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
i20 R5 take titles on tarmac and gravel
Hyundai Motorsport’s New Generation i20 R5 customers have added another two titles to their list of honours in recent weeks, with success on both tarmac and gravel. Meanwhile, crews continue to take victories in events across Europe as the 2017 season draws to a close.
Victory at the Rallye International du Valais (October 26-28) gave Italians Giandomenico Basso and Lorenzo Granai a third win of the season in the Tour European Rally (TER) Series this year. The result on the Swiss event was enough to secure the title – the first international rally honour for the New Generation i20 R5 – with a round still to spare.
The pair’s weekend was almost derailed by a mistake on only the second stage of the event that dropped to them to foot of the top ten, and threatened to postpone their championship celebrations. However, despite the loss of time they remained ahead of their nearest challengers in the TER Series, and with consistently quick times climbed their way back into the top five before the end of the opening day.
Their strong pace continued on the Saturday, setting the fastest time on two of the day’s five timed runs. Furthermore, thanks to the reliability of their BRC-run New Generation i20 they were able to take advantage of misfortune for other crews, rising to the overall lead following the longest section of the rally, and maintaining the position over the remaining two stages to take victory by nearly two minutes.
Jordan Berfa is first in France
Last weekend Jordan Berfa’s year-long search for the title in the French gravel championship ended with the 22-year-old claiming his first national honour. Berfa and co-driver Damien Augustin finished fourth overall at the Rallye Terre de Vaucluse (November 11-12), the final round of the championship.
The Turbo ABP Competition run crew entered the event with a comfortable points lead. Simply looking to protect their advantage at the start of the rally the duo took a cautious approach. However, just as they have been all season the pair were both quick and consistent, while the New Generation i20 R5 beneath them once more proved its reliability on the gravel stages. Combined the quality of crew and car put them in fourth at the end of the opening day, trailing a trio of teams in WRC machinery.
Knowing they had to do nothing more than maintain their position to claim the title the pair kept the same strategy through the four stages on the final day of the season. Ending their campaign with the third fastest time on the final test, they finished in the overall position they had held overnight, and won the R5 class for the fourth time this season. With the result they not only protected the gap they held heading into the event, but extended their margin of victory over their nearest competitors in the standings.
Ares continues winning run
Even after delivering the first national title for New Generation i20 R5 customers driver Iván Ares shows no sign of relinquishing his dominance of the Spanish tarmac championship. Running a special golden livery to celebrate their success Ares and co-driver José Pintor won five of the seven stages at the latest round – the Rallye de la Nucia-Mediterráneo (November 3-4) – to take a fifth consecutive victory.
As well as the points on offer for victory, they also claimed the bonus on offer for topping the TC Plus Power Stage. This marked the third time this season that the crew have taken maximum points from an event. In doing so they not only beat not the other R5 teams on the entry list, but also those running nationally homologated N5-specification cars.
Friulmotor podiums in Slovenia and Croatia
The same weekend Juraj Šebalj scored his first victory at the wheel of a New Generation i20 R5, running the Rally Poreč (November 3-4) with the support of the Friulmotor Rally Team and Hyundai Croatia. The seven-time national champion dominated the event, leading throughout and only failing to win a single stage over the two days on his way to win overall by more than 90 seconds. Šebalj will return to the wheel of the car later this month at the season ending Rally Show Santa Domenica.
Friulmotor patriarch Claudio de Cecco brought his campaign in the Slovenian national championship to a close with a second place finish at the Rally Idrija (October 28-29). The result was the fourth runner-up finish for de Cecco and co-driver Jean Campeis of the season, where they have enjoyed support from Hyundai Slovenia.
Narrowly missing out victory at the tarmac event, despite setting the fastest time on the final stage, the pair also confirmed themselves in second in the championship standings after a very consistent year in the series.
