Hyundai Motorsport has reaffirmed its commitment to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) by announcing plans to support a potential WRC star.
Run under the existing Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Program (HMDP), the company is embarking on an intensive selection process.
From a pool of 16 candidates invited to Alzenau, who have already been identified, only a maximum of eight will be invited to remain onto the second stage of the process. Ultimately only one winner will represent Hyundai Motorsport on the global rally stage, participating in selected WRC2 events in 2018 in a New Generation i20 R5 car.
An initial pre-selection event is taking place this month with prospective hopefuls being assessed across a range of criteria. Covering technical understanding, English language, PR skills, and communication with mechanics and engineers, it is an all-encompassing activity with a group of the most well-rounded candidates going onto the next step.
The drivers, along with their respective co-drivers, will undertake tests on tarmac and gravel in September, before a final decision is made on the prize winner. Hyundai Motorsport will also nominate a team to run the program on its behalf throughout 2018.
A dedicated panel of team management will be involved in the selection process, including Team Principal Michel Nandan, Team Manager Alain Penasse, Customer Racing Manager Andrea Adamo and Director of Marketing and PR Stefan Ph. Henrich.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “We have been developing our rally activities over the past few years with our successful WRC and Customer Racing activities. The Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Program is a further example of our commitment to rallying. We are excited to begin our search for a future WRC star. There is so much untapped talent; we want to help nurture the stars of tomorrow. We will put initial candidates through the ultimate assessment to identify the best on the market. The winning crew will be announced later in the year with a comprehensive itinerary planned for 2018. We look forward to starting the process of this exciting initiative.”