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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Hyundai investigating operating a fourth WRC automobile subsequent yr

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The producer has fielded three automobiles within the WRC’s high tier since 2019 however is contemplating increasing its line-up to 4 for the 2024 season. The final time it ran 4 automobiles in a WRC occasion was 2018 Rally Portugal when it entered Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo, Hayden Paddon and Andreas Mikkelsen.

New staff principal Cyril Abiteboul says operating a fourth automobile is on the staff’s want checklist with a choice to be taken within the subsequent few months.

Abiteboul’s need to discipline a fourth i20 N Rally1 follows the announcement of the team’s revamped young driver development programme, which incorporates inaugural inductees Teemu Suninen and reigning WRC2 champion Emil Lindholm. The previous will take over the third i20 N at Rally Estonia and Rally Finland.

Abiteboul revealed the prospect of operating a a fourth automobile when requested if Suninen and Lindholm will associate Dani Sordo within the third automobile subsequent yr.

“Completely that could be a chance and we’ll announce the plan for everybody [all our drivers] together with Dani in the end,” Abiteboul instructed Autosport.

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“That could be very a lot a chance, the plan is for one in all them to drive a automobile.

“We’re trying and although no determination is made, one of many issues that we wish to do is see if we will run a fourth automobile.

“It’s a chance however the issue is with the worth of these automobiles and that’s the reason I’ve been banging on concerning the rules relating to decreasing the fee for everybody.

Teemu Suninen and Emil Lindholm, Hyundai Motorsport

Photograph by: Hyundai Motorsport

“The fee concerned in operating a fourth automobile with the present technical regulation and the present sporting rules, which suggests very lengthy occasions and lots of people, are loopy excessive.

“We’re speaking concerning the weekend format and making it extra enticing and easy rules to convey the prices down so extra younger drivers have probability to be a part of a programme like this.”

Abiteboul revealed that the prospect of operating a fourth automobile wouldn’t be decided by any adjustments to technical or sporting rules.

“It’s an inner dialogue and we have to undergo our budgets,” he added.

“We must do various commerce offs as all the time. If we do this, then we must do much less of one thing else.

“So are we higher off investing in younger drivers, or doing a selected growth programme? I don’t know, it is a determination we might want to make within the subsequent months.”

Neuville is the one driver at the moment underneath contract at Hyundai for subsequent season, though a dialogue to increase Esapekka Lappi’s contract is anticipated to be held quickly.

“I don’t suppose there may be any rush [to secure our driver line-up] we now have little bit of time,” stated Abiteboul.

“The efficiency that Esapekka is doing goes to translate into an extension dialogue and I count on that we’re a couple of months away from having that dialogue.”

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