No, they still did not reveal the names of the drivers, responsible for development of the i20 WRC rally car, or the drivers they (Hyundai) will employ for 2014 World Rally Championship season. So, for now, we still have a waiting game to play, and secretly hope that any of our favourite pilots gets the job.
In the meantime, Hyundai is, reportedly, busy preparing for their debut next year. Today marked another step in that direction, as the team unveiled their new headquarters in Alzenau, Germany. Of course, they’ve been using the facility for some months now, but now it was time to present it to the public, and stage a little ceremony. Local authorities, Hyundai partners and stakeholders were given a tour around the factory, which, judging from the pictures attached to this release, looks quite… spacious.
Sure, it’s only two cars and couple of guys in this photo, but just look at that space – plenty of room for more i20 WRCs. According to officials, Hyundai Motorsport currently employs 50 experts from 11 different nations. It is likely that this number will grow further, as the 2014 season gets closer.
Ultimately, Hyundai will want to use this facility not only for it’s motorsport programme, but also to conduct research and development of technologies which could find their way into the road going versions of Hyundai and Kia cars. Hyundai’s offensive on Europe continues and is given a new boost of turbo power in the form of a factory backed motorsport team.
Now, about those drivers… and that question World Rally Blog asked some weeks ago, and never received reply!
Below is Hyundai Motorsport’s official press release.
Hyundai Motor unveils its new home of motorsport
Hyundai Motorsport GmbH has today inaugurated its new headquarters in Alzenau, Germany. Representatives of Hyundai Motor and Hyundai Motorsport GmbH participated in the ceremony, welcoming guests for a first glimpse of the new facility. Visitors from Hyundai Motor Headquarters in Korea and from subsidiaries around the world along with local Bavarian authorities, stakeholders and partners were given a comprehensive tour of the building where the team is preparing for Hyundai’s return to the FIA World Rally Championship in 2014.
The company was officially registered on 19 December 2012 and started full operation at the beginning of 2013, now employing 50 WRC specialists from 11 nations.
The Hyundai Motorsport facility, which underlines Hyundai Motor’s commitment to Europe, is ideally located in Alzenau which benefits from the transportation links of the Frankfurt Rhine Main region. The 8.200 m² building is within a 50km radius of the Hyundai European Technical and Design Centre at Russelsheim and Hyundai Motor Europe in Offenbach. Later this year the Hyundai Motor vehicle test centre at the Nürburgring will also be opening close by.
Executive Vice President & COO of Hyundai Motor Company Tak Uk Im said: “This is a historic day for Hyundai Motor Company. Not only are we celebrating the opening of the new home of Hyundai Motorsport, but also demonstrating our commitment to improving the performance of all of our cars.”
Hyundai Motorsport President Gyoo-Heon Choi commented: “I’m very proud to officially open Hyundai’s new home of motorsport. Hyundai Motorsport acts as a performance engineering platform for the global business as well as a brand platform, helping to raise expectations and perceptions of the brand in a relevant and exciting way.”
[quote]Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “Today marks another important step forward in our thrilling task of developing a motorsport team from scratch as we inaugurate our headquarters. We have a challenge ahead of us and we have the perfect facility here to prepare for it.”[/quote]