What is Tanak's impression with the i20N after his first pre-season test for 2024?

Ott Tanak is encouraged by the the performance of the upgraded Hyundai i20N Rally1 after his first test before the start of the new season and finds some similarities and differences between the 2023-spec car and the car he drove in 2022.

The Estonian decided not to continue with M-Sport Ford and to rejoin Hyundai Motorsport in 2024 despite the fact that he announced the premature termination of his contract with the Koreans in 2022. He had the chance to get behind the wheel of the 2023-spec i20N Rally1 last week as the Alzenau-based team scheduled a pre-season test for him in the south of France. It is expected that he will do more test with the Hyundai Rally1 car before the start of next year's Rallye Monte Carlo which will be held on January 25-28. However, it must be mentioned that Hyundai mechanics solved the reliability issues, which were related to the propshaft, and made some changes to the setup, such as in the suspension area, but the main problem remains as they have to decrease the high weight of the car which has an impact to the acceleration. Last but not least, they had two jokers to use for the homologation window, which was opened two months ago, but it is unknown if they brought some upgrades to the car for the rest of 2023.

"It was just a rough test on Dakar-like roads to see the reliability and actually we did very good mileage", Tanak said. 

"I'm quite happy. 

"These were conditions for Safari, so it was tough.

"There are quite many differences on the car for sure. 

"From outside the car, the aero looks very different.

"The team hasn't used many other homologation jokers in the meantime, but some things are in more shape and are working better. 

"And with the set up I wouldn't say it is too different from what we had, but it is definitely much more fine-tuned from last year.

"Altogether, I would say the pace since the first run, I felt okay in the car and it was not too far away, so I could immediately drive quite fast.

"There has been some technical issue or some other limitations with the car in 2022 but this year already the car's performance was much higher than the previous year.

"The car at the beginning of 2022 without any development was tricky but in one year they have managed to improve a lot and this year were very competitive.

"The know-how is here with the people and they all know what to do and how to improve. 

"If you know the areas to improve there is no limitation. 

"The people know what to do but they just needed the time to get it done."

Source: Motorsport.com

Photo Credits: M-Sport

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