The Hyundai World Rally Team will not be represented this weekend on the Rallye Sanremo following a dispute between Motor Sport Developments [MSD] - the outfit that looks after the WRC programme for the Korean firm, and the Hyundai Motor Company itself.

A statement from MSD explained:

"Despite protracted discussions with the Hyundai Motor Company over the past week, the Hyundai Motor Company has failed to pay Motor Sport Developments the contracted payments necessary for it to participate in the remaining rounds of the 2003 World Rally Championship.

"MSD has done nothing to justify HMC withholding any contractual payments.

"MSD has always provided HMC with financial information as contractually required.

"As of the start of the Sanremo recce MSD had not received any commitment from the Hyundai Motor Company with respect to MSD's latest proposal to resolve the contractual differences between the two parties.

"As a result, Hyundai World Rally Team will miss the Sanremo recce. Furthermore, MSD and its drivers - Freddy Loix and Armin Schwarz - will not consider starting the Sanremo rally without having participated in the recce on the grounds of safety.

"MSD remains hopeful that a resolution for the remaining three events will be reached soon."