Tue 07 Mar 2023

McErlean, Zaldivar named in Hyundai Junior Driver line-up

Rising stars Josh McErlean and Fabrizio Zaldivar have been selected as Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Drivers for the 2023 season.

The pair, who are tackling WRC2 campaigns aboard similar Hyundai i20 N Rally2 cars, have been chosen alongside fellow youngsters Óscar Palomo and Charles Munster, both of whom compete at national level.

McErlean embarks on his third season as a supported driver while Zaldivar, who hails from Paraguay, starts his second year in the programme. They will receive support from Hyundai's Customer Racing engineers throughout the year, enabling them to gain inside knowledge from a top-level manufacturer squad.

“Encouraging and supporting young drivers is an important part of our task within the Customer Racing department,” said Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Manager Andrea Cisotti.

“It is a win-win situation. We are able to help talented drivers build their careers in motorsport and, with our support, they are able to show the best possible performance of Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing-built cars and succeed in their series.

“The drivers we have selected for the Junior Driver programme for 2023 have all shown great pace in previous seasons. With the assistance and opportunities we can offer them as Junior Drivers – on top of the high standard of support we offer all our customer teams and drivers – I am sure they all have a successful year ahead.”

McErlean, like Zaldivar, is also contesting the opening round of the FIA European Rally Championship in Portugal this week.

He added: “Weeks don’t start much better than this! Ultimately, it’s about progressing up the ladder, and this is the perfect programme which allows me to develop at world level.

“Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing has provided me with a lot of support throughout my career and I want to keep progressing and prove the performance of the i20 N Rally2. Their support is vital for our programme, and I’m very grateful for their trust and support along with the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy.”

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