Fowler calls the progress of Hyundai in 2022 "semi-scandal"

The technical director of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, Tom Fowler, says that Hyundai surprised them of how quickly improved the i20N Rally1 and hints that their rival's progress may be suspicious as it not possible enough to solve different types of problems so quickly and without homologation jokers.

The Alzenau-based team did not have a positive start in 2022 as the i20N suffered from many reliability issues including hybrid unit failure, fuel-related and suspension issues and some other problems. However, the mechanics managed to solve these issues and to offer a more reliable car to the drivers after the end of Safari Rally which can be demonstrated by the four wins and the two double podiums on the second half of the season.

"I would say in the mid-season we were, or I would say I was, caught out a little bit by how quickly Hyundai managed to step up the game", Fowler said.

"I didn’t anticipate as soon as they did to be as quick as they are. 

"I thought they would be… if we speak honestly, they went from the car that couldn’t get to the end of the rally was the starting point.

"And I felt like it would be more we’d start to see the car getting to the end of rallies but not very well, and then start getting to the end of rallies with some speed.

"But actually they sort of missed out the middle bit and jumped from not being able to make it, to… which to be honest I’m not sure how that happens.

" No scandal, it’s just if you had to predict it it’s not realistic.

"It’s a compliment to them in many ways because, honestly, it was a bit worrying from the start of the season.

"I don’t know the intricacies of all the things that happened in Monte Carlo and Sweden but it looked to me like the number of different types of problem…

"That’s the thing that shocked me was it wasn’t like a fundamental that you fix that and when you fix that we’re going to be OK, it was this and then it was this and then it was this…

"The only bit I would say that’s semi-scandal is how do you fix all those things without doing any homologation jokers? 

"I don’t know. 

"But it’s possible".


Photo Credits: Toyota

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