The months of uncertainty are finally over. This very Wednesday, the Hyundai Motor Company has made public its decision to allow its team to continue competing in the World Rally Championship at least for the next three seasons (2022-2024), … alongside Toyota & Ford.
The news was confirmed by the South Korean manufacturer as well as by Hyundai Motorsport’s team principal via a public statement. Both parties have thus ratified their commitment to the new hybrid era of the WRC which will kick off next campaign.
“We are pleased to support the future direction outlined by the FIA and the WRC Promoter. We will develop our car around the i20 N, which itself was inspired by our WRC success to date. As two-time champions, we welcome the new challenge and look forward to flying the Hyundai flag into this new era,” said Andrea Adamo, Team Principal of Hyundai Motorsport squad.
“Our team exists to support the global objectives set by Hyundai Motor Company, by offering a credible platform to showcase current and future automotive technology.”
“We are able to influence and give direction to development of tomorrow’s Hyundai road cars; this is a real honour and a role we take incredibly seriously,”added Adamo.
Vice President and Head of N Brand Management and Motorsport Sub-Division at Hyundai Motor Company, Till Wartenberg said: “Motorsport remains a hugely valuable testbed for Hyundai’s future mobility models and technology. It is imperative for us to embrace more sustainable solutions, so we are delighted to see WRC move in this direction with new hybrid regulations that will create a more relevant link to our road vehicle technology. We relish the challenge and know that the skilled, experienced team at Hyundai Motorsport will do all they can to maintain the title and rally-winning status that they have built up in recent years.
“The positive impact that motorsport activities have on our high-performance N brand and mother brand Hyundai should not be undervalued; it’s the ideal platform on which we can develop future technology while showcasing the sheer passion and fun of driving Hyundai cars. The hybrid WRC challenger based on the i20 N, we are committed to showing how cutting-edge technology can be combined with more sustainable solutions in motorsport,” he concluded.
Manufacturers´ three-year hybrid deal
WRC organizers can now breathe relief in the knowledge that the Asian works, together with Toyota and M-Sport Ford, will accompany the championship in its change of course towards a more ecological event.
If the team from Alzenau had decided otherwise, it would have constituted an enormous sporting and economic blow and would have carried hard reaching and most likely catastrophic consequences for the sport.
The news has come at a key moment for the WRC considering the deterioration of its finances after a year of COVID related disruptions. The new era of the championship will start in 2021 with the introduction of the hybrid Rally1 Car, which will be replacing the current World Rally Car.
WRC Promoter, very happy with the deal
As expected, WRC promoter have been eagerly awaiting Hyundai’s favourable decision and, to coincide with the release of the news, they have taken to the media to explain the philosophy behind the new era of the championship.
“It’s no exaggeration to say the introduction of sustainable hybrid technology for the WRC’s headline category marks one of the biggest milestones in the WRC’s history. It’s fitting such a major progression will be welcomed in the championship’s 50th anniversary season,” Promoter managing director Jona Siebe said.
“Along with the FIA and the manufacturers, WRC Promoter is fully committed to the introduction of greener cars. The hybrid powertrain forms an integral part of the automotive industry as the world moves towards a more sustainable future, and it’s essential the WRC is aligned with this evolution”.
“This is rallying with a purpose – providing a perfect R&D platform for the automotive industry to communicate its new technology”.
Images: Hyundai Motorsport.