Meet the team that helps shift our crews into gear, the Transmission Workshop. They are an essential element of the transfer of power from our i20 Coupe WRC to its four wheels.
While the team works mainly with the Rally Mechanics on a day-to-day basis, they also have close ties to our Subassembly department on the axles, Quality Control and Purchase on new parts, as well as Design. These interdepartmental relationships keep everything running smoothly on and off the stages.
Every transmission colleague is responsible for one gearbox or rear axle, but works hand-in-hand to consider what comes next. Like all workshop departments involved in our i20 Coupe WRC rebuilds between events, the team keeps on top of deadlines by working together. The Engine Workshop sets timings because when the engine returns to the Car Mechanics, the gearbox must be ready to be assembled together.
It is their quick precision that makes them an asset to Hyundai Motorsport. Much of the role requires is being adaptable. Transmission will consider all areas of possible improvement such as electronic mapping, high hydraulic pressure, sub-optimal temperatures or coolants.
They juggle the tight WRC timeline along with commitments to the Test Team, where a gearbox will stay in the car as long as possible to check its lifespan. That way, the team will know if components start to wear after 2,000km they need to change it out at around 1,000km to be on the safe side.
Performance for the transmission is a compromise between top speed and acceleration. With a new design, the team always looks forward to the first full tarmac rally in Tour de Corse as the true indication of outright speed against our competitors. Extreme conditions like those in Argentina can throw up a few curve balls, however in 2017, we scored emphatic victories on both of these events. It is a testament to the entire team as well as the durability of our i20 Coupe WRC transmission.
For a rally with three cars, one mechanic will be on site to assist with maintenance and analysis. Everything is sealed by the FIA for linked rallies, which means we cannot change any parts of the transmission.
When everything comes back to Alzenau, sealed gearboxes are checked for wear using a borescope and the oil is changed. After a gearbox has finished its group of linked rallies, they are disassembled and all components are inspected against their individual serial numbers to provide a complete paper trail of lifespans. Without this, it would be impossible to predict when something needs replacing. In the same way, new parts are checked by Quality Control to ensure our suppliers have fulfilled all the necessary requirements. It is a constant review process, but one that the Transmission team relishes.