Aiming for the manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships
All eyes are on the official launch of the 2019 WRC season at the Autosport International show in Birmingham, UK. As we prepare for our sixth season, our sights are set firmly on the manufacturers’ and drivers’ championship titles.
Running a revised crew line-up and with an extended calendar of 14 rounds in 2019, we will aim to revisit the competitive form that helped us score three victories and 11 podium finishes last season.
With WRC’s regulations remaining stable, we have been able to evolve the technical foundations of our rally winning i20 Coupe WRC. All aspects of the car have been rigorously assessed in order to perform consistently across all terrains in the coming season. A brand new event in Chile will join the existing events on the world tour.
Led by our new Team Director Andrea Adamo, the targets for our sixth season are clear. “Our objectives for WRC remain the same as they have been for the past years, namely to fight for the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles,” said Andrea. “This is important for Hyundai and our N brand. The WRC is incredibly competitive and the other teams will want to approach the new season with the same winning mind-set. We have to make sure we’re delivering and performing at our best at all times.”
Three i20 Coupe WRC cars will compete in each of the 14 rounds on the calendar in 2019. Last year’s vice champions Thierry and Nicolas will be joined by Norwegian crew Andreas and Anders in all events.
“We have used the opportunity of the winter break to recharge our batteries ready for another assault on the WRC titles,” said Thierry. “We recognise that consistency is an important area of improvement for our team. We will work together to try and mount our best campaign to date but we know our rivals are strong so we have to redouble our efforts.”
Andreas added: “I am ready to put a difficult 2018 behind me and approach a new season with renewed purpose and attack. Although the results were missing last year, we learned a lot about the i20 Coupe WRC. I feel we are better prepared for 2019. As one of the full-time crews for the team, we know we need to be chasing the front-running positions at each rally.”
Dani and Carlos – twice podium scorers last season – will take part in eight events, starting at Rally México. Meanwhile, nine-time WRC champions Sébastien and Daniel have joined us on a two-year contract. Their six-round program for 2019 commences at Rallye Monte-Carlo.
“We are entering a brand new season but our targets remain the same – to be competitive at each round we tackle,” said Dani. “Hyundai Motorsport has become a very special team to me, and I am delighted to continue our working relationship into a sixth season.”
Sébastien said: “I am pleased to be joining such a great line-up of crews. It is clear to me that the car was a competitive package in 2018, which enabled the team to fight for the championship titles right to the very end. I hope I can get up to speed with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC quickly and be able to show competitive pace.”
We continue to rely on the support of our proven partners, including title sponsors Shell and Hyundai Mobis. Running under the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team banner for 2019, we have also added new partners to our program with Open Location Platform company HERE Technologies, and international watch brand Jacques Lemans.
Andrea concluded: “We have all the ingredients to win in WRC. There is nothing lacking compared to our rivals. We are right up there in terms of our engineering capability. We are arguably the strongest in terms of our crew line-up – Thierry, Andreas, Dani and Sébastien are all top-level drivers. I am confident we have the package to win.”