Defending World Rally Champion Hyundai Motorsport has been forced into a management restructure following the decision not to renew team manager Alain Penasse’s contract.
Penasse is one of the Alzenau-based team’s contractors and – following a decision from Hyundai in Seoul not to renew contractor agreements – the Belgian will depart his role following next month’s Rally Estonia.
Penasse has been with Hyundai Motorsport since the team’s world championship return in 2013 and has helped team principal Andrea Adamo mastermind a strategic approach, delivering back-to-back world titles.
This is not my decision to go, but what can I do?Alain Penasse
“This is not my decision to go,” Penasse told DirtFish. “The decision has come from Korea. Obviously, like you can understand, it’s not a decision I understand or agree with, but what can I do?
“In eight years at Hyundai, I worked with Michel Nandan and Andrea Adamo, two completely different personalities and managed a perfect relationship with both team principals.
“Hyundai Motorsport made a kid’s dream come true.”
Penasse’s immediate focus will fall on the Ypres Rally, which is run and promoted by his company. The Belgian event makes its WRC debut in August.
“Ypres will keep me busy, that’s for sure,” said Penasse. “And I have to be honest and say working more on the event promotion and preparation side of things is something I’m keen to do more of.
“I’m fortunate to have seen this sport from so many different sides, as a PR person, an organizer and a team manager.
“It will be difficult to leave next month – we have had so much success and some amazing high moments. But this is the decision and we have to move on.”