Hyundai has ramped up its preparations for a return to the World Rally Championship by appointing a number of key technical staff.
The Korean manufacturer confirmed last year that it will enter a Hyundai i20 WRC in the WRC in 2014 and, since the appointment of team principal Michel Nandan in January, it has been busy building a bespoke facility in Alzenau, Germany, and getting the i20 WRC ready for testing later in the year.
Experienced rally technician Stephane Girard, formerly of Subaru, Citroën and Peugeot, has recently been appointed as engine manager and will work with chief designer Bertrand Vallat on the engineering team. Vallat is another former Peugeot Sport employee and worked on the Peugeot 207 S2000 rally car.
Alain Penasse will start a new role of team manager on 22 April. The 51-year-old Belgian has previously been involved with Toyota and Peugeot, as well as tyre manufacturer Michelin and as an organiser of the Ypres Rally.
Hyundai's workshop will be headed by Ernst Kopp, formerly involved with Toyota’s rally, Le Mans and F1 projects. Stefan Henrich has transferred across from Hyundai Motor Europe to become marketing and PR chief.