After two months of intense redesign and testing work, the new season started with the 87th edition of the Rallye Monte-Carlo. All teams except Hyundai had used that period to further develop the aero package of their cars. The surprise was that only M-Sport introduced an aero modification in Monte-Carlo, while Citroën and Toyota left their modifications aside, waiting to homologate them for future events.
Only three days after the end of the season starter event, teams have started to develop their Sweden pre-event tests, between Finland and Sweden. And in the end, it seems that Hyundai may be considering to evaluate additional modifications for their already competitive i20 WRC Coupé. The arrival of Andrea Adamo to Hyundai Motorsport and the pressure from the Korean manufacturer to finally obtain the expected results have catalyzed the search for improved performance.
The current aero package of Hyundai was introduced back in Wales Rally GB 2017, with the only exception of the new side mirrors.
The main change for the team in the interseason was the replacement of Team Manager Michael Nandan by Andrea Adamo, former Customer Racing Manager. Nandan responsibilities included team management and technical development work. Adamo assumed the role of Team Manager, while Technical Development leader is to be named soon. The fact that he had started working in motorsport competition as a junior aerodynamics engineer in the DTM was already a good indication of the changes to come.
Also, Toyota has continued this week with their Sweden pre-event tests. While Tänak and Latvala had done them before
This probably means that the modification is still under evaluation, or maybe the homologation process has not been totally completed. The modification (we alreaduy reviewed in a previous post) consisted of the replacement of the
The profile of the lower part of the fender was also modified, reducing the space for the rear wheels turbulent wake, which has implications on the wake of the car: together with the blockage of the lower part of the fender vent, more air is sent to the top/center of the rear wake and less air to the lower, turbulent part of the wake. This contributes to a more homogeneous wake, which means lower drag generated by the wake.
The modification of the louvres do not require of any homologation. But as the design of the rear of the fender has aldso been modified, it is necessary for Toyota to homologate this modification before using it ino any race.
M-Sport Ford World Rally Team also has been testing in Sweden this week. However, they were the only team that already introduced the modifications evaluated in the interseason tests in
Since last December, Richard Millener has been step up to the role of Team Principal, while Malcolm Wilson will devote more time to the commercial side of M-Sport as a business.
The modification of the rear bumper was first seen in the tests M-Sport carried out in Southern France in December, which we reviewed in a previous post. It consists in a width reduction (cut) of the external, lower portion of the rear fender vents, which also represents a reduction in the vent area and, consequently, a modification of the lower
In terms of reliability, the cut to the fenders removes the most exposed part of them, so the risk of losing them is reduced. The original design, which was introduced in
Citroën Racing Team hasn’t started yet Sweden pre-event tests. The 2019 version of the Citroën C3 WRC used in Monte-carlo
The different tests the team developed during December test gave some clues about the potential modifications for the near future, with downforce both at the front and the rear of the car as one of the main goals. Tests in the next days will confirm if the team continues to work in this direction.
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