Dull moments in Alzenau – of which I can’t imagine there would have been many aboard the good ship Adamo – are a thing of the past. With Christian Loriaux installed as Hyundai Motorsport’s engineering consultant, there simply won’t be any anymore.
I’ve known Loriaux a long time and I’ve only ever known him to be generous with his time, a fascinating and insightful interview and a thoroughly decent fella. On top of that, he’s also one of the funniest people ever to set foot on planet earth.
It’s no surprise that his move back towards to the service park has been so widely welcomed. Yes, he’s an M-Sport and Bentley man through and through, but if the WRC can even borrow him for a while, that’ll do for us.
Over the weekend, Loriaux took to social media to explain his move. Here are his words:
“So, what is the story?
“I have been at M-Sport for 20 years… and I am still planning to work with M-Sport on the endurance racing side, however for the rally side of business I am now working as engineering consultant for Hyundai.
“M-Sport is above all Malcolm Wilson, who I love and admire so much. We have now worked hand in hand for 20 years without contract but a hand shake and without ever any major fall out. I don’t think that many people can experience this in life.
“M-Sport is a fabulous team of people and friends. After 20 years there, a fair few people there are family to me.
“During the last seven years, I took on the Bentley GT3 challenge. This is something I have really enjoyed, we created a small team of guys, designed our first race car, all on our own, developed it, learned the racing, pit stop, strategy, etc… and we had a lot of results I am very proud of.
With Andrea, we had very good connections as soon as we started talking and I think that we get on very well and understand each other’s wellChristian Loriaux
“I absolutely loved it. Sadly, all good things have one end and the Bentley GT3 story came to one end.
“At the same time, I was starting to miss the WRC as it has been a big part of my life and still what I see as the most challenging motorsport formula.
“In 2020, I carried on developing some ideas for Bentley and worked quite a lot with Chris Williams on the Ford 2022 Rally car.
“However, I was not in charge of the program anymore and was not involved with everything and I needed a bigger challenge than that.
“When the opportunity came from Hyundai to get back in a position where I could steer a full WRC program, that was a dream ticket for me.
“A new challenge, with a major manufacturer, committed, good budget, good drivers… I could not turn this down.
“It was very hard and sad for me to leave Ford and M-Sport WRC but I needed to lead my own program. Even if the Ford WRC 2022 will still have a lot of my DNA, it was not my project.
“At Hyundai, I have joined Andrea Adamo. With Andrea, we had very good connections as soon as we started talking and I think that we get on very well and understand each other’s well.
“At Hyundai, I have discovered a very nice team of talented young engineers, all very motivated to win, so let see what we can do.
“On the other side I am still currently leading the engineering of the Bentley Pikes Peak challenge. We have developed a good car for the challenge and I am looking forward to see how well it goes.
“Many thanks to all for your kind messages.”
There’s really not an awful lot we can or should add to that. Loriaux’s one of the good guys and, for a couple of weeks each month, the corridors of Cockermouth power will be quieter than usual. But it’s great to have him back on the muddy side.