Some test sessions are just that, test sessions, set on some random road which resembles the real stage of some WRC event, whether by altitude or the type of gravel or smoothness of asphalt. Teams can monitor progress and learn about setup changes by monitoring times set by their drivers on this stage, but they cannot compare these results with other teams. Once teams are part of WRC proper, test sessions are no longer used to compare your times with theirs. Simply because you get all the comparison data you need from the actual rallies. (sometimes I really am that clever!)
But when team is still preparing for its first WRC outing, every little bit of info is extremely valuable. And nothing beats the data they collect by testing on the section of the road actually used in the recent Rally of Spain (if I understood various bits and pieces of information correctly). Volkswagen did similar thing last year and now Hyundai are following the idea of running on the road which was used in a proper WRC event only few days ago. By comparing times from the event with the times set by their test drivers Hyundai can finally get a more clear picture of car’s performance and how it fares against the likes of Polo R WRC, DS3 WRC and Fiesta RS WRC.
Hyundai can, but we can’t! Of course, I find it extremely unfair that we’re denied this information because I’m sure there are thousands of people out there eager to hear how competitive i20 WRC really is. In rough figures at least. Volkswagen, Citroën and M-Sport also wouldn’t mind receiving these numbers. So Hyundai, please, would you be so kind?
Of course they won’t share it and they shouldn’t. It’s a silly idea for silly people like me – Hyundai have much better things to do. One of which is to get ready for this thing they call 2014 World Rally Championship. It literally is just around the corner now.
Anyways, Hyundai promised more information about this particular test, in which Bryan Bouffier and Juho Hanninen were in charge of driving, in the following days, so stay tuned.