So far this season, one manufacturer has been rather quiet in WRC2, the World Rally Championship’s main support category: Hyundai.
For several years Hyundai has fielded a factory-backed lineup in the second-tier championship, with cars initially run by Sarrazin Motorsport in 2018 before RedGrey, led by Markko Märtin and Ott Tänak, took over in 2019.
A works presence has been notably absent at both the Monte Carlo Rally and the the upcoming Rally Sweden. Only customer i20 N Rally2s prepared by Bernard Munster’s BMA squad in Belgium and Philip Case Rally Sport in Ireland will have been present on the opening two WRC events.
But Hyundai’s deputy team director Julien Moncet, who will assume customer racing duties from incumbent Rally2 manager Andrew Johns next month, has confirmed that a factory WRC2 team will be present at future events this season.
“Rally2 is very important for us. We will come with our full program in the next few days. But we will continue,” Moncet told DirtFish.
Teemu Suninen has been widely linked to a factory WRC2 seat with Hyundai after a second place finish on Rally Spain and a promotion to the factory WRC squad when Tänak withdrew from the season finale.
But little has been spoken of his future with the team since. Asked if Suninen would form part of Hyundai’s WRC2 line-up this season, Moncet replied: “Maybe, yes.”
It remains unclear if a second driver will regularly appear for Hyundai in WRC2 this year though.
Two-time Spanish champion Pepe López had been linked with a factory i20 N Rally2 late last year alongside a deal to drive a customer car for Teo Martín Motorsport – who ran his Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo in WRC3 last season – in the Spanish championship.
That deal is now at risk of not proceeding as originally planned.
“This we are reviewing, all the contracts at the moment. We will get answers soon,” said Moncet.
Hyundai’s WRC rival M-Sport Ford will enter its first WRC2 event of the season in Sweden with former Hyundai driver Jari Huttunen and Mattias Adielsson at the wheel of Fiesta Rally2s.