The Hyundai World Rally Team will not compete this weekend in Corsica, and it now appears extremely unlikely that it will take part in any further events this year.

According to a statement released by Motor Sport Developments [MSD] - the outfit that looks after the WRC programme for the Korean firm - the company has still not been given the necessary finance to cover the final rounds and, as such, is unable to take part.

MSD's managing director, David Whitehead, has expressed his disappointment that the matter has not been resolved, adding that MSD will now commence legal action.

"The simple fact is that Hyundai has failed to honour its payment obligations to MSD and we cannot continue if we do not get paid," he commented, "Hyundai has no contractual basis whatsoever to withhold any payments from us.

"I can only assume Hyundai had no intention to complete the programme despite its assurances in the past. It is my absolute resolve to take this all the way to the courts so that the situation can be put right. My lawyers are currently preparing the case from which the record will be set straight.

"I am saddened by the manner in which this programme has finished and, in particular, I would like to pay tribute to the 100 staff who have been made redundant despite doing an excellent job in very difficult circumstances. I would also like to extend my thanks to the suppliers and drivers who have stood by the team in this trying period.

"In my 28 years of motorsport, I have never come across a situation like this, where the departure of a manufacturer from a major motorsport championship has been executed so poorly, causing such damage and ill feeling within the sport. It truly is unprecedented."

Hyundai, which plans to take a break from the WRC before returning full-time in 2007 with its own in-house programme, also missed the Sanremo Rally two weeks ago.

 

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