Sunday, July 14, 2024


WRC confident it may possibly retain manufacturers amid rumours about Hyundai's future

According to the championship promoter, the World Rally Championship is doing “everything” to retain current manufacturers and create a series that might attract no less than one recent brand in 2027.

The top flight of rally sport has long sought to broaden its manufacturer base and has operated with three brands – Toyota, Hyundai and Ford via M-Sport – represented in the highest class since Citroen withdrew at the tip of 2019.

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However, earlier this month, reports emerged in Poland that Hyundai was preparing to launch a Hypercar program within the WRC World Championship, casting doubt on the Korean carmaker's long-term future within the WRC.

Hyundai Motorsport president and team principal Cyril Abiteboul said an announcement regarding the corporate’s motorsport plans, including the WRC, could be made sooner or later – likely as early as September.

The news comes only a month after the FIA ​​made a 180-degree U-turn on its plans to vary the technical regulations for next yr, under pressure from WRC automobile manufacturers, and as a substitute opted for rule stability for the subsequent two years, before introducing all-new regulations for the 2027 season.

Asked in regards to the speculation surrounding Hyundai, the WRC promoter believes the championship could keep its current manufacturers and add one other in 2027.

“I can't say I don't have any doubts [all of our current brands will stay] since it’s not our decision, but I’m sure we’ll create such championship that it’s value participating in,” Peter Thul, Senior Sporting Director at WRC Promoter, told

“Most importantly, I hope that if we’ve got good [2027] regulations can be in place by the tip of the yr to get no less than yet one more manufacturer by 2027. That is our goal.

Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo: Fabien Dufour / Hyundai Motorsport

“That is our wish because we’ve got to maneuver the championship forward. Again, I can't comment on the interior thoughts of the producers. But as I said, it must be so attractive that they wish to stay. That is what we will do and we’ve got to do.

“We will do everything to keep these three people on board and we have had good discussions with them. We are open to any suggestions. I think we have never had so many good discussions, whether about regulations or sporting regulations.”

The WRC promoter said the FIA’s push for stability until the tip of 2026 was “the right decision”, but Thul reiterated that the 2027 regulations must be released this yr to assist manufacturers understand the longer term direction of the championship.

“I believe I'm quite positive [the FIA’s call for stability in technical regulations] “It’s the right decision,” Thul added.

“It was good to speak about all these sorts of things and what we’ve got now’s stability. But what’s much more essential for us is that the 2027 regulations are being created in a short time now. That means we want them this yr because we want to think in regards to the future – I believe everyone knows there’s a necessity for that and there’s lots of work already underway.

“Let's assume we don't follow the rules, but we know what's going on and I'm very confident. It's going in the right direction. I think everyone has a common sense of how it should look. The only thing that needs to be done is how much flexibility there needs to be for different types of drive systems, I don't know.”

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