WRC champion Tanak leaves Toyota, joins Hyundai for 2020

Hyundai Motorsport has confirmed Ott Tanak will join its team for the 2020 World Rally Championship season.

Autosport broke the news the Estonian would leave his current team Toyota at the end of this season last week.

The recently crowned World Rally Champion joins Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Sebastien Loeb for the Korean manufacturer’s 2020 WRC campaign.

Tanak, who took a maiden world title with second place and a stunning powerstage win at last week’s Rally of Spain, said: “I am really excited to join Hyundai Motorsport from the 2020 WRC season.

“The vision that Andrea has set out is very promising and matches my own ambitions for the future.

“It’s a big honour for me to have the opportunity to join the team at this exciting stage of our respective careers.

“I have big respect for what Hyundai has accomplished; we’ve been fighting closely against each other for a number of seasons.

“They have always had a competitive team and car, so now it will be interesting to see things from the other side.

“The driver line-up is good and I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together over the coming years.”

Hyundai Motorsport director Andrea Adamo called Tanak an “exceptional talent”.

“Signing a two-year deal with Ott Tanak is a demonstration of Hyundai’s continued commitment and ambitions in the World Rally Championship,” Adamo said.

“We are involved in a very close fight for the title this season, and bringing Ott and Martin into the team from 2020 will enable us to continue to be at the forefront for the coming years.

“He is an exceptional talent, as we have all seen, impressively quick and consistent on all terrains and he will be a real asset to Hyundai Motorsport.

“With his announcement, we have four crews confirmed for the 2020 season; Thierry and Ott will contest all 14 rounds on the calendar in their own Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, with Dani and Sebastien sharing a third car.

“It is a potent and inspiring crew line-up, which will set a high benchmark to which the entire team will aspire.

“We also remain in conversation with Andreas and Craig to see how we might be able to collaborate in WRC next season.”

Tanak’s surprise move will end his two-year stay at Toyota and kick-start further speculation about who will take his place in Tommi Makinen’s Finnish-based team.

M-Sport driver Elfyn Evans and Citroen star Sebastien Ogier are reckoned to be among the frontrunners, with Hayden Paddon, Craig Breen and Andreas Mikkelsen also under consideration.

Hyundai’s Rally Australia line-up is understood to be under review, with sources in New South Wales tipping Breen to replace Mikkelsen or Sordo as the team pushes for its maiden WRC title at the season finale.

Although Neuville has said he would be happy to be Tanak’s team-mate, he increased speculation today when he tweeted a happy halloween message from Jyvaskyla, the home of Tommi Makinen Racing.

Products You May Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *