut its New Generation i20 WRC for the first time in competitive rally conditions at the 2016 season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo, which takes place next week from January 22-25.
The debut event in this season’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) will see Hyundai Motorsport field three cars – for the first time in Monte-Carlo – as the team looks to build on a successful 2015 campaign, in which it challenged for second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship.
For the first rally of 2016, the team will field two New Generation i20 WRCs, which will be driven by the Belgian pairing of Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul and the Spanish duo of Dani Sordo/Marc Martí, rallying under the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team name.
Hayden Paddon/John Kennard will drive a 2015-specification i20 WRC for the Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team as they tackle Monte-Carlo’s stages for the first time, before taking the wheel of a third New Generation i20 WRC car at Rally Sweden and beyond.
The New Generation i20 WRC accumulated over 8,000km of testing in its development phase but the unforgiving stages of Rallye Monte-Carlo will offer the new car its sternest test yet. WRC’s oldest event, Rallye Monte-Carlo was first run over 100 years ago, in 1911.
Hyundai Motorsport has carried out tests on all terrains and weather conditions with the New Generation i20 WRC in order to best prepare for the car’s debut rally. The team will also draw on two full seasons of competition and its previous attempts at Rallye Monte-Carlo to improve on last year’s top-six results.