Hyundai Motorsport has finished runner-up in the World Rally Championship (WRC) three times in a row, having fought hard all the way to through final round. It’s had enough of being No.2 and will contest the 2019 WRC with its sights set firmly on both the Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ titles.
Running a revised crew line-up and with an extended calendar of 14 rounds in 2019 (with the addition of a new round in Chile), the team will aim to improve on the competitive form that helped it score 3 victories and 11 podium finishes last season. With WRC’s regulations remaining stable, the team has been able to evolve the technical foundations of its competitive i20 Coupe WRC.
Led by new Team Director Andrea Adamo, the targets for Hyundai Motorsport in its sixth season are clear. He said: “Our objectives for WRC remain the same as they have been for the past years, namely to fight for the Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ titles. This is important for Hyundai and our N brand. The WRC is incredibly competitive and the other teams will want to approach the new season with the same winning mind-set. We have to make sure we’re delivering and performing at our best at all times.”
Three cars will be entered in each of the 14 rounds and the crews will be last year’s vice champions Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul, with Norwegian crew Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jaeger-Amland. 9-time WRC champions Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena have also joined Hyundai Motorsport on a 2-year contract.
“We have used the opportunity of the winter break to recharge our batteries ready for another assault on the WRC titles. We showed a lot of promise last season and gave it our best shot but, for various reasons, we weren’t able to sustain our challenge. We recognise that consistency is an important area of improvement for our team, as well as creating strength in depth across all crews. We will work together to try and mount our best campaign to date but we know our rivals are strong so we have to redouble our efforts,” said Neuville.
“Although the results were missing last year, we learned a lot about the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC and I feel we are better prepared for 2019. We expect the Manufacturers’ battle to be just as close as it was last year – if not closer – so we need to make sure we’re getting everything we can out of ourselves and the car from the outset,” added Mikkelsen.