World Rally. “The trump card of the Hyundai i20 is reliability”

The Hyundai team director, the Italian Andrea Adamo, speaks. “If I had to choose a driver I would not look among our compatriots”

There is an Italian behind the Hyundai protagonist in the world rally. It is Andrea Adamo, the new team director chosen by the Korean manufacturer to win the world championship title escaped last year, the sixth of the Michel Nandan management. Double for Hyundai in Argentina, which consolidates its leadership in the constructors’ championship over Toyota (157 points to 120). Neuville wins ahead of Mikkelsen and gives an encore after the triumph in Corsica, bringing the advantage over Sebastien Ogier (Citroen C3) to ten points (110 to 100). It does not end here because in Budapest in race-3 of the second round of the WTCR another Hyundai brace with the 1-2 scored by the stainless Gabriele Tarquini, reigning champion, first and Michelisz second. “This time the performance of our cars was better than the previous round of the world championship in Corsica – attacked Andrea Adamo – On clay we have less gap than our competitors even if we are not as competitive as I would like. I am convinced that the crews in the fifth round of the world championship with their hearts filled the difference that separates us from the other manufacturers involved in the world championship. I am really grateful to our riders ”.

Do you think the i20 can still grow?
“The i20 is not yet as competitive as it should be. At the moment it has an advantage over other cars which is called reliability. By analyzing the races of the world championship so far we have been the most consistent and so we have put more points in our pockets ”.

Could it be the right year to see Neuville on top of the world?
“We set out to win the drivers and constructors’ championship. The latter in the context of rallies is the most important. The accounts are made in the end. We continue to tackle one race at a time with the approach we had until the rally in Argentina. We have to carry on with the development of the i20 ”.

Hyundai also stands out in the WTCR. Last year Tarquini, ambassador of the Korean brand, won the world championship with the i30. In Budapest you made a double with the “Cinghio” and Michelisz in race-3.
“We are reaping the benefits of a lot of work done in recent years. We have created from scratch the customer racing department that designs, manufactures, develops, sells and supports the i20 R5 and i30 N Tcr. Two braces last weekend but we cannot forget the victories around Europe. For Hyundai, the weekend that just passed was truly a weekend to be framed ”.

To what extent can your experiences as a technician and designer have an influence on current reliability and performance?
“Mine is a managerial role rather than a technical one. Perhaps, due to the experience I have, I can keep the whole team on the line to have a reliable car that can confirm itself at the top of the championship and take advantage of the opportunities that our rivals need on the plate ”.

You have been involved in the Fiat group cars for a long time; why did the FCA abandon the rallying sector that gave it so many successes in the Seventies-Eighties?
“Personally I don’t know and I don’t care”.

Will you never get the idea of ​​raising an Italian driver?
“The day in which there will be an Italian rider who I believe is going strong like other drivers from other countries that I am following, I will take him into consideration. I am here to make Hyundai win and not to please Italy. At the moment, if someone asked me to look for a rider, I wouldn’t do it among the Italians ”.

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World Rally. “The trump card of the Hyundai i20 is reliability”