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2013-12-11 07:59

ALL READY TO RALLY: A 2014 Hyundai i20 World Rally championship car in full, ready-to-race, livery. Image: Hyundai

OFFENBACH, Germany - Hyundai Motorsport has unveiled its full team line-up at a special launch event in Frankfurt as it gets into gear for its debut in the 2014  World Rally championship's first event at Monte Carlo in January.

Hyundai Motorsport says it has set realistic targets for its debut season with the primary objective both cars finish all rallies. The young team will approach each  with the goal of accumulating experience and data to strengthen its foundations for subsequent years.

Going up against vastly more experienced WRC competitors tells the team it has a steep learning curve - but Hyundai says it relishes the challenge and will be aiming to compete for podium places during the season.


Team principal Michel Nandan said: “We've worked tremendously hard to be able to launch our WRC team. In less than one year we've built and tested a WRC-spec Hyundai i20 WRC and established a professional team and modern motorsport facility.

"It’s a huge accomplishment but we know we've a lot to learn. Our aims for 2014 are realistic: we want to finish each rally with both cars and build up a database of information and experience so we can develop ourselves into prospective rally winners.

"We hope to compete for occasional podiums as the year progresses.”

The launch event was held at the home of Hyundai Motor Europe in Offenbach, just a short drive from Hyundai Motorsport’s facility in Alzenau, where final preparations are taking place for the team’s rally debut. More than 150 journalists and guests attended to see the newly liveried Hyundai i20 WRC and team on display.


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 cars at all WRC events.

Thierry Neuville made his first public appearance in Hyundai Motorsport colours as the team’s lead driver; Juho Hänninen, also present, will drive the second i20 WRC at some events. It was also announced that Dani Sordo and Chris Atkinson would partner Neuville at several events during the season, with Sordo running on Rallye Monte-Carlo and Atkinson confirmed for Rally Australia.

Neuville said: “I'm really excited to be helping Hyundai Motorsport integrate into the tough WRC environment. It's an honour to have the extra responsibility of leading the team in our first season. I can already feel the professionalism, motivation and passion of this team.”

Hyundai also used the launch to announce that Hyundai “N” would be used to symbolise Hyundai’s high-performance technology on the i20 WRC cars and future mass-produced high performance products.


The letter N comes from the Namyang R&D Centre that has collaborated with Hyundai Motorsport to develop the i20 WRC.

The Hyundai WRC team has come a long way since the first iteration of the i20 WRC car was shown at the Paris auto show in September 2012n after the automaker started from scratch to create a motorsport team, defying the odds to build, test and prepare two rally cars ready to compete in 2014.

With more than 90 staff of 18 nationalities - motorsport specialists and experienced Hyundai personnel - the team believes it is the perfect mix of Hyundai and motorsport ideals.
Read more on:    hyundai  |  world rally championship

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