Hyundai Motorsport’s newly-signed driver Andreas Mikkelsen is helping the manufacturer develop its i20 R5 rally car for the World Rally Championship 2 (WRC 2) races next year.
Early this month, Hyundai announced that the Norwegian had joined its squad for the final three rounds of the season, starting with RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España on October 5-8.
But before he got a chance to drive an i20 World Rally Car as an official team member, Mikkelsen spent two days last week at the wheel of a gravel-spec R5 model in France.
The R5 car is eligible for the WRC 2 championship, where it competes against machinery like the Citroën DS 3, Skoda Fabia, Peugeot 208 T16 and Ford Fiesta.
Mikkelsen won this season’s WRC 2 rounds in Corsica and Monte Carlo in a Fabia R5 and Hyundai’s Customer Racing department was eager to use his experience and feedback to benefit the i20.
“It is important that we continue to work to develop the car,” Hyundai Customer Racing manager Andrea Adamo explained.
“Thanks to his running in WRC 2 earlier this season, Andreas has a great deal of experience in current R5 machinery. With his input we can continue to improve the i20 R5 for new customers, and pass on improvements to our existing clients,”he added.
Mikkelsen’s focus shifted to the i20 World Rally Car this week. He drove it at a pre-event test in France last week and will got two more days behind the wheel in Spain.