Rally rewind: Germany 2014
High drama and a rags-to-riches fairytale ending
Germany is the home rally for the Alzenau-based squad, and the setting last year for an unexpected 1-2 finish courtesy of team-leader Thierry Neuville and 2013 rally winner Dani Sordo.
Neuville and Sordo will be back at the wheel of i20 World Rally Cars again this time, and will be joined by Hayden Paddon and Kevin Abbring who will drive another two cars for Hyundai's second-tier squad.
For the first time, Paddon will start with the same specification i20 as team-mates Neuville and Sordo, while Abbring will miss out on the latest engine upgrades but will have the benefit of a paddle-shift transmission.
Hyundai is challenging Citroën for second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship and is hoping to close the two point deficit with another strong performance on the German tarmac.
Team Principal Michel Nandan said: "Of course there are good memories here for us, because last year we had a good result - our first 1-2 finish. All four drivers have been testing in the Trier area in the build-up to the event, and we are all quite pleased with the setup. Our fourth driver is Kevin Abbring and along with Thierry and Dani we have three drivers who feel at home on the tarmac so we can hope for a good result to add to our points’ total.”
As well as being Hyundai's home event, the rally is also special for Neuville who was born in the Belgian town of St. Vith, close to the rally base in Trier. Thierry's younger brother Yannick will also compete this year - driving an Opel Adam in the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup.
"We have really good memories from Rallye Deutschland last year," said Thierry. "It was our first victory for the team, which was a very big result to have done in a very short time. Getting a first win in the first season as a team was something unexpected, and we are going to try our best this year so that hopefully we have the same speed as last year and the same confidence."