R5 is a rally category that was introduced in 2012 by the FIA, to become the second
tier for world rally competitions. It has since become one of the most competitive and
popular categories of world motorsport, hosting cars built by many prominent
With respect to this world motorsport trend, Hyundai Motorsport established R5 rally car
development program with Customer racing department in late 2015.
2017 Rally Sanremo
2018 season begins positively for our i20 R5 customers
National and international championships have begun for many of our i20 R5 customers, with strong results registered in Portugal, Paraguay and Italy throughout February.
Four of our R5 cars lined up for the opening round of the Portuguese national championship, led by a two-car entry from Team Hyundai Portugal featuring Carlos Vieira and Armindo Araújo.
Both drivers were able to set top-four stage times en route to strong finishes, proving the pace of our i20 R5 at this early stage of the year. The Racing 4 You crew of Paulo Meireles and Marco Gonçalves made it three of our cars inside the top-ten.
Driving the first i20 R5 delivered to South America, Paraguayan driver Diego Dominguez enjoyed a competitive debut with co-driver Hector Elizeche. With the backing of Hyundai Paraguay, the Automotor Rally Team crew dominated the one-day Copa de Verano with four fastest times and took victory by over half a minute.
Over in Italy, there was an overall podium on the tarmac of the Franciacorta Rally Show. The Bernini Rally owned i20 R5 with Andrea Mabellini and Virginia Lenzi took third overall. The crew took the fastest time on the final stage, and finished as the second placed R5 drivers.
Around the world
Former WRC2 driver Jari Ketomaa took to the snow and ice of the Vaakuna Ralli in his first event at the wheel of our i20 R5. Joining the Rallybaron team, the Finn ended the rally in seventh, a consistent start.
Cypriot driver Panayiotis Yiangou also made his first start in the car with an entry into the East Safari Rally. The event marked his debut in a brand new car that his family-run Yiangou Motorsport team took delivery of over the winter months.
There was also a strong start for our customers John Wink and John Forrest (JJ Rally). The Scottish pair scored their career best finish in the season opening Snowman Rally, as they continued to show improvements from one event to the next in their i20 R5.
“The start of a new season is always very exciting and interesting,” said our Customer Racing department manager Andrea Adamo. “Most exciting for us is the increased backing our customers are gaining from Hyundai importers and distributors. With the results they have already scored, it is clear that 2018 will be another very competitive season for i20 R5 crews.”
Development year delivers improvements
Rally crews will be able to rely on our most powerful and responsive i20 R5 car to date in 2018, following an intensive period of testing and development by our Customer Racing engineering team.
The latest improvements are the product of tireless work since the i20 R5 made its competitive debut in September 2016.
The main developments brought to the car for 2018 are an uprated powerplant, introducing variable valve timing, and new engine map. Together the refinements gather more power from the 1.6 litre engine, with greater throttle response due to a reworked ALS strategy.
The arrival of the changes marks the use of the final ‘joker’ available on the i20 R5 in its first two years of competition. However, they are not the only modifications to be made to the car for the coming season.
The changes are the result of extensive, on-going testing, as well as the work of our engineers to support customer teams on events throughout Europe. This has allowed us to hone several crucial areas of the chassis, improving both the power and the handling of the i20 R5. These include new specifications of dampers for both tarmac and gravel settings, and a wider range of differential ramps for the car, allowing customers to harness greater performance from the i20 R5 as they seek to be competitive in their respective championships.
The latest developments will be fitted to all brand-new i20 R5 delivered following homologation on March 1. Existing customers, meanwhile, will be able to apply the changes to their cars from the same date as they prepare for their 2018 campaigns.
The recent winter months have been a busy period for our Customer Racing department. After claiming three titles during its first full season of competition interest in the i20 R5 has remained high, with an ever-increasing number on the stages. Customers in Portugal, Ireland and Paraguay are among those impressed enough by the i20 R5 to purchase cars to run in their respective national championships this year. Last weekend the Paraguayan crew, Hyundai Motorsport’s first customers in South America, took a sensational victory on their debut event with the car.
