You might find that it’s a bit of a stretch of the imagination to imagine a Hyundai i30 running in fully rally trim. And if you go back to the days of the old Southern Cross Rallies when Colin Bond and George Shepherd were blowing the competition away in an XU1 you might find a diesel powered rally car even more of a stretch of the imagination … until you see the Team Hyundai Rallye i30 CRDI turbo diesel in action.
And the team is going to be hitting the dirt again on November 12.
The Hyundai Genuine Parts and Accessories sponsored Team Hyundai Rallye is keen to cement the ARC ‘Showroom / Eco Challenge’ title as it takes the i30 CRDi turbo diesel to the final round of the 2010 series, Rally Victoria.
The Hyundai i30 rally car, fresh from an appearance at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, has been fully prepared and is ready for the event. “We had a little bit of maintenance work to do on the car before we sent it to the motor show, and of course we had to give it a wash!” laughed driver Mick Gillett. “We had a fantastic response to the i30 at the motor show, the public loved it and I got a tired hand signing all the posters!”
It’s time now for the team to focus on the competition. “I’m itching to get back in the car,” said navigator Harvey Smith. “This is the longest gap we’ve had between events since we started the i30 rally program, so we’re really looking forward to competing again.”
“Our aim is to maintain our 100% finish record. We are one of only a few cars in the series to finish every event we have started in, and we are very proud of this record,” said Gillett. “It’s a true testament to the durability and reliability of the i30. It’s been a fantastic year for us, and we are really hoping to finish it off in style.”
Fort the first time a female apprentice will join the Hyundai team service crew. As part of the Hyundai Rally Experience, three apprentices from Victorian Hyundai dealerships will work with the service crew for the weekend event providing valuable experience in the demanding rally environment. Skye Cooper from Wights Hyundai in Traralgon is excited to be part of the team. “Skye is a fantastic worker,” indicated Mick Keily, Service Supervisor at Wights. “I’ve got no doubt she will bring all of her enthusiasm to the event, and have a positive role to play in the team.”
Team Hyundai Rallye is excited to be able to introduce the sport of rallying to some new faces. “We have had such a great bunch of apprentices with us this year through the program,” said Rally Service Crew manager Wayne Luxford. “We really aim to show the apprentices the fast paced environment of rallying, and hope it brings them new and improved techniques to take back to their dealerships, and add to their service skill set.”
The final round of the 2010 Australian Rally Championship commences on Friday 12th November, with two stages in the afternoon after a display at Lardner Park, before moving to the ‘Forest’ stages in the Baw Baw Shire on Saturday 13th November in the West Gippsland in the Neerim district of Victoria.