2021 class of Junior Drivers announced
Now in its third year, our team is pleased to reveal the 2021 class of our Customer Racing Junior Driver initiative. The Junior Driver program supports circuit racing and rally drivers, who all compete in our Customer Racing machinery, as they build their motorsport careers.
“The commitment to nurture young driving talent is a vital part of the Customer Racing department, and Hyundai Motorsport in general,” said our Customer Racing Operations Leader Andrew Johns.
As participants in our program, each driver can call upon the support of our Customer Racing engineers. They will be mentored by our top drivers in WRC and WTCR and will receive media training to build strong profiles in international rallying and racing.
Rising stars of rally
For this season, the group is led by the exciting trio of drivers who will represent us in the WRC 2 series in our i20 R5. Norwegian Ole Christian Veiby continues with the Junior Driver program for a second year, and is now joined by his Swedish and Finnish teammates Oliver Solberg and Jari Huttunen.
They will be accompanied on the WRC stages by Frenchman Pierre-Louis Loubet, who will compete with one of our customer teams in an i20 Coupe WRC for a second season.
After a strong debut season in one of our i20 R5 cars, Luxembourger Gregoire Munster returns to our Junior Driver program for 2021, competing in the Belgian championship as well as some international events. Irishman Josh McErlean is a new face to our ranks, and will focus on a full WRC 3 challenge, with further planned outings in the European and British Rally Championship.
Inspiring TCR talent
After taking podiums last year, 19-year-old Jáchym Galáš will step up from TCR Eastern Europe to the highly competitive TCR Europe, putting the Czech driver just one rung on the TCR ladder below FIA WTCR.
The youngest members of the Junior Driver group are 16-year-olds Tyler Maxson and Tyler Gonzalez, an American duo who will share a Copeland Motorsport Veloster N TCR in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
The line-up is completed by Malaysian driver Mitchell Cheah, who is set to race with the highly successful Engstler Motorsport, a team that has won multiple titles with our i30 N TCR in both Germany and Asia.
“Through the Customer Racing Junior Driver initiative, we can support some of the best young drivers competing with Hyundai customers in major rally and TCR championships around the world,” said Andrew. “By working closely with them and their teams we can help each one constantly improve, in order to get the best possible results and build their professional motorsport careers towards a place in the WRC or on the FIA WTCR grid.”