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Autosport Show - 11-14 Jan 18

Posted: January 9, 2018 7:54 AM - 2065 Hits

Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Program (HMDP) ready to kick off 2018 season at Autosport International

Posted: January 9, 2018 7:54 AM

The Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Program (HMDP) will get its 2018 season off to a exciting start as part of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) launch event at the Autosport International show in Birmingham this week.

The event will mark the public debut of the newly liveried New Generation i20 R5 as well as the HMDP crew of Jari Huttunen and Antti Linnaketo. The Finns are set to compete in selected events of the competitive WRC2 class this season, starting with Rally Sweden and Rally México.

This year’s WRC2 is expected to be one of the most hotly contested and closely fought championships in recent memory with the involvement of big-name manufacturers and drivers. The category will therefore act as the perfect proving ground for Huttunen and the HMDP.

The New Generation i20 R5, which will be run on behalf of Hyundai Motorsport by Sarrazin Motorsport, will feature with a striking livery in each round it contests in 2018. The new-look features a prominent HMDP logo on the front, side and rear of the car, and incorporates the company’s established colour palette.

The car has already demonstrated its rally winning credentials at the hands of customer teams in 2017 but the WRC2 class in 2018 will offer the sternest test yet for both car and crew.

Rally Sweden will be the first challenge for 23-year-old Huttunen following his selection as HMDP driver after a comprehensive assessment last year. Having been identified as one of 16 potential HMDP candidates following his WRC2 victory in Rally Finland last year, Huttunen was eventually selected from a shortlist after an impressive test in the New Generation i20 R5 in September.

He then took part in Wales Rally GB as part of a private entry with Sarrazin Motorsport in October, offering the young Finn his first taste of the New Generation i20 R5 in a competitive environment. The opportunity allowed the team and crew to acquire initial experience ahead of what promises to be an exciting WRC2 battle in 2018.

Huttunen said:
“I am honoured to be representing the Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Program in WRC2 this season. Everyone at Hyundai Motorsport has put a lot of faith in me so I will make it my aim to deliver against the team’s expectations in each of the rallies in which we will compete. It will be a learning curve and I intend to make the most of the opportunity. Sweden and Mexico are two diverse events, so we will have to be on top of our game from the start. The competition in WRC2 this year is going to be tough, but we have a great car and a lot of optimism, which we will try to translate into positive results in these first two events.”

Hyundai Motorsport Team Manager Alain Penasse added:
“We are all looking forward to seeing Jari and Antti compete in WRC2, further enhancing our presence in the WRC community. They have acquitted themselves exceptionally well since being confirmed as our HMDP crew for 2018, integrating well with the wider Hyundai Motorsport family. HMDP perfectly showcases our commitment to identify and nurture new rallying talent, and with Jari we feel we have a real star in the making. We are also confident in the capability of our New Generation i20 R5, which will look fantastic on the stages with its brand new livery. All in all, it promises to be a big battle in Sweden and Mexico, with lots of top manufacturers and drivers in the WRC2 class.”

BHRC and RACRMC Asphalt Championships to launch at NEC

Posted: December 13, 2017 4:37 PM

The 2018 MSA British Historic Rally Championship and the 2018 RACRMC Historic Asphalt Rally Championship will be unveiled to the public at Autosport International at the Birmingham NEC (11-14 January). Details of the 2018 Carlisle Stages will be announced along with early information about the 2019 Roger Albert Clark Rally.

The Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club will be on stand 6105 in Hall 6 to take the wraps off its future programme, which has four major elements:

The eight-round 2018 MSA British Historic Rally Championship
The seven-round 2018 RACRMC Historic Asphalt Rally Championship
The 2018 Carlisle Stages (9 June)
The 2019 Roger Albert Clark Rally

The 2018 season will be the fourth year for the BHRC, Britain’s leading championship for historic cars, of a five-year term under the management of the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club.

Going into its third season is the RACRMC Historic Asphalt Rally Championship, which gives UK historic competitors a dedicated asphalt championship covering rallies in the UK and Belgium as well as a return visit to Jersey.

A great deal of interest is sure to focus on outline information for the Roger Albert Clark Rally, which will next run in November 2019. Building on the outstanding reception to the 2017 event from competitors, marshals and fans, rally manager Colin Heppenstall plans to issue some early information about the next edition in November 2019.

Meanwhile, early details of the Carlisle Stages (Saturday 9 June) will be available for the event that is the fifth round of the BTRDA Rally Series as well as a round of several regional championships.

Members of the team, headed by Colin and Nicola Heppenstall, will be on hand to meet current and prospective competitors as well as event officials and fans. Championship registrations and club membership renewals will be available to visitors.

2018 WRC to launch at Autosport International

Posted: December 13, 2017 4:34 PM

The 2018 FIA World Rally Championship will blast off with a high-profile launch at the Autosport International (11 - 14 January) show in Birmingham.

The four manufacturer teams representing Citroën, Hyundai, M-Sport and Toyota will provide an exclusive first look at their 2018 World Rally Car liveries on the Autosport main stage during ‘Takeover Thursday’.

All the leading drivers, co-drivers and team principals will be present to share their views on the new season, two weeks before the prestigious Rallye Monte-Carlo (25 - 28 January) ushers in the opening action in Monaco’s glamorous Casino Square.

A packed day of WRC activities will herald the opening of Europe’s biggest pre-season motorsport show at the NEC Birmingham. All cars will stay on display throughout the weekend with top drivers present during the remaining three days.

Customer teams and support category competitors from WRC 2, WRC 3 and Junior WRC are also due to attend, while a dedicated WRC stand will be the perfect place for fans to get up to speed ahead of the season start.

The initiative to bring the cars and personalities close to the fans follows soaring interest in this year’s series. More powerful, aggressive and noisy new-era World Rally Cars sparked a big rise in rally attendances and season figures will top four million, a record for the modern-day WRC.

The most exciting and unpredictable title fight in a decade also inspired a surge in global TV viewers. Figures covering the first seven rounds from independent analyst Nielsen Sports showed the total audience leaped by 17 per cent.

WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said there was no better place to launch the championship than at an event affectionately regarded as the beginning of the new motorsport season.

“We’ll have the stunning 2018 cars, the world’s leading drivers and co-drivers and the team principals altogether in the same location, at the same time. Thanks to Autosport International’s co-operation we have a wonderful opportunity to showcase the 2018 WRC.

“Thursday will truly be a WRC takeover, but fans attending later in the weekend will still have the opportunity to whet their appetite for the season ahead as the cars will remain on display and there will be plenty of driver appearances,” he said.

Show director Kate Woodley said it was a fantastic chance for fans to be part of the exciting build-up to 2018.

“What an honour and a privilege to have arguably motorsport’s most exciting series in the world launched under our roof. We understand the significance of what’s coming and we fully intend to do it justice,” she said.

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson is a long-time exhibitor at Autosport International. He is delighted to see the WRC given a high-profile launch.

“I’ve been going to Autosport International since it began and it really is seen, industry-wide, as the start of the season, so to have an event with this sort of global reach is fantastic for the World Rally Championship.

“I’ve always championed more rally content at Autosport International and next year we’re going to have more than ever!” said Wilson.

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Posted: October 3, 2017 4:11 AM

Topics: Autosports Show 

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