The Hyundai Castrol World Rally Team announced today that their drivers for 2002 will include Belgium's Freddy Loix, co-driven by Sven Smeets, and Juha Kankkunen with co-driver Juha Repo.

Hyundai are confident that both drivers will be an asset, each contributing to a different dimension of the team. As one of the younger manufacturer drivers, Freddy Loix will be contesting all fourteen rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship and is looking forward to the challenge of continuing with the encouraging development of the Accent WRC?.

"I'm very happy to be joining a team that is still so young and is eager to see success, which I am sure is not so far away," commented the 32-year-old Belgian. "It gives me a good feeling to have a new challenge; I am looking forward to a lot development work and while the car has proved it is reliable, I expect to be able to help improve its speed."

Finnish veteran of the sport and four-time World Champion Juha Kankkunen, who made his debut with co-driver Repo in the Hyundai on his home event this year, is also looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of an Accent WRC? for the nine gravel events of the 2002 season.

He said: "I'm very much looking forward to joining the team. It was great to get a taste of being back in the World Rally Championship for Finland, and now I'm pleased to be returning to a level that I want to be on a more permanent basis. Now I hope I can play an important role in strengthening the team in whatever way possible."

David Whitehead, Hyundai Castrol World Rally Team Principal, is optimistic about the coming season. He concluded: "We are delighted to confirm Juha & Freddy for the Hyundai Castrol World Rally Team for 2002. The combination of experience that Juha provides, with the fresh talent of Freddy will no doubt help move Hyundai towards the front of the WRC field."

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