Magalhães returns to ERC with support from Hyundai Portugal

by Pontus Lindroos

Bruno Magalhães winner of three FIA European Rally Championship competitions will be returning to the series in a Hyundai i20 R5 with Team Hyundai Portugal in the eight-round campaign.

As Bruno Magalhães makes a comeback in the ERC this season with his former co-driver Carlos Magalhães with him, both took two championship titles in Portugal and a fifth place finish in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge championship in 2010. Both will now run together for the first time since 2014.

Credit: ERC

Bruno, who is from Lisbon, took second place in the Portuguese championship last year, has now signed with the Portuguese team Sports & You who will provide expert support and run the Hyundai i20 R5 that has received the latest specification update.

“I tried the car with the engine and suspension updates in Sardinia at the end of last year, it’s a big step compared with the car from last year and everybody is excited about the project. It’s the first time for Sports&You in the ERC so it’s a big challenge, but I have experience of most of the rallies and this will be important.” Bruno said.

Team Hyundai Portugal presented their project for 2020 via a livestream on Facebook, they will support Bruno in the ERC this year and show support for the national motorsport outside Portugal’s borders.

Credit: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI

“We will take our values and our passion for rallies to the European championship, supporting national motorsport beyond borders.” Sérgio Ribeiro, CEO of Hyundai Portugal, said.

Bruno does not have big goals for the season but he will focus most on preparing himself to make the comeback in the series.

“The championship I love is European. You have the special atmosphere, the coverage is really good and the rallies are all completely different, so it’s a big challenge for the drivers. Last year was difficult for me to be on the outside of the ERC, but I never forget the ERC.

I was able to make an agreement with Team Hyundai Portugal to do the full European championship, which is really crazy news, really very good news.” Bruno said.

“Hugo didn’t know about this project when he decided to go with another driver. But we are good friends and I decide to go with Carlos Magalhães because, as you know, to be my co-driver the name needs to be Magalhães!

I talked with Carlos to make the project and he’s very excited because last year he just made one rally.”

Credit: ERC

“In 2017 I was fighting for the title until I crashed in the last round in Latvia. In 2018 I was second, just six points behind [Alexey] Lukyanuk, but I missed the two last rallies because of financial problems.” Bruno continued.

“That was a big disaster in my mind when you are so close to fight for the title again but you cannot because you don’t have money, that’s difficult to accept. But the truth is I never gave up. I came back to Portugal for a new project last year, but I didn’t forget the ERC.”

“When I saw I had a chance, even though it was a very small chance to come back, I tried everything. If one day I can win this title then it’s the most important thing in my career for sure. I was so close in 2017, I was fighting for the dream in 2018 so this is my third chance to make good history, but I am not setting any targets.” Bruno added.

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