ProRally: Hyundai pulls out of SCCA ProRally competition

TOPEKA, Kan. (December 4, 2002) -- After eight successful seasons, Hyundai Motor America announced it will not field a team in the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) ProRally Championship Series in 2003, instead reallocating its marketing budget to...

TOPEKA, Kan. (December 4, 2002) -- After eight successful seasons, Hyundai Motor America announced it will not field a team in the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) ProRally Championship Series in 2003, instead reallocating its marketing budget to a variety of other programs.

Hyundai enjoyed a long and enormously successful relationship with Libra Racing in the SCCA ProRally Series, having just clinched an unprecedented sixth Manufacturers' Championship in the series last month. Over the years, the outstanding performance of rally legend and team leader John Buffum, along with drivers Paul Choiniere, Noel Lawler, Mark Higgins and navigators Jeff Becker, Charlie Bradley and Michael Gibson, focused the spotlight on the performance capabilities and the reliability of Hyundai vehicles.

However, with the costs of competition escalating dramatically in the past few years, and faced with an uncertain U.S. economy in 2003, the company faced a hard choice. As successful as the program was, the company felt it would best be served by reallocating its marketing resources.

"We want to thank Hyundai for their support of ProRally," said Steve Johnson, SCCA President and CEO. "They were the first of many manufacturers who have come on board and created an incredibly successful series. While we are sad to see them leave, the momentum rallying has in the US, along with some major sponsor announcements we will be making in the near future, ensures that SCCA ProRally will be stronger and even more successful in 2003."

Hyundai entered the championship in 1995 and quickly emerged as a dominant force in the increasingly popular series. In total, the company won six of the last eight Open Class and Overall Manufacturers' Championships, as well as the Production Class Manufacturers' Championship for the past two seasons.

Hyundai Motor America, based in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company in Korea. Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles are distributed in the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 600 dealerships nationwide.

-scca pro rally-

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Series SCCA
Drivers Paul Choiniere , Jeff Becker , Mark Higgins , Steve Johnson , John Buffum