Eager to accelerate its learning curve in the FIA World Rally Championship, Hyundai Motorsport has announced that it will enter three i20 WRCs for the Rally de Portugal.
The team's lead driver Thierry Neuville will continue in his role behind the wheel of the #7 car, whilst Finn Juho Hänninen will drive the #8 after a promising performance at Rally Sweden earlier this month. Following his debut for the team at Monte Carlo back in January, Neuville and Hänninen will be joined on round four of the championship by Spaniard Dani Sordo.
The Alzenau-based team has also announced its participation in the Fafe Rally Sprint, the now traditional event organised as a precursor to Rally de Portugal. The one-day event will be held on Saturday 29 March at the iconic Fafe-Lameirinha stage – which was part of the classic Rally de Portugal – and attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators each year.
“Having three cars at Rally de Portugal will be very positive for us and it will allow us to continue our data collection and to accumulate more mileage in our debut WRC season,” team principal Michel Nandan commented, “I think we have a good line-up for Portugal with Thierry, Juho and Dani – each of them will bring their experience and will give us their own unique feedback which will help us in the continuous development of the Hyundai i20 WRC. Thierry's level of performance combined with Juho's skills on gravel and Dani's experience and excellent track record at Rally de Portugal make them a very good choice for the event.
“We are also very happy to take part in the Fafe Rally Sprint the weekend before Rally de Portugal. Of course, this will be a very warm-up for the event, but it's also a fantastic occasion for hundreds of thousands fans gather to see their WRC heroes in action on one of most famed stages in the history of the World Rally Championship.”