Australia's Wayne Bell has announced his retirement from active competition in the World Rally Championship but the only Australian to drive at factory level in world championship rallying will now work even closer with the Hyundai World Rally ...
Australia's Wayne Bell has announced his retirement from active competition in the World Rally Championship but the only Australian to drive at factory level in world championship rallying will now work even closer with the Hyundai World Rally Championship program!
Bell will work directly with the MSD team and Hyundai Motor Sport in 1999, taking on a managerial role out of Milton Keynes in England. His working title is Rally Director/Manager and he will be responsible for bringing the current Hyundai F2 Kitcars up to speed through testing and development programs throughout 1999's World Rally Championship.
Wayne joins a handful of Australian's in top flight motorsport including Barry Green, who now owns one of the leading CART teams in the USA and Peter Collins, who was manager of the Benetton F1 Team for a time...
In a long career as a driver and developer, Bell introduced Hyundai to rallying at championship levels in Australia, Asia and then on to the world stage. That program now continues as the Hyundai motorsport team work towards the development of a WRC car, which it is hoped will debut in 1999!
There have been many highlights to Bell's 25-year driving career and some lowlights too! Of significance were the WRC debut of the Hyundai Coupe kit car in Indonesia where Bell headed Finland's Rovanperra and his Seat over much of the first day...and the debut FIA WRC F2 win in that same rally in an earlier year for the later model Lantra rally car were pretty satisfying for the veteran Australian driver also.
Bell drove for two factory teams and three significant private teams in his 25 year driving career, including the MHDT Commodores and Geminis, Mazdas and Corollas plus the entire range of Hyundai vehicles.
His greatest disappointment was not winning the 1979 Repco Trial... However, that's all behind him and Bell is now looking to the future.
"It's been great to have the groundbreaking role of taking a team and a new manufacturer to rallying from the ARC to the WRC!" he says. "Now, although my role may become somewhat more desk bound, there'll be plenty of travel ahead and I'm sure the task becomes more interesting if not demanding as we work to bring the Hyundai marque ever closer to WRC prominence!
"I'll work from England over the next 12 months. The MSD workshops at Milton Keynes will be my second home but I'll be back in Australia at regular intervals too."
The Hyundai Motor Sport program for 1999 will be released shortly...