Motor Sport Developments Ltd (MSD) announced today that Austrian privateer Manfred Stohl is to drive an OMV-sponsored Hyundai Accent WRC on four rounds of the 2003 FIA World Rally Championship.
The former Group N Champion will begin his Hyundai assault on rough Greek terrain for the Golden Jubilee edition of the Acropolis Rally, a rally he has contested on five occasions. Following that he will head to Rallye Deutschland in July, Rally Australia in September and finish his season off with Wales Rally GB in November.
The Austrian star has been supported by oil giant OMV for ten years and the extended partnership with MSD is set to be a promising one.
Stohl, who will continue with co-driver Ilka Minor, said: "I am very happy to get the support of a works team. The World Rally Championship events selected are a good mix for me. On the one hand, they are races I feel very comfortable driving and also know very well, and, on the other, they represent important markets for my sponsor. I was really surprised that everything happened so quickly. Now what I have to do is continue my good performance as a private driver for the works-supported team. We feel the pressure, too, of being in the limelight of the whole rally scene."
Hyundai World Rally Team Principal David Whitehead added: "Manfred is one of the most talented drivers and it is unbelievable that he already has 72 Championship starts, and with great success. We are pleased to announce this partnership and are confident it will be a successful one."
OMV driver Manfred Stohl's Hyundai programme is supported by Hyundai Importgesellschaft mbH of Austria.