International news 98-01-19

Motor Sport Developments (MSD) awarded Hyundai World Rally Championship programme - Eriksson signed for 10 rally programme UK based motor sport specialists, Motor Sport Developments (MSD) has been awarded a contract to represent the Hyundai...

Motor Sport Developments (MSD) awarded Hyundai World Rally Championship programme

- Eriksson signed for 10 rally programme

UK based motor sport specialists, Motor Sport Developments (MSD) has been awarded a contract to represent the Hyundai Motor Company of Korea in the popular ‘F2’ category in a full programme of 10 rounds of this year’s World Rally Championship.

Milton Keynes based MSD will design, build and run completely new cars for the programme, which will begin with the Portugal Rally in March. The full programme of 10 events includes seven in Europe, plus the rounds in New Zealand, Indonesia and Australia. Hyundai intend to register with the sport’s governing body, the FIA, for the 2-litre World Rally Cup for Manufacturers and plan to field two Hyundai 2-litre Coupes in this section for modified two-wheel-drive cars - the so-called ‘kit cars’.

Sweden’s Kenneth Eriksson, a former ‘F2’ champion, has been confirmed as the lead driver and is joined by Staffan Parmander, his regular co-driver. Eriksson will also carry out testing of the cars. Wayne Bell from Australia has been confirmed as the team’s other driver - Bell has driven for Hyundai for a number of years and prior to this move to MSD, his Australian based preparation company was in charge of rally work on behalf of Hyundai.

“This is an exciting prospect for MSD,” said David Whitehead, MSD Managing Director of the Milton Keynes based company. “We have represented another major motor manufacturer in the World Championship for many years, but more recently we have concentrated on building a good reputation in Super Touring Car racing. It is great to be back on the rally scene with a full World Championship programme for a very enthusiastic and committed manufacturer.”

MSD formed its association with the Korean manufacturer in 1997 when it built and successfully ran a car in the UK’s RAC Rally, this first ever involvement for Hyundai in a European round of the world championship was marked by the impressive achievement of a second place in its class.

“We are extremely happy to have secured the talent of Kenneth Eriksson - this is quite a coup for the programme.” said David Whitehead. “Wayne Bell will bring with him much past experience and together we will have the necessary combined knowledge to face the enormous task we have ahead of us. It will be a challenging year for us all.”

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Series General
Drivers Kenneth Eriksson , David White , Staffan Parmander