Since starting out in December 2012, Hyundai Motorsport has made bold moves to solidify their position as a serious contender in the 2014 WRC season.
They developed the i20 WRC Rally Car entirely from the ground up and signed 25-year-old WRC star Thierry Neuville to a multi-year agreement starting the 2014 season.
This partnership represent the commitment both parties are making to attain success now and in the long-term in the WRC.
“I am thrilled to announce Thierry Neuville as the lead driver to our new WRC team,” says Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal, Michel Nandan. “Thierry is having a fantastic 2013 season and is proving himself to be one of the most exciting young drivers in WRC. His raw speed, driving skill and dynamic approach to rallying make him the ideal lead driver for Hyundai.”
“By signing a driver of Thierry’s talent, we can show that Hyundai’s WRC engagement is serious and focussed on long-term success after signing with the talented young driver, Thierry. It is also great recognition for the work that the entire team has carried out in such a short time. We both share similar values and objectives to win the championship in the long-term so we are proud to have Thierry in the team and as an ambassador for the Hyundai Motorsport brand.”
“I am pleased to be joining Hyundai Motorsport for the 2014 World Rally Championship,” comments Thierry Neuville. “I believe Hyundai Motorsport is the perfect fit for me because it is a young, emerging and ambitious manufacturer team with long-term objectives for championship success and I have long held aspirations of driving for a manufacturer team. I was impressed with the team’s facility, their approach to the rally program and their clear potential. I hope my two years of experience in WRC will be beneficial to the team as we build a harmonious working partnership. We know we have a steep learning curve ahead of us in our first season but I am convinced we will have a successful future together.”
Coming into his 3rd season in the World Rally Championship, Neuville has contested a total of 32 rallies. He finished seventh in the 2012 championship and in 2013, he has so far claimed four consecutive runner-up results (Italy, Finland, Germany and Australia), in addition to two third-place finishes (Mexico, Greece), leaving him second in the WRC standings with one rally left to run.