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Wed 24 May 2023

Hyundai strengthens WRC title bid with appointment of new Technical Director

Hyundai Motorsport has bolstered its FIA World Rally Championship title aspirations by appointing François-Xavier (FX) Demaison as the team's new Technical Director.

The Frenchman will assume the newly-created role on 1 June and brings with him an illustrious career spanning over 26 years. He has previously held esteemed positions in the WRC at Subaru and Volkswagen as well as in F1 at Williams Racing.

Notably, Demaison's time at Volkswagen saw remarkable success, with the team clinching four consecutive drivers' and manufacturers' titles in the WRC from 2013 to 2016. During those four seasons, Volkswagen emerged victorious in an impressive 43 out of 52 rallies.

As Technical Director, Demaison will spearhead the efforts of Hyundai Motorsport's vehicle and powertrain departments, working closely with WRC Programme Manager Christian Loriaux on the development of the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid.

He will also support Hyundai Motorsport president Sean Kim and team principal Cyril Abiteboul in shaping and building Hyundai Motor Company's future motorsport programme.

Expressing his enthusiasm about the appointment, Demaison said: “I am tremendously excited to start this new role with Hyundai Motorsport. It is clear that Hyundai has fantastic potential in the motorsport realm, both in existing endeavours and also looking to future initiatives, especially electric motorsport programmes. My remit is to enhance and grow the capabilities of the Hyundai Motorsport operation to be one of the best globally. I relish this challenge and look forward to working with the personnel who have already achieved great things in WRC and their customer racing programmes.”

Highlighting the significance of Demaison's appointment, Hyundai Motorsport president Sean Kim stated: “We are pleased to have François-Xavier joining us in Alzenau to lead our technical departments across our motorsport activities. His extensive experience and achievements in WRC, TCR racing and beyond will prove invaluable as we look to establish ourselves as the benchmark in our motorsport programmes.

“In addition to managing all of our technical resources, he will also work closely with the R&D groups within Hyundai Motor Company as we look to strengthen and drive our performance across rallying and racing.”

Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul, who himself joined the team at the beginning of the year, added: “Having François-Xavier onboard as Technical Director is an incredibly exciting opportunity to amplify and grow Hyundai’s motorsport programmes. As well as improving our current competitiveness, FX will help us to define the future of the company by bringing in improvements to our facilities to transform our capabilities to that of a top-tier motorsport organisation.

"He knows what it takes to not only win, but also dominate in motorsport, and it is that experience that we need to channel our efforts and win championship titles in the years to come.”