“In our efforts with the i20 R5 and our customers we are always aiming to make sure they can compete at the very front of whatever championship they choose,” said our Customer Racing manager Andrea Adamo. “The rapid pace of development within the R5 category means that we constantly have to be working in order to guarantee this. These latest improvements are the most important we have made since the car’s debut, and will allow our customers to again challenge for rally wins and championship titles around the world. This season our customers are competing in a wider range of championships, so we have to make sure we continue our work in order for them to be on the pace in all conditions.”
Three title winning teams attended our headquarters in Alzenau
Hyundai Motorsport last week welcomed representatives of the teams which claimed overall championship titles with the i20 R5 for a special event honoring their 2017 successes. Each victorious team was awarded a €15.000 prize to support their 2018 seasons with the car.
Members of the Spanish Ares Racing outfit, French Gravel Champions Turbo ABP Competition and Tour European Rally (TER) Series winners BRC Racing Team attended the day at Hyundai Motorsport’s Alzenau, Germany headquarters. Among the visitors were drivers Iván Ares and Jordan Berfa, who both celebrated their first national level rallying titles at the end of last season.
Champions from Spain, France and Italy meet in Germany
Ares, who attended the event alongside his co-driver José Pintor, completed a dominant season in the grueling Spanish Tarmac Championship, winning five of the ten events during the season. Even more impressive was the crew’s record of finishing on the podium at every round, an enviable feat that helped them seal the title with two rallies remaining.
Competing against crews running previous-spec WRC cars Jordan Berfa was the star of the French Gravel Championship season. Despite the greater speed of those in the premier class the 22-year-old scored two overall podium finishes during his 2017 campaign. However, it was his remarkable consistency on the rough gravel stages that clinched him the title. Four times during the six round championship Berfa and co-driver Damien Augustin won the R5 class, lifting them to a sensational championship victory.
The BRC Racing Team ran Giandomenico Basso and Lorenzo Granai throughout the TER Series. The Italian pairing scored three victories during the season, taking wins at events in Romania, Portugal and Austria aboard their i20 R5, securing a first international title for the machine before the final round of the championship.
Prizes awarded to support 2018 campaigns
The event gave the teams a chance to visit the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing workshop where each i20 R5 is built. The department’s mechanics and sales department are currently busy in building and delivering new i20 R5 to customers ahead of the beginning of the 2018 seasons around Europe.
The workshop, and one of the i20 R5 currently being prepared, provided the backdrop for the awarding of the €15.000 prize to each champion in recognition of their achievements last year. The prize fund will help them maintain the momentum gained from their 2017. The additional support will aid in keeping the teams, driver and the i20 R5 in front of the competition as they seek further accolades in both defending their titles, and taking on fresh challenges in 2018.
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Manager Andrea Adamo said: “Our customers are the most important part of the i20 R5 project. Their strong results are the best possible promotion we can wish for. Our event in Alzenau for the championship winners was to thank them for their efforts during 2017 in showing the performance of the i20 R5 on the stages. Of course, now we also have to look ahead to this year. We hope that the prizes awarded will help the teams and drivers continue their excellent form of last season, keeping the i20 R5 at the front of national and international rallying as we support all of our customers in pursuit of further championship success in 2018.”
Hyundai Motorsport's R5 rally car was developed with Hyundai i20 using technologies and
experties gained while competing in the WRC. It is designed to compete in international, regional
and national rally competitions. And Hyundai i20 R5 showcases Hyundai's high performance
credentials and technical experience to fans all around the world.
|Bodyshell||Hyundai Motorsport designed bespoke roll cage as per FIA R5 regulations|
|Interior||Sabelt FIA 8862 competition seats and 6-point HANS compatible harnesses|
|Fuel System||FIA FT3 specification|
|Engine||1.6 Turbo with direct injection, FIA regulated 32mm restrictor|
|Transmission||Ricardo 5 Speed Sequential Gearbox and Differential units|
|Electronics||Magneti Marelli ECU and power management systems|
|Suspension||Front and Rear MacPherson struts with external reservoir dampers, three-way adjustable|
|Wheels||Lightweight alloy wheels Gravel 7×15", Tarmac 8×18", Snow 5,5×16"* (*where permitted)|
|Brakes||Brembo 4 piston calipers, vented discs, hydraulic handbrake, Winmax brake pads|
The Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Program (HMDP) was
introduced as part of our growing presence in the rallying community to find
and nurture future World Rally stars. It sits alongside our WRC and Customer
HMDP 2018 Winner