Defending world champion team Hyundai Motorsport will maintain its policy of rotating the drivers in its third factory car into 2022, as Dani Sordo and Oliver Solberg will share an i20 Coupe Rally1.
With Craig Breen departing to lead M-Sport, Hyundai elected to stick with Sordo for a ninth consecutive campaign. In addition to the vastly experienced Sordo comes Solberg, who will be conducting his maiden full program at rallying’s highest level.
Talking about Sordo and Solberg joining the already confirmed Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville, Hyundai team principal Andrea Adamo described his squad as “the ideal mix” for the World Rally Championship’s new generation of hybrid cars.
“We think it’s the best compromise between experience and youth, and the ideal mix for a new era of WRC,” Adamo said.
“Not only will Dani drive a selected number of events, but he will also be working with us on events when Oliver steps in. His approach to racing and his extensive experience will be a great asset to our team when our learning curve with new regulations will be high.
“We will have important continuity and mutual trust; it is also good to have new blood like Oliver, alongside the experience that our existing crews will bring. We will undoubtedly have a very strong line-up as we embark on a fresh chapter for Hyundai Motorsport.”
Three-time world rally winner Sordo said he’s looking forward to the challenges next season will bring.
“I have said many times before that Hyundai Motorsport is like a family to me,” said Sordo. “So I am pleased to continue my career with them into the new hybrid era of WRC. We have been working together for many years and we have shared some important moments.
“I am looking forward to even more to come as we prepare for fresh challenges. It is important to have consistency as we face new regulations, but we are also fortunate to have new talent like Oliver with us on this new adventure. I am excited.”
Solberg, the son of 2003 World Rally Champion Petter, joined Hyundai for a largely WRC2-based season in 2021, but has driven a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on two world championship rounds, and next week’s Rally Spain will be his third.
Predictably, the 20-year-old was delighted with the news.
“It’s a dream come true to be able to climb into the third WRC car to do selected events together with Dani Sordo,” said Solberg.
“It is really cool. I also have the other team-mates, Thierry and Ott, who are great people to learn from and who have great experience. I’m only just 20, so it’s a huge step so early in my career.
“I am really looking forward to it, and finding out what events I will do. I am excited to drive the new era of car, the Rally1. This is definitely a special time to be involved in WRC.”
Before next season, Hyundai is faced with the task of overturning a 61-point deficit in two rallies as its chases a third world title in a row.