Hyundai Encountered Freak Engine Issues at Rally Mexico

The Korean automotive manufacturer experienced chronic misfires on all three of its cars during their outing at Rally Mexico.

What are the chances of all three vehicles in any given team’s lineup going tits-up without any prior warning? As Hyundai is now finding out, micro-cosmically slim – but still a giant pain in the ass. The team’s trio of drivers, Hayden Paddon, Thierry Nueville, and Dani Sordo were all struck by chronic misfires on their cars during the opening day at the Guanajuato World Rally Championship.

Dani Sordo (ESP) performs during the FIA World Rally Championship 2017 in Leon, Mexico on March 11, 2017
Dani Sordo (ESP) performs during the FIA World Rally Championship 2017 in Leon, Mexico on March 11, 2017

Hyundai Team Principal Michel Nandan has already responded to speculation that the misfires were occurring due to the cars operating at a high altitude with dismissal, citing that although he does not know the exact cause of the problem, he does have an inlking that points towards the fuel filter:

“I have never seen this before. It was the same problem on all three cars, one of the many filters in the fuel system was partly blocked. We don’t know the reason, but we will analyze.

The fuel pressure was not correct and that’s what gave us the big misfire. We certainly had nothing like this in testing before.

Thierry Neuville (BEL) performs during the FIA World Rally Championship 2017 in Leon, Mexico on March 12, 2017
Thierry Neuville (BEL) performs during the FIA World Rally Championship 2017 in Leon, Mexico on March 12, 2017

 

 

It wasn’t ideal, but we opened the fuel tanks on the cars at service at the end of Friday and changed the fuel filters and other things like the high-pressure fuel pump as a precaution.

This was a specific problem, but not something specific to the altitude here. We will have a look when we get back [to the factory], but we’re confident it won’t happen again.” – Michel Nandan

While it is tempting to up the ante and call foul play, the occurrence is unfortunately a symptom of the nature of Motorsport performance. One could spend all week tinkering on their perfect race set-up for it to come undone on race day. But that’s why we love it so much. Drink in the drama.