Ready to defend our manufacturers’ title in 2020
On the eve of a brand-new WRC season, we have outlined our desire to compete for the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles. Rallye Monte-Carlo (January 23-26) will be the first test for our team as we look to defend our honours following a successful 2019 season.
“We had a highly rewarding year across all areas of our business, including our first WRC title,” said our President Scott Noh. “It is a significant and meaningful achievement, and something on which we want to build. For 2020, we hope to compete for both titles, fighting for victory at each round. I believe we have strong potential, not least with our new-look driver line-up.”
We will compete with four regular crews in our seventh WRC season. Defending drivers’ champion Ott Tänak and his co-driver Martin Järveoja will join Thierry and Nicolas for a season-long campaign, contesting all of the scheduled rounds. Dani/ Carlos, and Sébastien/Daniel will share a third car throughout the season.
“We have arguably one of the strongest crew line-ups in WRC,” commented our Team Principal Andrea. “It is a reflection of Hyundai’s reputation in international motorsport that we are able to attract such a calibre of talent. I, for one, am tremendously focused on what the coming season will bring.”
Crew numbers for the season will be #6 Dani/Carlos; #8 Ott/Martin; #9 Sébastien/Daniel; #11 Thierry/Nicolas.
New territories, same targets
A new-look WRC calendar will see Hyundai Motorsport venture to new territories, including rounds in Kenya (July), New Zealand (September) and Japan (November).
The performance level and versatility of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC was significantly improved in 2019, as the team secured wins on tarmac (Corsica), gravel (Argentina/Sardinia) and mixed surface (Spain). We know we will have to redouble our efforts in order to maintain the upper hand, and to mount a fight for both titles.
Thierry and Nicolas scored a trio of victories on their way to second in the 2019 drivers’ title, continuing a fine run of form as one of our longest-serving crews.
“We head into 2020 motivated by the team’s manufacturers’ title and more determined than ever to push for the drivers’ championship,” said Thierry. “We have shown ourselves to be quick, consistent and resilient in the face of challenges; we want to make the most of our years of experience and reward the hard work of the entire team with a title double.”
First impressions, lasting memories
2019 WRC drivers’ champion Ott and fellow Estonian Martin will make their debut at Rallye Monte-Carlo as they aim to defend both their title and ours.
“I have had some time to settle into my new home at Hyundai Motorsport, and I have certainly received a warm welcome,” said Ott. “I feel we are already heading in a good direction. The team has already demonstrated its capability by winning the manufacturers’ title. My first impressions of the car have been very positive, and I am convinced, together, we can compete for the titles this year.”
Spaniards Dani and Carlos secured their first victory for our team at Rally Italia Sardegna last summer. They will take part in selected rallies to support our manufacturers’ campaign this season.
“To have the opportunity to continue my WRC career with Hyundai Motorsport is very special,” said Dani. “We have shared many happy memories over the years, including our victory in Sardinia ´19 – a day that I will never forget! Each new season is like a fresh start. We will just take our events one by one, aiming to get the best out of ourselves and the car.”
Nine-time world champions Sébastien and Daniel embark on their second season with us in 2020, as they share a third i20 Coupe WRC.
“I had a very enjoyable first season with the team in 2019,” said Sébastien. “We were able to make some improvements during the year which we hope to use to our advantage during 2020. There are some interesting new events on the calendar, so I look forward to some classic routes and some new challenges.”