WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Bauhaus Royal Rally of Scandinavia
Starts: Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 PM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Tue 12 Dec 2023

Season Review: Hyundai Motorsport

Hyundai Motorsport experienced a rollercoaster ride in 2023, with its World Rally Championship campaign overshadowed by the tragic loss of Craig Breen in a testing accident in April.

The Irishman had returned to the Korean manufacturer and immediately showcased his pace, securing a second-place finish for his i20 N WRC Rally1 Hybrid at Rally Sweden. From Croatia onwards, Hyundais around the world sported Irish colours and the poignant #ForCraig message.

Much loved and one of the sport’s brightest talents, Craig will never be forgotten.

Team leader Thierry Neuville emerged as Hyundai’s highest-placed finisher across the season. Ending third in the championship and as the top non-Toyota driver, trailing only Kalle Rovanperä and Elfyn Evans, the Belgian demonstrated remarkable consistency with eight podiums in 13 starts.

But, by his own, admission, it was a year of ‘what ifs’ for Neuville. Mistakes and mechanical issues made a title tilt unlikely, but he was pleased with the progress the Alzenau-based team continued to make with the i20 after a difficult start to the hybrid generation.

Esapekka Lappi joined the team for this season and made an immediate impact, leading in Sweden and Mexico. The Finn's comfort and speed aboard the i20 were the talk of the first half of the season. Unfortunately, a series of three crashes in four starts during the last five events caused him to plummet down the end-of-season standings.

Dani Sordo and Teemu Suninen collaborated to contribute points and further progress from the third car, with Sordo's second-place finish at Vodafone Rally de Portugal being the highlight of the Spaniard's season.

After what happened in April, Hyundai Motorsport won’t be sad to see the back of this season, but team principal Cyril Abiteboul talks of 2024 – and the return of Ott Tänak and Andreas Mikkelsen – with growing confidence.