Hyundai Shell WRC Team Introduction
The 2014 FIA World Rally Championship kicks off in Monte Carlo next month, and Hyundai Motorsport took the time to show off their team at a special event in Offenbach.
Offenbach is the home of Hyundai Motor Europe, situated just a short drive away from the Hyundai Motorsport facility in Alzenau.
It is at that location where the final phase of testing and preparations are well underway, with the debut of the Hyundai team right around the corner.
The Hyundai i20 WRC, as well as the team, was put on display for the more than 150 journalists and guests in attendance.
Hyundai’s First Season WRC Goals
Despite all the excitement surrounding their entry into the WRC, Hyundai is doing its best to keep expectations at a realistic level.
The main goal is to finish each race with both cars intact, and with the young team acquiring valuable knowledge and data along the way.
There is no denying that Hyundai Motorsport is the baby of the bunch, and that they will have a hard time going against WRC veterans.
That said, the team feels that they are up for the challenge and will be shooting for some podium finishes.
As part of the racing set-up Hyundai have partnered with Shell, which will see the name of the team become the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team.
As part of the deal, the 2014 Hyundai i20 WRC rally car will bear the Shell Helix-Ultra logo during every WRC event.
WRC Driver Line-Up
The lead driver for the Hyundai team will be Thierry Neuville, with Juho Hänninen chosen as the man behind the wheel of the second i20 WRC, albeit at selected events.
Hyundai chose Dani Sordo and Chris Atkinson to partner with Neuville at a number of different events throughout the season.
It is already known that Sordo will run on Rallye Monte-Carlo, with Atkinson confirmed for Rally Australia.
The “N” Performance Brand Launch
Another announcement that Hyundai made at the event was that the “N” symbol would be used to show that high performance technology was used in the i20 WRC car, as well as on all performance vehicles that will be mass-produced moving forward.
The “N” will now be the symbol of the combination of Hyundai Motorsports technology and innovation, which is believed will deliver a new experience for Hyundai customers in the future.
The “N” will also be used to show the company’s commitment to delivering high performance, with the symbol pulled directly from the Namyang R&D Centre, where the i20 WRC underwent a large part of its development.
The Namyang R&D Centre is where Hyundai’s technological innovations come to life, and is therefore a big part of what has made Hyundai a growing brand on a global scale.
NOTE: The very-first “N” sporty car is expected to be the i20 N hot hatchback, which could be released already in 2014!
There are obvious signs of progress and team development from when the i20 WRC was first unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 2012.
The team has been built from the ground up in a relatively short period of time, and has a pair of cars that have been tested and are ready to compete on the world stage. The team is comprised of more than 90 members, representing 18 different countries.
There are motorsport specialist and experienced Hyundai personnel in the mix, making for a perfect team.