Hyundai World Rally Team

Hyundai World Rally Team

Hyundai entered motorsport by competing in the F2 class of the World Rally Championship in 1998 and 1999. In September 1999, Hyundai unveiled the Accent WRC, a World Rally Car based on the Hyundai Accent. The Hyundai World Rally Team debuted the car at the 2000 Swedish Rally and achieved their first top-ten result at that year's Rally Argentina, when Alister McRae and Kenneth Eriksson finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Eriksson later drove the car to fifth place in New Zealand and fourth in Australia. In 2001, Hyundai debuted a new evolution of the Accent WRC, which was intended to improve reliability, but the performance of the car was still not good enough to challenge the four big teams (Ford World Rally Team, Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Subaru). However, at the season-ending Rally GB, the team achieved their best result with McRae finishing fourth and Eriksson sixth.

For the 2002 season, Hyundai hired the four-time world champion Juha Kankkunen, along with Freddy Loix and Armin Schwarz. Kankkunen's fifth place in New Zealand was the team's best result, but they managed to edge out Škoda and Mitsubishi by one point in the battle for fourth place in the manufacturers' world championship. In September 2003, after a season hampered by budget constraints, Hyundai announced withdrawal from the WRC and planned to return in 2006, this has never happened though.

In 2006, following the announcement that Korea was scheduled to earn a Formula One Grand Prix race, Hyundai announced that they plan to enter the sport. Korea Earned The 2010 Korean F1, but Hyundai did not participate in any ways.

Hyundai will be announcing future rally plans at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, on February 9th. The current plans for rally are focused around the newest Hyundai release, the Veloster.

Hyundai have announced (at the Paris Motor Show 2012) that they will be coming back into the WRC for 2014 using the i20 model built to World Rally Car specifications.

Read more about Hyundai World Rally Team2L-MC Era (1998-1999), WRC Era (2000-2003)

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