|Michel Nandan with Hyundai i20 WRC car
Hyundai has made an important announcement today, including the formation of a new motorsport base in Europe and the appointment of Michel Nandan as their Team Principal.
It was way back in 2002, 03‘ that Hyundai were last active in the WRC, with the Accent World Rally Car, in collaboration with Motor Sport Developments, GB.
Hyundai confirmed in September, 2012 to re-enter the WRC with their newly [under development] i20 WRC car, to start competing in the 2014 World Rally Championship.
Hyundai confirmed today that, Michel Nandan [former engineer of Toyota, Peugeot and Suzuki in different technical positions in each] would head the development and competition programme as Team Principal.
|Hyundai i20 WRC car – testing in Deutschland
Nandan said: “I am honoured to have been chosen by Hyundai to spearhead its exciting new entry into the WRC. The project is still in its infancy, but things are moving rapidly, and I am looking forward to developing the team as this year progresses. There is much to be done, of that we are fully aware, but with a dedicated facility in Alzenau and an ambitious core of highly motivated personnel, we are already making good progress.”
Hyundai has also established a motorsport subsidiary, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH, in Alzenau, under which the company’s WRC-Program would run. It is proposed that the cars will be built in their new headquarters in Germany, close to Frankfurt, where Hyundai’s European HQ is situated.
As we all know and seen, an interim version of the i20 has already begun testing in Korea, and is still on to enable Hyundai to undertake component and suspension analysis with further tests scheduled throughout 2013.
Nandan added: “We are deliberately using an interim version of the i20 to carry out important component testing and to ensure that we have done our homework before we enter competition. This phase will continue throughout 2013 as we prepare for our first full season back in WRC in 2014. There are a lot of other decisions that we will have to make during the course of the year, particularly regarding the selection of drivers, but this also requires time and due diligence. We will, at the same time, keep a close eye on how the 2013 WRC season unfolds.”
“Hyundai is excited to re-enter WRC, and we’re back not just to compete, but to win,” said Tak Uk Im, Executive Vice President & COO of Hyundai Motor.