by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 172
T he recent announcement by Hyundai at the Paris Motor Show of its intention to return to the WRC could hardly have come at a better moment for the sport, about to be thrown into gloom by the ending of official WRC support from both BMW Mini and Ford. Hyundai are not new to rally sport, but the Korean company have been absent for the last nine years, after previously enjoying an earlier energetic 12 year endeavour. The announcement was full of significance, being 21 years ago to the week after Hyundai made a remarkable first appearance on the world championship scene, far away, at the 1991 Rally Australia, using Lantra (Elantra) two-wheel-drive normally- aspirated cars. The Hyundais on this event were the first Korean cars to be homologated by the FIA. Driven by Wayne Bell (who prepared the cars), with guest driver and former national champion Greg Carr, the cars finished first (Carr) and second (Bell) in the Group N 1600cc class. A whole new world had started. The following year Bell came along with a single entry and he won the class this time. By 1994 some more adventurous plans were afoot, Bell winning the two-wheel- drive ‘Formula 2’ category in the FIA’s Asia-Pacific series, and in 1995 more new things were happening. For a start, Hyundai had a rival. Kia were enticed into the world championship, and Hyundai’s rallying adventures were spreading afield, to the extent that four-wheel-drive versions of their cars were being run in non-homologation rallies in both the USA and South Africa with Mitsubishi components. Back in Australia the new two-wheel-drive face-lift J2 model was introduced that year and Bell prepared one in Group A specification for use on FIA Asia-Pacific events. Bell won the F2 category in Indonesia in both 1995 and 1996, each time in the same car! It was on the Thailand Rally in 1995 that the Accent first came on the scene, in two-wheel- drive prototype Group S (non homologated) specification. In 1996 two types of homologated Hyundais were being used in international rallying; a now-homologated Group A Accent and a lighter and more powerful Lantra, and later in the season development work started on a third model, the Coupe Kit Car. Industrial troubles After nearly a decade on the sideline, Hyundai is to return to the WRC. MARTIN HOLMES looks back at Hyundai’s rally story to date HYUNDAI'S BACK WRC >>> FEATURE