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing manager Andrea Adamo said: “First we must pass our congratulations on to the crews and teams for the championship successes in the TER Series, and then last weekend in France. The championship win in France, in the national gravel championship, proves that the New Generation i20 R5 is equally competitive on loose surfaces as well as tarmac where our customers have also won championships. Our customers have enjoyed great success this season in multiple championships, and we will continue to support them over the coming winter months to make sure that they can once again challenge for titles next season.”
Spanish crew takes national title in New Generation i20 R5
New Generation i20 R5 crew Iván Ares and José Pintor accomplished their season long goal last weekend. With victory at the Rallye Santander Cantabria (October 20-21), their fourth of the season, the pair officially clinched their first title in the Spanish tarmac championship.
Their success was also all the more incredible, as it comes with two events still to contest. However, the result highlighted the pair’s consistency, which has helped them not only win half of the events so far this season, but also finish on the podium at every rally they have started with the car. Their victory at the latest event came despite a ten second penalty incurred during the morning. Over the course of the afternoon the pair overcame the deficit, re-taking the lead on the penultimate stage and capping off the performance with a dominant showing, winning the 16km finale by nearly 30 seconds.
They also claimed maximum points from the weekend’s TC Plus Power Stage. Their success, however, came at the expense of fellow New Generation i20 R5 pairing Surhayen Pernía and Carlos de Barrio. The Hyundai Canaries supported pair led the rally into the section, however, they drifted wide through a fast right hander early in the stage, damaging their car against a wall and ending their challenge for a third consecutive podium.
A title awaits in France?
French New Generation i20 R5 crew Jordan Berfa and Damien Augustin await a title deciding round in the French gravel championship next month. The pair lead the championship overall following a fine overall podium at the most recent round, the Rallye Terre des Cardabelles (October 7-8).
The result was their second overall podium of the year in series, where they compete against crews in former WRC machinery for the top times, and came courtesy of a late surge up the order. The Turbo ABP Competition run team was second fastest on the penultimate test, and then won the final stage. In doing so they rose from fifth to third overall, crucially stretching their lead in the overall standings over their nearest competitor, who competes in a different class within the championship. However, their position at the head of the points owes just as much to their form against their fellow R5 competitors, having now won the R5 class in three out of the six events contested in the championship to date.
Podium finishes in Germany and Italy
Hyundai Motorsport customers are able to challenge for podiums in national championships across Europe with the New Generation i20 R5. In a rare start with his family-run car Hermann Gassner Jr. was able to match – and beat – the pace of the regulars in the German rally championship. At the 3-Städte Rallye (October 20-21), the final round of the season Gassner Jr. and co-driver Ursula Mayrhofer won a pair of stages – their first in the national championship – to secure third overall at the end of the tarmac event.
His result was almost matched in Italy by Elwis Chentre at the Rally Due Valli (October 13-15). Making his first start in the Italian national championship in Promo Racing’s New Generation i20 R5 since April Chentre and co-driver Igor D’Herin claimed a fine fourth overall in the rally, securing seventh in the championship standings, despite only have entered three of the season’s eight events.
Newest customer takes podium on debut
The number of New Generation i20 R5 crews continues to grow as teams increasingly turn their attention to their 2018 campaign. The newest driver to join the list of Hyundai Motorsport customers is Bob de Jong. The Dutchman gave his brand new car a first competitive start at the Twente Rally (October 22) alongside Bjorn Degandt, taking second overall in the final round of the Dutch championship.
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing manager Andrea Adamo said: “First, we have to give our congratulations to Iván Ares and José Pintor on their championship win. With their title they have proved that the New Generation i20 R5 has both the pace and reliability to compete at the top of a championship for not only a single rally, but across a whole season. With another customer team leading in a gravel championship it shows that the car can deliver victories on multiple surfaces. Teams are now turning attention to their 2018 campaigns. At the wheel of a New Generation i20 R5 they will be able to compete for podiums and victories, not only on individual events, but across the entire season.”
i20 R5 customers lead international and domestic championships
New Generation i20 R5 customers continue to chase titles in both international and domestic championships, as their seasons enter the final months.
