Friday | 09 Jan 2015

‘Game-raising’ driver strategy for Hyundai

Hyundai Motorsport will run three cars for the same three drivers on all but one round of this year’s WRC in a bid to get closer to the performance of its rivals.

The German-based squad, which joined the WRC in 2014, will run two i20 World Rally Cars at the opening round in Monte Carlo [22-15 January] for team-leader Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo. Hayden Paddon will join at round two in Sweden, completing a three-car team that is planned to remain for the rest of the year.
The strategy is a boost for Sordo and Paddon who until today were guaranteed only part programmes. In November, Sordo agreed a two-year deal keeping him with the team in 2015 and 2016. At the time, Hyundai said it expected Sordo to take part in at least 10 rounds in 2015. Paddon was signed in December for a minimum of nine rallies this year.

Hyundai’s decision to have a consistent driver line-up differs from its 2014 strategy when names including Juho Hanninen, Bryan Bouffier, Chris Atkinson, Sordo and Paddon featured.

In a statement, Hyundai said it was switching from two to three cars “in order to raise its game in the competitive WRC”. Team Principal Michel Nandan added: “As we saw last year, having three cars on WRC events is very positive and helps us to develop our Hyundai i20 WRC more rapidly.”

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