Hyundai Getting Ready For The 2014 WRC Season
The Hyundai WRC racing team has made some major strides since the appointment of Team Principal Michel Nandan in January.
Nuch of their focus has been on the building of a bespoke facility in Alzenau, as well as prepping the i20 WRC for some intensive training later this year.
New members have also been added to the technical, sporting, and marketing areas of the team, as they prepare to move the operations to full speed ahead.
The technical department in particular has been evolving since the project first began.
Chief Designer Bertrand Vallat has been involved since day 1, helping put together the i20 WRC design since December, as well as leading the engineering project.
The Frenchman was most recently involved with Peugeot Sport, where he played a part in the successful 207 S2000.
Stephane Girard is new to the Hyundai Motorsport team, coming on board as Engine Manager, which is a major role. Stephane has some real motorsport experience having spent time on a number of different teams, such as Peugeot Sport, Maserati Corse, Subaru World Rally Team – Prodrive and Citroen Sport.
Alain Penasse has been in the role of Team Manager since April, and is responsible for overseeing the management and development of the team.
The 51-year old Beligian is another one who has a tone of motorsport experience having spent time with the likes of Toyota Team Europe and Peugeot Sport, with tire manufacturer Michelin and as organizer of Rally Ypres.
The workshop is the place where much of the action is going on. It has motorsport specialist Ernst Kopp at the reins, who just so happens to have experience in both Le Mans and F1 projects.
After building it from the ground up, Ernst is now actively putting together a staff that he believes can get the i20 WRC into top form through testing and competing.
Stefan Ph. Henrich is also new to the team in the role of Director of Marketing and PR. Stefan brings communications expertise to the table, having spent 12 years with Hyundai Motor Europe, as well as time spent as the spokesperson for HME.
He will be in charge if a talented group with an extensive range of motorsports experience and backgrounds.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Michel Nandan said that the team has made progress in building up the core areas of the team.
He said that it was a real challenge to basically build the team from scratch, especially since they now only have 9 months to gel and prepare for next season. He believes that his team boasts some of the best in the business, and is confident that they will all perform well when the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship gets under way.
He said that while this looks like being a busy year, he feels that the passion and commitment that the members of the team possess bodes well for success.