With a third consecutive victory in the Spanish tarmac championship Iván Ares took another step on the path towards what would be his first national title. Ares and his co-driver José Pintor dominated the Rallye Villa de Llanes (September 29-30). The pair took the lead after winning the second stage, and headed the overall standings through the remainder of event, as they set three more top times. The result not only continued the duo’s winning run, but also their fantastic record of having finished every round of the championship this season on the podium.
With the victory, together with the second fastest time on the TC Plus power stage, they added 11 points to their margin at the top of the championship. They now enjoy a 64.4 point advantage over their nearest rival, who could only muster fourth place at the most recent event.
Surhayen Pernía and Carlos de Barrio added to their own strong recent record with a third podium of the season. The Hyundai Canaries supported pairing scored two stage wins on their way to third overall, despite incurring a ten second penalty for a jump start.
Three rounds remain in the Spanish championship, the next event coming in the north of the country at the Rally Santander Cantabria on October 21-22.
Basso continues strong TER Series form in Austria
Giandomenico Basso also remains on course to end the season with a championship celebration. The Italian, running with the BRC Racing team, took on the Rally Liezen (September 29-30), the fourth round of the Tour European Rally (TER Series). Facing the regulars in the Austrian championship, where former WRC cars are still eligible to compete, Basso and co-driver Lorenzo Granai had to fight hard to secure third place overall at the end of the event.
In doing so they finished as the first of the crews entered for the international championship, as well as setting the fastest time among the R5 entrants on three of the rally’s stages. The New Generation i20 R5 pair now head the championship by 34 points, with two rounds of the series remaining in the season.
A trio of top-tens in Croatia
Four Hyundai Motorsport customers lined up at the start of the Croatia Rally (September 29-30), led by Claudio de Cecco and Juraj Šebalj in a pair of Friulmotor owned cars. They were joined by Czech driver Vojtěch Štajf, running in his first event with a New Generation i20 R5, and LP Winner driver Lovász Pál.
At the completion of the rally is was Štajf who led the group, one of three i20 R5 drivers in top ten in seventh place overall, ahead of Šebalj and de Cecco in ninth and tenth. De Cecco’s finish was also second of those crews entered in the Slovenian championship, keeping him in contention for the title with only one round to go.
Also on stage in Portugal, France and Scotland
A week earlier a pair of New Generation i20 R5 had run on the gravel of the Rali de Mortágua (September 22-23) in Portugal. On his debut in a New Generation i20 R5 Paulo Meireles enjoyed a consistent weekend to take sixth place, after moving up the order throughout the stages on the second day of competition. Unfortunately, the last place he gained came at the expense of fellow Hyundai driver Manuel Castro. Castro had enjoyed a very strong run, and was sitting in sixth place until almost within sight of the end of the event, when he was forced to retire.
On the same weekend there were also strong results for Frenchman Jonathan Orens and John Wink who finished fourth and fifth respectively. Orens was competing on the tarmac of the Rallye Régional de la Vie while Scottish driver Wink was running his car on the McRae Gravel Challenge, following the conclusion of his national championship campaign.
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing manager Andrea Adamo said: “It is always hugely enjoyable to celebrate victories with our customers, and all the more exciting as we enter the final stages of the national championships where they are fighting for titles. A third consecutive victory in Spain and another double podium is a superb showing. National rallying, with R5-specification at the fore, is incredibly competitive so to have New Generation i20 R5 customers running at the front in series throughout Europe is hugely impressive. We now have to continue to work with our customers to support them through to the end of the season, as every event takes on greater importance.”
Hyundai Motorsport's R5 rally car was developed with New Generation i20 using technologies and
experties gained while competing in the WRC. It is designed to compete in international, regional
and national rally competitions. And New Generation 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