Hyundai Motorsport (officially Hyundai Motorsport GmbH) is responsible for Hyundai's global motorsports activities. The company was established in December 2012 and is based in Alzenau, Germany.
|Full name||Hyundai Motorsport GmbH|
|Team principal(s)||Andrea Adamo|
|Technical director||Alain Penasse|
|Drivers|| Thierry Neuville|
|Co-drivers|| Nicolas Gilsoul|
Carlos del Barrio
|Chassis||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC|
|World Rally Championship career|
|Constructors' Championships||1 (2019)|
Hyundai Motorsport is primarily responsible for the Hyundai's works team in World Rally Championship. In 2015, its customer racing division was established to provide competitive machinery in the R5 and later TCR motorsport categories.
Hyundai competed in the F2 class of the World Rally Championship in 1998 and 1999. It was run by British company Motor Sports Development (MSD), with David Whitehead as team principal. In September 1999, Hyundai unveiled the Accent WRC, a World Rally Car based on the Hyundai Accent. The Hyundai World Rally Team debuted the car at the 2000 Swedish Rally and achieved their first top-ten result at that year's Rally Argentina, when Alister McRae and Kenneth Eriksson finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Eriksson later drove the car to fifth place in New Zealand and fourth in Australia. In 2001, Hyundai debuted a new evolution of the Accent WRC, which was intended to improve reliability, but the performance of the car was still not good enough to challenge the four big teams (Ford World Rally Team, Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Subaru). However, at the season-ending Rally GB, the team achieved their best result with McRae finishing fourth and Eriksson sixth.
For the 2002 season, Hyundai hired the four-time world champion Juha Kankkunen, along with Freddy Loix and Armin Schwarz. Kankkunen's fifth place in New Zealand was the team's best result, but it managed to edge out Škoda and Mitsubishi by one point in the battle for fourth place in the manufacturers' world championship. In September 2003, after a season hampered by budget constraints, Hyundai withdraw from the WRC ending the partnership with MSD.
9 years later at the 2012 Paris Motor Show Hyundai announced that it would be returning to the WRC for 2014, using the i20 model built to World Rally Car specifications. Hyundai nominated Juho Hänninen, Bryan Bouffier and Chris Atkinsonas the official test drivers for 2013.
On the 19th December 2012, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH was established in Alzenau, Germany, responsible for Hyundai's World Rally Championship programme.
2014 WRC seasonEdit
Thierry Neuville was named lead driver for Hyundai Motorsport's World Rally Championship programme and, together with his co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, he has piloted the i20 WRC ever since the team's debut at the Monte-Carlo Rallyin January. Also competing for Hyundai in 2014 were Dani Sordo and co-driver Marc Martí, who entered six events. Hänninen contested six rallies, while fellow test drivers Atkinson and Bouffier entered two each. Hayden Paddon and John Kennard joined the team for six rallies.
Neuville was the first driver to score a top-three finish for Hyundai in WRC. He finished third in Rally México. He and Hyundai also took the team's first victory at that year's Rallye Deutschland.
2015 WRC seasonEdit
For the 2015 WRC season, Neuville, Sordo, and Paddon returned to pilot the Hyundai i20 WRC. All three drivers added to the team's podium tally at Rally Sweden (Neuville), Rally Italia Sardegna (Neuville, Paddon), and Rally de España (Sordo). Dutch driver Kevin Abbring competed in five events for the team. Hyundai Motorsport finished third in the manufacturers’ championship.
2016 WRC seasonEdit
2016 saw Hyundai Motorsport regularly challenging for podiums and victories. Paddon took the team's first victory with the New Generation Hyundai i20 WRC in Rally Argentina. Neuville won Rally Italia Sardegna and scored seven podiums, ultimately finishing runner-up behind Volkswagen driver Sébastien Ogier. The team finished as vice champions in the manufacturers’ championship.
