Hyundai Motorsport’s team now operates at full speed after having appointed new people in the technical, sporting, and marketing areas. Last January, Team Principal Michel Nandan was appointed. As a result, the team has been concentrating on putting up its bespoke facility in Alzenau and preparing the i20 WRC for intensive testing later this year.
In the area of Engineering, there have been many changes within the technical department since the project started. Chief Designer Bertrand Vallat has been a part of this project since the beginning. He oversees the engineering project and has been at work on the i20 WRC design since December. Before taking on this position, Vallat was working at Peugeot Sport where he participated in the development of the topseller 207 S2000.
Playing another major role in the team is the recently appointed Stephane Girard who is Hyundai Motorsport’s Engine Manager. Girard has extensive knowledge and experience in motorsport. He has worked for different teams such as Peugeot Sport, Maserati Corse, Subaru World Rally Team − Prodrive and Citroen Sport. For Sporting, Alain Penasse will function as Team Manager starting on April 22.
He has a vital role in the daily management and development of the team. Penasse, who is from Belgium and is 51 years old, has plenty of rally experience as he has worked for teams like Toyota Team Europe and Peugeot Sport as well as with Michelin and as the organizer of Rally Ypres.
Heading the team’s Workshop division is motorsport specialist Ernst Kopp, who previously worked with Toyota’s rally at Le Mans and then at the F1 projects. Kopp is presently getting experienced technical staff to guarantee that the i20 WRC is in top-notch form for testing in the second half of the year and for competition in 2014.
When it comes to Marketing and Communications, Hyundai Motorsport has recently appointed Stefan Ph. Henrich as Director of Marketing & PR. He is an expert at communications with a 12-year experience at Hyundai Motor Europe and functioning most recently as the HME Spokesperson. He will lead a very experienced team composed of people from different motorsport and automotive backgrounds.