Great thing about development years is you can change your plans and programme on the go, test various drivers and basically do the things teams wouldn’t normally do if they were engulfed in the rush to score as many points as possible. I don’t think Hyundai just realized it would be kinda cool to maybe perhaps go to Portugal with three cars, but regardless of how old this decision is, fans will love it. Three cars, featuring Thierry Neuville, Juho Hanninen and Dani Sordo, are scheduled to take part in fourth round of this year’s Championship. Taking the development process to another level Hyundai will celebrate WRC’s return to Europe with strong outing in Portugal, which is quite understandable given how tricky and demanding this event usually is. In this sport you don’t learn things unless you’re knee deep in mud, sand or snow.
To make things even better for their fans, Hyundai have decided to also take part in the amazing, unique and bloody legendary Fafe Rally Sprint ahead of the main WRC event.
Official preview with some more details about nominations and comments follows below.
Hyundai Motorsport to field three Hyundai i20 WRCs at Rally de Portugal
Eager to accelerate its learning curve in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Hyundai Motorsport has today announced that three Hyundai i20 WRC cars will be entered into Rally de Portugal, round four of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship, in April.
The team’s lead driver Thierry Neuville will continue in his role behind the wheel of the #7 car, whilst Finn Juho Hänninen will drive the #8 Hyundai i20 WRC after a promising performance at Rally Sweden earlier this month.
After his debut for the team at Monte-Carlo back in January, Neuville and Hänninen will be joined on the Portuguese event by Spaniard Dani Sordo driving the Hyundai i20 WRC #20. Thierry Neuville and Juho Hänninen will be nominated to score points for the Hyundai Motorsport entry, while Spaniard Dani Sordo will participate in the event with a third car.
The Alzenau-based team has also announced its participation in the Fafe Rally Sprint, the now traditional event organized as a precursor to Rally de Portugal. The one-day event will be held on Saturday 29th March at the iconic Fafe-Lameirinha stage – which was part of the classic Rally de Portugal – and attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators each year.
Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “Having three cars at Rally de Portugal will be very positive for us and it will allow us to continue our data collection and to accumulate more mileage in our debut WRC season. I think we have a good line-up for Portugal with Thierry, Juho and Dani – each of them will bring their experience and will give us their own unique feedback which will help us in the continuous development of the Hyundai i20 WRC. Thierry’s level of performance combined with Juho’s skills on gravel and Dani’s experience and excellent track record at Rally de Portugal make them a very good choice for the event” he said.
“We are also very happy to take part in the Fafe Rally Sprint the weekend before Rally de Portugal. Of course, this will be a very warm-up for the event but it’s also a fantastic occasion for hundreds of thousands fans gather to see their WRC heroes in action on one of most famed stages in the history of the World Rally Championship” he concluded.