Extreme weather curtails Hyundai 2022 WRC car test

Hyundai has elected to curtail the first test of its all-new 2022 World Rally Championship challenger due to extreme weather conditions.

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The Korean marque’s heavily modified final iteration of its i20 Rally1 hybrid broke cover earlier this week as the squad embarked on six-day testing programme in Alsace, France.

However, Hyundai has confirmed to Motorsport.com that after two days of running, the team has been forced to reshuffle its test plan after heavy snow hit the region.

Running had been conducted in snow and icy conditions with 2019 world champion Ott Tanak back behind the wheel of a rally car, after the Estonian missed last month’s WRC season finale in Monza due to a family matter.

Tanak shared the mileage with teammate Oliver Solberg, who will pilot Hyundai’s third entry next season as part of a split programme with the experienced Dani Sordo. Solberg is however expected to contest the first two events of the season, beginning at Monte Carlo from 20-23 January.

Thierry Neuville was also present at the test but will now have to wait for his first taste of the new-look i20 due to the extreme weather conditions. The new i20 features radically different bodywork, aero and cooling package compared to the original prototype mule Neuville has driven.

The Belgian has already logged plenty of kilometres in Hyundai’s prototype i20, including driving one of the three days that featured as part of the operation’s rally simulation held in northern Italy in October.

Hyundai is not the only team forced to reshuffle its testing plans as Toyota had to postpone a plan to offer Sebastien Ogier his first run in the all-new GR Yaris last week, after its car sustained damage in a crash with Elfyn Evans at the wheel.

The Japanese marque was also testing in France with Kalle Rovanpera and Evans sharing the test runs. The team was unable to repair the car onsite meaning Ogier will have to wait for his first drive in the car.

Ogier is expected to contest the Monte Carlo season opener as part of a partial campaign after bringing down the curtain on his full-time WRC career this season by winning an eighth world title.

Hyundai i20 Rally1

Hyundai i20 Rally1

Photo by: Hyundai

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