Ott Tänak confident about new season as Hyundai unveils car

Ott Tänak's new WRC team, Hyundai Motorsport, has unveiled its 2020 car ahead of the season starting at the Monte Carlo Rally later this month.

Tänak, who clinched his, and Estonia's, maiden WRC drivers' title with a race to spare at Rally Catalunya in late October 2019, said both he and co-driver Martin Järveoja have been warmly welcomed by the team – which they promptly joined within days of winning the championship.

"I have had some time to settle into my new home and we have been warmly welcomed," Tänak, 32, from Saaremaa, ERR's sports portal reported. 

"Changing teams is never easy, but I feel we are moving in the right direction."

As for the change in teams – Tänak won the title with Toyota – the Estonian said that 2020 would remain a competitive year.

"Hyundai has already proved that it is one of the top WRC teams by winning the team championship (which it did by default after the final race of the season in Australia was canceled due to bushfires-ed.)."

"My first impression of the car has been very positive and I am convinced that together we can fight for the titles this year," he added.

Tänak will join 2019's (and 2018, 2017 and 2016) runner up Thierry Neuville of Belgium, who is seeking his first drivers' championship, in the Hyundai i20, as well as veteran driver and multiple world champion Sebastien Loeb, and Spanish driver Dani Sordo.

"2019 was a tremendously successful year for us, but we will start again with a clean sheet," said team boss Andrea Adamo. "Our goals for the start of the season are clear: we want to fight for victory at each race and do the same for both drivers and as a manufacturer.

"We know that competition is still very intense, so we have to make sure we are technically strong. We have one of the strongest WRC lineups in the form of Thierry, Ott, Dan and Sebastien, and that we have been able to attract such talents here reflects Hyundai's reputation."

Loeb joined the team from Citroen, which pulled out of the series altogether after a troubled season.

The 2020 race calendar looks like this:

  • January 23-26: Monte-Carlo
  • February 13-16: Sweden
  • March 12-15: Mexico
  • April 16-19: Chile
  • April 30-May 3: Argentina
  • May 21-24: Portugal
  • June 4-7: Italy
  • July 16-19: Kenya
  • August 6-9: Finland
  • September 3-6: New Zealand
  • September 24-27: Turkey
  • October 15-18: Germany
  • October 29-1 November: Great Britain
  • November 19-22: Japan

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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