Hyundai Motorsport promotes test driver Juho Hänninen to race driver for the second i20 WRC car at selected FIA World Rally Championship events in 2014, as team-mate to recently-announced lead driver Thierry Neuville.
The 32-year-old Hänninen has become instrumental in the development of the i20 WRC with Hyundai Motorsport throughout 2013, having completed an impressive 3,500 testing kilometers.
"Juho has done an outstanding job in testing this year. He has proven to be a very complete driver with a perfect mix of speed and technical abilities, as well as being a real team player giving valuable feedback to our team of engineers," said Michel Nandan, Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal.
Hänninen will be joined in 2014 once again by his co-driver Tomi Tuominen and will make his WRC debut for Hyundai at February's Rally Sweden, an event he knows very well. He made his WRC debut in Sweden in 2006, winning the Group N class, and finished sixth in this year’s event.
Hänninen has tasted success in a variety of different rally cars in his career and has been victorious in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the FIA European Rally Championship and the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship since his World Rally debut. He has set a high standard in the S2000 category in recent years and took his first WRC stage win at Monte Carlo this year, underlining his potential at the pinnacle of international rallying.
"I am really honored to have been chosen by Hyundai to be one of the drivers of the second i20 WRC car in 2014, including Rally Sweden, which is one of my favorites," said Hänninen.
Alongside his occasional appearances in the second Hyundai i20 WRC car next year, Hänninen will also continue to play a vital testing role as the team prepares for 2015.
Hyundai Motorsport has already revealed that a number of drivers will share the second i20 WRC throughout 2014. An announcement on who will be Thierry Neuville's team-mate at Rallye Monte-Carlo will be made in due course.