2017 WRC seasonEdit
New regulations for the 2017 season saw the birth of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. Hyundai announced a crew line up of Neuville and Gilsoul, Sordo and Martí, Paddon and Kennard. Paddon was later joined by new co-driver Seb Marshall. Andreas Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jæger later signed for three events.
Neuville scored four wins and eight podiums in 2017, again finishing runner up to Ogier, who had switched to M-Sport. Hyundai finished second in the manufacturers’ standings for the second consecutive year.
2018 WRC seasonEdit
At the season launch at Autosport International, Hyundai unveiled its 2018 crew line-up. Neuville and Mikkelsen would compete in every round, with Sordo and Paddon alternating events. Sordo was reunited with his previous co-driver Carlos del Barrio for the season. A four-car entry for Rally Portugal ensured equal appearances for Sordo and Paddon. Neuville secured three wins and claimed six podiums, but was again outscored by Ogier.
2019 WRC seasonEdit
For 2019, Hyundai Motorsport announced it would field four crews for the WRC season: Neuville and Gilsoul, Mikkelsen and Jæger-Amland, Sordo and del Barrio, and Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena. Craig Breen and Paul Nagle later joined the squad for Rally Finland and Wales Rally GB as the team focused its efforts on winning the manufacturers’ championship. Hyundai Motorsport sealed the 2019 Manufacturer's Title after Rally Catalunya as Rally Australia was called off amid widespread bush fires in the area.
The Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing department was established in 2015, and announced its first project in December: a R5 specification car based on the Hyundai i20 model.
Hyundai i20 R5Edit
The car was first tested in January 2016 and made its competitive debut in the WRC2 class at Tour de Corse.
The i20 R5 quickly made a name for itself, taking wins and championships in local and regional championships around the world.
Hyundai i30 N TCREdit
In early 2017 Hyundai Motorsport announced it was developing an i30 N touring car based on TCR regulation. The car made its debut in the Touring Car Endurance Series 24h of Misano before being made available to customers by the end of the year.
For the 2018 World Touring Car Cup(WTCR), two teams entered the Hyundai i30 N TCR: YMR with Yvan Muller and Thed Björk, and BRC Racing Team with Gabriele Tarquini and Norbert Michelisz. Tarquini clinched the inaugural WTCR Driver's Championship, and YMR secured the Teams' Championship.
BRC Racing Team entered four i30 N TCR cars in to the 2019 World Touring Car Cup season. Reigning drivers’ champion Tarquini and teammate Michelisz returned to compete with BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse team. Newcomers to WTCR Augusto Farfus and Nicky Catsburg signed to BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team for the season.
The i30 N TCR won the USAC Pirelli World Challenge TCR class in 2018 with Bryan Herta Autosport in owner and manufacturer championships.
Veloster N TCREdit
Hyundai added the Hyundai Veloster, a car sold in some markets where the i30 is not sold, as a TCR option in 2019. The Veloster N competed in the 2019 Michelin Pilot Challenge and the 2019 24 Hours Nürburgring under the Hyundai Motorsport N marque alongside a Hyundai i30 N TCR. Both cars finished on the podium of the TCR class.
- "Hyundai to quit World Rally". 2003-09-17. Retrieved 2019-09-02.
- "Hyundai Motorsport reveals Thierry Neuville as 2014 driver". Hyundai Motorsport Official Website. 2014-01-10. Retrieved 2019-09-02.
- "WRC season 2014". ewrc-results.com. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
- "Mikkelsen joins Hyundai for last three rallies of 2017". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 2019-09-02.
- Evans, David. "World Rally Championship finale cancelled amid Australia bush fires". Retrieved 2019-11-12.
- "Hyundai confirms TCR programme with all-new i30". TouringCarTimes. 2017-02-20. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
- "Hyundai i30 TCR to make its race debut at the Misano 24 Hours". TouringCarTimes. 2017-06-19. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
- "Gabriele Tarquini wins the 2018 WTCR title at Macau, as Guerrieri wins last race". TouringCarTimes. 2018-11-18. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
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