Hyundai Motor Co. bolsters its World Rally Championship (WRC) program with the appointment of WRC veteran Michel Nandan as its Team Principal. The Frenchman, who has held key technical positions on the world rally stage since the mid-1990s, joins Hyundai at an exciting time in the manufacturer’s WRC program.
Hyundai announced its intentions to enter the World Rally Championship at the Paris Motor Show in September last year and is now developing a WRC-specification of its new i20 model with the objective of competing in the entire 2014 championship. Hyundai has also established a bespoke motorsport subsidiary, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH, under which the company’s WRC program will be run. Gyoo Heon Choi has been named the President of Hyundai Motorsport GmbH.
"Hyundai is excited to re-enter WRC, and we're back not just to compete, but to win" said Tak Uk Im, Executive Vice President & COO of Hyundai Motor. "Hyundai and WRC form a perfect match, and our racing experience will translate directly into performance and handling improvements in our road-going vehicles."
Hyundai is no stranger to the world of WRC, having participated in the competitive motorsport series from 2000 to 2003. Now, Hyundai is raising the bar for its return to WRC, running an in-house team operating out of custom-built headquarters in Alzenau, Germany, just outside of Frankfurt, where Hyundai’s European HQ is situated.
Nandan said: “I am honored to have been chosen by Hyundai to spearhead its exciting new entry into the WRC. The project is still in its infancy, but things are moving rapidly, and I am looking forward to developing the team as this year progresses. There is much to be done, of that we are fully aware, but with a dedicated facility in Alzenau and an ambitious core of highly motivated personnel, we are already making good progress.