Hyundai Sign Tänak on Two Year Deal, Neuville, Sordo and Loeb Also Continue

by Steven Batey

Hyundai Motorsport have signed newly-crowned FIA World Rally Champion Ott Tänak on a two-year contract, with Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Sebastien Loeb also staying with the team next season.

Tänak, who clinched the title with a round to spare last weekend, will drive alongside rival Neuville in one of the finest line-ups in recent WRC history with Soro and Loeb set to again share the third i20 Coupe WRC like in 2019.

The World Champion said on his shock move from Toyota GAZOO Racing: “I am really excited to join Hyundai Motorsport from the 2020 WRC season. The vision that Andrea (Adamo) has set out is very promising and matches my own ambitions for the future. It’s a big honour for me to have the opportunity to join the team at this exciting stage of our respective careers.”

“I have big respect for what Hyundai has accomplished; we’ve been fighting closely against each other for a number of seasons. They have always had a competitive team and car, so now it will be interesting to see things from the other side. The driver line-up is good, and I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together over the coming years.”

Thiery Neuville - 2019 Vodafone Rallye de Portugal
Neuville is to drive alongside his title rival from this season in 2020. Photo Credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

While Andrea Adamo, Hyundai Motorsport Team Director, added on the news of the signing the World Rally Champion: “Signing a two-year deal with Ott is a demonstration of Hyundai’s continued commitment and ambitions in the World Rally Championship. We are involved in a very close fight for the title this season.”

“Bringing Ott and Martin into the team from 2020 will enable us to continue to be at the forefront for the coming years. He is an exceptional talent, as we have all seen, impressively quick and consistent on all terrains and he will be a real asset to Hyundai Motorsport.”

The news however means Andreas Mikkelsen will not stay with the team for a full season campaign at least, but Adamo admitted that they are in talks with the Norwegian as well as Craig Breen, who has appeared in two rounds this season for the team about potential outings next year.

He commented: “With this announcement, we have four crews confirmed for the 2020 season; Thierry and Ott will contest all 14 rounds on the calendar in their own i20 Coupe WRC, with Dani and Sébastien sharing a third car. It is a potent and inspiring crew line-up, which will set a high benchmark to which the entire team will aspire. We also remain in conversation with Andreas and Craig to see how we might be able to collaborate in WRC next season.”

Before Tänak moves to his new team, he must first try and stop his new employers from clinching a maiden Manufacturers crown on Rally Australia, which takes place next month.   

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