Hyundai Motorsport has unveiled its full team line-up at a special launch event, as the manufacturer gears up for its debut in the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship at Monte Carlo next month.
I so wish I could be there – can you imagine the buzz? Anyway, Hyundai Motorsport has set realistic targets for its debut season with the primary objective of finishing each rally event with two cars. The young team will approach each rally with the goal of accumulating vital knowledge and data in order to strengthen its foundations for subsequent years.
Going up against vastly more experienced WRC competitors, the team knows that it has a steep learning curve, but it certainly relishes the challenge and will be aiming to compete for podium places during the season.
The complete line-up for 2014 includes a new title partner, Shell, which will see the team named Hyundai Shell World Rally Team. The multi-year partnership will see Shell Helix-Ultra logos adorn the Hyundai i20 WRC at all WRC events.
Thierry Neuville made his first public appearance in Hyundai Motorsport colours as the teams lead driver, while Juho Hänninen, who will drive the second i20 WRC at selected events, was also present. It was also announced that both Dani Sordo and Chris Atkinson will partner Thierry Neuville at several events during the season, with Dani Sordo running on Rallye Monte-Carlo and Atkinson confirmed for Rally Australia.
Hyundai Motor Company also used the occasion of its WRC launch to announce that Hyundai ‘N’ will be used to symbolise Hyundai’s high performance technology on both the i20 WRC car and future mass-produced high performance cars.
My diva like question would be – when do we see this in action in the UAE? Linked directly to the company’s renewed involvement in WRC, ‘N’ brings together Hyundai Motor’s technology and innovation with the learning from motorsport to provide a new experience for customers.
‘N’ takes inspiration in both name and spirit from the Namyang R&D Centre that has collaborated with Hyundai Motorsport on the development of the i20 WRC. The Namyang R&D Centre is at the heart of the technological innovation and development that serves as the driving force behind Hyundai’s growth as a global brand.
The Hyundai WRC team has come a long way since the first iteration of the i20 WRC car made an appearance at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012. Hyundai Motorsport has developed from scratch into a fully functioning motorsport team, defying the odds to build, test and prepare two rally cars ready to compete in 2014. With more than 90 staff from 18 nationalities, made up of motorsport specialists and experienced Hyundai personnel, the team represents the perfect mix of Hyundai and motorsport ideals.
In just over one month’s time, Hyundai Motorsport is set to add a new dimension to the FIA World Rally Championship by competing in its debut event of 2014. The company has already shown what can be accomplished in a short space of time with the right mentality and approach. For the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team, January cannot come soon enough…..my sentiments exactly 🙂