Thierry Neuville has signed a new two-year deal to stay with Hyundai in the World Rally Championship which sees the team secure its full driver line-up for 2017 and 2018.
In a bid to ensure consistency ahead of the regulations revamp in WRC, Hyundai has announced Neuville will be retained until the end of the 2018 season. The Belgian driver has secured the same length of contract as Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon which means the three-crew line up will remain the same for the next two campaigns.
Neuville joined Hyundai upon its debut in WRC in 2014 and has claimed two wins plus seven further podiums in that time, his latest coming last weekend at Corsica where he finished runner-up to Sebastien Ogier.
The 28-year-old has expressed his joy at the new deal after confirming he had turned down other offers from rival manufacturers before deciding to settle with Hyundai.
“I am delighted to extend my contract with Hyundai Motorsport for two more years,” Neuville said. “Although I had alternative options available, it seemed the most logical decision to keep up the great momentum we have within this team.
“2017 will be a new era for the WRC with the revised regulations. We have shared very special moments together since the team's debut in WRC. Our first win together in Germany was one of my career highlights. With a new car next year, and even more ambitious targets, I am excited by what this next chapter will bring.”
Hyundai Motorsport team principal Michel Nandan is thrilled to retain his Belgian driver after interest from rivals and is confident the team can enjoy a solid end to the current season before taking on the new challenges ahead in 2017.
“Thierry has been a great asset to our team so we are pleased to announce this two-year extension,” Nandan said. “There has been a lot of talk about Thierry's future, which is obviously part of the motorsport game, but the fact we continue together shows the strength of our relationship.
“We have had some great memories, as well as some difficult moments, but overall we've been on a positive growth curve together. Now we have finalised our driver line-up with Thierry, Hayden and Dani, we can aim for a competitive finish to our 2016 season, as well as focusing on development of our 2017 challenger.”
With Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul retained it sees all manufacturer seats filled at Hyundai, Citroen and Volkswagen.
M-Sport Ford is yet to officially confirm its 2017 driver line-up while the returning Toyota Gazoo Racing squad also has vacant driver slots to fill for next season.