After revealing Juho Hanninen as their first test driver, Hyundai Motorsport promised us a speedy delivery of the identity of the second member of it’s test and development lineup. Today they fulfilled that promise. Frenchman Bryan Bouffier joins Finnish ace Juho Hanninen, forming a very accomplished and experienced pair of pilots.
It’s important to note that Hanninen and Bouffier were signed as test drivers, and from all we know at the moment, team is still not in a position to name the actual drivers for the next season. Being hired as test drivers puts both Hanninen and Bouffier high on the list, no doubt, but for now their only role is to test and develop Hyundai’s i20 WRC rally machine.
Official release concerning Bryan Bouffier follows below.
Bouffier Joins Hyundai Motorsport’s 2013 Testing Program
Hyundai Motorsport has today announced that French rally ace Bryan Bouffier has joined the team as part of its test driver line-up for 2013. The news comes just one week after confirmation that Finnish driver Juho Hänninen is contributing to Hyundai Motorsport’s development program with the new i20 WRC this year.
Bryan Bouffier, a three-time Polish Rally Champion, was crowned French Rally Champion in 2010. He also won the iconic Rallye Monte-Carlo, the Intercontinental Rally Championship, in 2011 and more recently dominated the legendary European Rally Championship, Tour de Corse. His vast experience as a test driver and expert analysis skills will be essential to help grow the team and to further assess and develop the i20 WRC.
While Juho Hänninen drove the i20 WRC for the first time back in May, Bryan Bouffier had his own taste of the car today. Both drivers will be Hyundai Motorsport’s main test drivers for 2013, along with a number of other drivers who will support them during the rest of the year. Hyundai Motorsport aims to derive the full benefits from the wealth of different rally experiences that each driver brings in order to make the i20 WRC the most complete package possible.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “I’m happy to have Bryan on board. He adopts a very professional driving style and can give detailed technical feedback as well as being a very consistent driver, which are all very important attributes for a test driver. Together with Juho’s experience of WRC events and his speed on all terrains, I am sure we have a strong and well-rounded line-up for our testing program.”
Bryan Bouffier said: “I’m pleased to be joining Hyundai Motorsport’s test program and to be part of the team for this year. It’s true that there is a lot of work to do but the team is in place and the facilities are impressive, so we have good foundations to build upon. This is an exciting program and I’m sure the summer time will be very busy and hopefully just as productive.”