The car that will carry the WRC rookies’ hopes in next year’s championship will be adorned in distinctive grey and red livery and features the logo of the newly revealed title sponsor, Shell. The multi-year partnership signed with the oil giants ensures the Korean firm’s participation in the series for the foreseeable future and means the squad will be officially known as the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team.
Additionally, Hyundai have confirmed that lead driver Thierry Neuville, signed before the end of the 2013 season, will be supported by Dani Sordo, with the Spaniard recently losing his spot at Citroën to newcomers Mads Østberg and Kris Meeke. However, the 2013 Rally Germany winner will not be embarking on a full program of events next term and will instead share second car duties with Finland’s Juho Hanninen and Australia’s Chris Atkinson, both key members of Hyundai’s 2013 testing program and therefore well acquainted to the feel of the i20 WRC. Though the team have yet to announce the exact programed drives for the coming season, we do know that Sordo will be at the wheel of the second car at the season opener in Monte-Carlo, while Hanninen and Atkinson will take on Rally Sweden and Rally Australia respectively.
With the new season set to get underway in just over a month, the unveiling ceremony in Germany represents the last major step on the road to WRC for the Korean manufacture. With the car and the drivers now fully prepared and ready to enter the fray, we will watch with interest as the i20 WRC turns its first wheel in anger at Rally Monte-Carlo on 14 January.