Both formations have traveled to the autonomous region of Andalusia for their training exercises, but whereas the Japanese team has traveled to the province of Almería, the squad from Alzenau has chosen that of Huelva to put their cars to the test.
Both locations have been carefully selected for their terrain and climate, which very much resembles that of Guanajuato, where the upcoming race is due to take place.
In this way, both those teams fighting for the 2020 World Rally Championship title hope to smooth out the transition between the snow of Montecarlo and Sweden and the gravel of Mexico.
And it is not only in Mexico that WRC candidates will be competing on gravel and dirt tracks but for all of the next eight rallies in the WRC 2020 calendar, hence the importance of these training sessions, where vehicles will be prepared to go from freezing temperatures to extreme heat and dust.
Similarly, drivers will have to get used to the new style of driving demanded by such different conditions.
The first one to get behind the wheel of the i20 Coupé has been the Spaniard Dani Sordo. The driver from Cantabria and his co-pilot Carlos del Barrio have been busy fine-tuning their machine to perfection.
There is no doubt they want to have everything under control on the first appointment of their WRC 2020 partial program: Mexico.
Sordo and his co-pilot will try and replicate their great performance in Mexico last year when if it wasn’t for their machine letting them down, they would have most certainly taken a podium position.
The teammates from Spain now have the chance to try out their new car for the first time in their home country, before featuring in their first rally of the season.
This will be next weekend’s (26th -29th of February) famous Rally Serras de Fafe e Felgueiras, the first round of the Portuguese National Championship.
His new teammate and current world champion, Ott Tänak will also be taking part in the Portuguese appointment. The driver from Kärla and his co-pilot Martin Jarveoja could really benefit from these types of challenges before traveling to Mexico, given their modest experience on dirt tracks with their new car.
Sordo and del Barrio are starting the year (if there are no last-minute changes such as that of Loeb in Sweden) participating in all Mexico, Argentina, and Portuguese rallies. Later on, they could also be asked to race in Germany or Sardinia after their victories last year.
Hyundai, to fight for both crowns
Hyundai’s main objective is the same as in all of the previous editions, to keep hold of the Manufacturer’s title. This year, however, and with the signing of Tänak, they also aspire to get the Driver’s title as team’s boss Andrea Adamo made clear at the beginning of the year.
So far so good as Thierry Neuville is currently co-leading the standings with Toyota’s Elfyn Evans. Regarding the team standings, they are currently second at ten points behind the Japanese.
As far as results go so far, Hyundai won the opening race of the season in Monte Carlo thanks to the wonderful performance of Belgian driver Neuville and was second in Sweden by the hand of Tänak.
Images of Hyundai: You Tube.