associated researches

Drivers of his generation

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Rally Sweden 2024

15-02-2024 to 18-02-2024

Monte-Carlo Rally 2024

25-01-2024 to 28-01-2024


1. Hyundai in brief

Hyundai is a South Korean manufacturer involved in the World Rally Championship (WRC) since 2014, fighting each year for the Manufacturers' and Drivers' titles.

2. Hyundai's history in the WRC

Hyundai arrived in the WRC in the 2000 season with the Accent WRC and Alister McRae, Kenneth Eriksson and Michael Guest. The first steps in the world championship did not go very well and the South Korean team finished 6th in the Manufacturers' standings with 8 small points scored. Despite the arrival of certain big names such as world champion Juha Kankkunen, business did not take off for Hyundai Motorsport GmbH which announced the end of its program at the end of the 2003 season without the slightest rally victory in 4 years while planning to return in 2006, which will not be the case.

Thierry Neuville (BEL) and Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL). © DPPI

Far from the world of rallying, Hyundai Motorsport made its comeback in 2014 with an i20 WRC before the i20 Coupé WRC took over in 2017. For its comeback, the South Korean team was ambitious with choice recruitment with Thierry Neuville at the spearhead but also Dani Sordo, Juho Hänninen and Chris Atkinson. If Volkswagen and Sébastien Ogier were uncompromising, Hyundai managed to secure its first WRC victory thanks to Thierry Neuville during the German Rally.

In the following seasons, Hyundai Motorsport showed signs of progress by increasing its points capital year after year but also its championship position. Led by Thierry Neuville and his 15 victories, including two in France, the Asian structure won two Manufacturers' championship titles (2019 and 2020). She has been running behind Toyota, which reigns supreme in the category.

In addition to Rallying, Hyundai Motorsport has also taken an interest in the world of Tourism by participating since 2017 in WTCR and ETCR, competitions governed by TCR regulations. It was first the i30 N TCR which was used and which also allowed Norbert Michelisz to become WTCR champion in 2019. The following year the i30 gave way to the Elantra TCR.

3. Hyundai drivers in WRC

In the early 2000s, Hyundai's WRC adventure began with Alister McRae, Kenneth Eriksson and Michael Guest as drivers. Juha Kankkunen, Piero Liati, Armin Schwarz, Freddy Loix, Jussi Välimäki and Manfred Stohl also lent their services to the Seoul manufacturer before it withdrew in 2003.

Ott Tänak-Thierry Neuville, teammates and opponents. ©DPPI/N. Katikis

For its return to the WRC in 2014, Hyundai has enlisted the services of Thierry Nuville but also Dani Sordo, Juho Hänninen and Chris Atkinson. In the meantime, drivers like Andreas Mikkelsen, Hayden Paddon, Sébastien Loeb and Craig Breen have worn the team's colors. More recently, South Korean leaders recruited 2019 world champion Ott Tänak who brought them 3 victories since 2020 and contributed to the Team title that same year. In 2024, Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak form the starting duo. Esapekka Lappi shares the car with Dani Sordo and Andreas Mikkelsen.

4. AUTOhebdo's opinion on Hyundai

Since its return to the WRC in 2014, Hyundai has established itself as one of the benchmarks in the category. The South Koreans have won two Team titles but are still looking for the first among the Drivers. With Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak, the Asian firm has two big names to impose its law. However, the task is quite difficult against Toyota who won the last crowns.