Hyundai Motorsport has finally revealed its driver lineup and the official livery of its i20 WRC rally car a month before the 2014 World Rally Championship kicks off in Monte Carlo in January.
Joining Hyundai Motorsport as its multi-year title partner is petroleum company Shell, which means the squad will compete in the series as the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team.
Serving as the team's lead driver is Thierry Neuville, who campaigned in the 2013 season with the Qatar World Rally Team and finished the 13-race calendar in second place behind overall champion Sebastien Ogier. Backing Neuville as second driver for selected events is 15th-place WRC finisher Juno Hanninen. Dani Sordo and Chris Atkinson will partner Neuville at several events during the season, with Sordo running in Rallye Monte Carlo and Atkinson in Rally Australia.
"We have worked tremendously hard to get where we are today, and to be able to launch our new WRC team to the world," said Hyundai Motorsport team principal Michel Nandan. "In less than one year, we have built and tested a brand-new WRC-specification car, the Hyundai i20 WRC, and established a professional team and modern motorsport facility. It's a huge accomplishment, but we know that we have a lot to learn in our first season."
For the 2014 season, Hyundai Motorsport's goals are realistic: to finish each rally with both cars and build up a database of information and experience.
"If all goes well, we will hope to be competing for occasional podiums as the year progresses," Nandan added.