In March 2017, Julien took full management of the engine department in a role that spearheads all WRC engine development and production programmes at our Alzenau facility. The Frenchman has been part of the Hyundai Motorsport organisation since the very beginning and was originally tasked with getting all the engines ready for our first Rallye Monte-Carlo in 2014.
What brought you to Hyundai Motorsport?
After some years in motorsport, I was working in South America responsible for road car engine reliability, but I felt I missed something with the DNA of motorsport. Then, I saw an advertisement from Hyundai Motorsport in August 2013 for an engine development engineer. By coincidence, I was in Europe with a long stopover in Frankfurt that allowed me to visit the facilities and two weeks later I had my contract! The company was new, but I was really enthusiastic about starting a project from a blank sheet of paper with an official WRC manufacturer. In the past, I had only worked for existing teams in Formula One and rallycross. When the Customer Racing department was established I looked after R5 and TCR, and now I lead all engines activities within Hyundai Motorsport.
What does Hyundai Motorsport mean to you?
We are all driven by a passion for motorsport and that makes everything possible despite any difficulties we face. It’s quite tough but it’s also rewarding to work on such nice cars and products. For me, it’s passion with one target: to win. I like winning.
What is your responsibility as head of the engine department?
My job is to coordinate all activities, from the development and the production of engines to event support. I try to help every team member as much as I can to ensure they work in the best possible conditions they need to perform. Motorsport is about teamwork.
How did you get involved in motorsport?
When I was a kid, I watched every F1 race with my father however I was actually more interested in airplanes! It was mixed in my family. My father was a pilot and my uncle was a Formula One journalist – and still is. The switch really came when I got my first car at the age of 16 and it changed my mind. I had the chance to do some training with motorsport companies when I was in school and since then I have never lost the passion.
Finally, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Free time is scarce in motorsport! But whenever I can, I go for a bike ride, either with an MTB or road bike. I still race almost every weekend across Europe. My second hobby is surfing, but it is not easy as there are no waves in Alzenau!